One of the most charming areas on California's Central Coast is the little Danish town of Solvang. Located roughly two hours north of Los Angeles, and 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara, situated in the heart of the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.
Solvang is home to some of the world’s most extravagant pastries. The town is full of fantastic bakeries with delicious butter cookies and Danishes that are to die for. Have you had an aebleskiver, which means “pancake puffs” in Danish? Be forewarned, they are addicting and will melt in your mouth.
Have you ever been pulled by gorgeous Clydesdale horses through a beautiful town on a crisp fall day? The Solvang trolley and carriage tour is a fun way to get an excellent view of the city of Solvang so you can decide where you want to walk or drive to explore further.
Solvang is also home to some of the most excellent boutique wines and wineries in California. One of Keys 2 the Coast's favorite boutique winery and tasting rooms is Dascomb, located at 1659 Copenhagen Drive. Named after the popular winemaker, David Dascomb, who has been producing wines on a commercial level since 1999.
Dascomb features a wide assortment of reds including a Reserve, which is 50 percent Sangiovese, and 50 percent Merlot, a Meritage which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. They also feature a 100 percent Cabernet Franc, a 90 percent Cabernet Sauvignon which includes 5 percent Merlot and 5 percent Petite Verdot … and then there’s my favorite, their notoriously, sinfully delicious Sangiovese.
It is considered nirvana in a bottle and retails for the incredibly reasonable price of $38. The 2012 Grenache is also a favorite if you enjoy notes of dark cherry and licorice … perfectly paired with Havarti cheese. If you enjoy Port, the 2012 East Valley Vineyard Vintage Port tastes like white chocolate and cherry. The best part is that it isn’t as sweet as most Port or late harvest wines. It’s delicious and well worth the $65 price tag.
A huge advantage of going to Dascomb Cellars, other than the wine, is their hours and their friendly staff. One employee stands out for special mention. Nate is a 20-something “old soul” who was born to work with the public. A big burly and extremely affable fellow who makes you feel like you’re sitting on the couch at home with friends and family.
Dascomb has several sofas by the way, for a comfortable place to hang out as well as excellent décor including contemporary paintings, all with wine themes of course. I mentioned their hours because unlike most tasting rooms, Dascomb is open until 8 p.m. … long after most tasting rooms have closed.
I could go on about Dascomb … but it doesn’t end there. Other fabulous boutique wine tasting rooms in Solvang include Lucas & Lewellen, famous for their 2013 “Clone 6.”
This wine alone is worth the trip to Solvang. It’s truly a sensational and beautiful creation for even the most discriminating wine connoisseur. It retails for $65 but believe me, it is worth every penny. Pair it with some lamb, or a juicy rib-eye, and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. It’s also worth mentioning that when you join Lucas & Lewellen’s wine club, you’re entitled to taste for free at Toccata, located a few doors down. Toccata features some superb Italian varietals that are exceptional in their own right, and the tasting room is beautiful with gift items and beautiful artwork.