“Santa Barbara County is all about discovery,” says Sonja Magdevski, owner/winemaker of Casa Dumetz Wines. She and her fiancé, actor/director Emilio Estevez, divide time between homes in Malibu (where they have a half-acre Pinot Noir vineyard) and Los Alamos near the Santa Ynez Valley (where Casa Dumetz just opened a new tasting room). Here are their faves:
Sonja Magdevski: “Filled with galleries and antiques stores, Los Alamos attracts contemporary pioneers who don’t want to conform. For romantic dining, there’s The Stonehouse Restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch—Emilio took me there on one of our first dates. My absolute favorite restaurant—any time—isBallard Inn, located in the quaintest, tiniest town near Solvang. Chef Budi Kazali’s creations seem effortless.
“At Alma Rosa tasting room, Richard and Thekla Sanford are pioneers of Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara.Figueroa Mountain Brewery crafts great beer—my favorite is Davy Brown Ale. The Solvang farmers market [Wednesdays] has the best producers. Santa Barbara is also horse country. At Return to Freedom sanctuary you can hike among wild horses. For ’glamping’ —glamorous camping—near the beach, El Capitan Canyon offers hiking trails and a great deli.”
Emilio Estevez: “Island Seed & Feed is one of my haunts—everything you need for your garden. In Los Alamos, lunch at Full of Life Flatbread—they follow the 100-mile menu and make meals from scratch. For great burritos, I head to El Sitio. It’s the real deal, like eating in a home. We can’t wait to go back to El Encanto hotel in Santa Barbara, which recently reopened after a multimillion-dollar renovation. It has a beautiful setting above the Mission overlooking the ocean. For fresh vegetables, Classic Organic Farm is old school—you pay for what you want in a little box, on the honor system.”