Category Archives: Blog

A Day in the Santa Ynez Valley

Sanger Family Wines

Sanger Family Wines

Start your day by heading over to the quaint little town of Los Olivos.  Visit Sanger Family Wines to experience Consilience, Tre Anelli and Marianello Wines , as well as some of the best olive oils in the state.  Their Marianello Olive Farm is here in the valley and is planted solely to the Lucca variety.  All the work is done by hand and pressed locally.  All the oils are first pressed extra virgin and unfiltered.  This gives honest and exquisite results that you will taste and love.  We love visiting this tasting room, as there are many wines to try along with the delectable oils.  We always leave with bottles of both. 

Marianello Olive Oil

Marianello Olive Oil

Once you are ready for dinner, be sure to visit SY Kitchen in Santa Ynez.  They are the greatest choice for a perfect and passionate dinner  to round out a perfect day.  The Kitchen offers modern Italian dishes in a lively atmosphere with an open kitchen where you can watch chefs (Luca and Francesco Crestanelli) creating “an enriched authentic culinary experience that honors traditional Italian cuisine”  Always using local and fresh ingredients, “farm to table” is not a concept here, but a way-of-life.  Every dish is truly amazing, but we highly recommend the beet salad, any pasta (all homemade of course), especially the short rib ragu, and the hearty roast chicken.  We prefer to just order several thins and dine family style, sharing and tasting everything.  End the night with an extraordinary cocktail from their brilliant mixologist out on the porch by the fire pit.   A perfect day in the Santa Ynez Valley…

SY Kitchen

SY Kitchen

A Beautiful Patio @ SY Kitchen

A Beautiful Patio @ SY Kitchen

If you are looking for a home in the Santa Ynez Valley Mike and Micah Brady can provide excellent advice, as well as assistance in your search for property. Together, they have decades of residence in the Valley, and their experience and local market knowledge are invaluable to their clients. Contact Mike at 805.391.0587, or Micah at 805.331.3053.

A Beautiful Life

If you’ve spent any time in Italy, you know that Italians know how to live a beautiful life.  Italians are easy-going and have a positive outlook on life.  Especially in their daily life.  Italians live “la vita bella”. However, the beautiful life does not mean the extravagant life. It means a relaxed, family-centric lifestyle, with focus on food and wine. Here, in the Santa Ynez Valley, you can find this “lifestyle” all around you.  We’ve put together an itinerary for you to experience this “Italian” way, right here on the Central Coast.  You will get to slow down, eat locally, taste some wine, and relax with your friends and families gathered together, outside in the glorious and beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.

Palmina Tasting Room

Palmina Tasting Room

As you head out west from the valley to Lompoc, the quick and beautiful drive offers some great views of some very prestigious vineyards in Santa Rita Hills.  Once you’ve reached the Wine Ghetto, head on in to Palmina Wines.  Palmina’s passion is producing Italian varietal wines, and you can taste this passion in every sip.  While Palmina is crafting Italian varietals, they are not trying to imitate those wines.  Palmina’s wines truly highlight and capture the unique characteristics of Santa Barbara County, offering genuine wines that are intended to enhance your meal.  Like Palmina states, “We believe moments become memories with good food and wine”.  We couldn’t agree more!  We enjoy all of their wines, but don’t miss the Lumina (sparkling wine!!), the Pinot Grigio and the Stolpman Vineyard Nebbiolo.

 

Photo Compliments of CentralCoast.com

Photo Compliments of CentralCoast.com

Speaking of Stolpman Vineyard, that is our next stop… As you head back to the heart of the valley, drop in to Industrial Eats. This hip little joint is serving up super quality, local food that is creative and simply delicious.  They have their own butcher shop, and offer an amazing array of meats, cured meats, patés and handmade bacon.  Grab some goodies to go and continue making your way to the gorgeous, Italian influenced Villa at Stolpman Vineyards. (By appointment only, 805-688-0400).  Enjoy your picnic amongst the vines and taste some superior wines being hand crafted from one of the most meticulously farmed vineyards in all of California.

Stolpman Vineyards Villa

Stolpman Vineyards Villa

If you are looking for a home in the Santa Ynez Valley Mike and Micah Brady can provide excellent advice, as well as assistance in your search for property. Together, they have decades of residence in the Valley, and their experience and local market knowledge are invaluable to their clients. Contact Mike at 805.391.0587, or Micah at 805.331.3053.

Happy Canyon AVA ~ Top Bordeaux Varietals

Happy Canyon AVA

Beautiful Happy Canyon

Legend has it, that during Prohibition, alcohol was being produced in “Happy Canyon”.  People would take a drive to “Happy Canyon” to purchase it, and, the name stuck.  The 23, 941 acres, which makes up Happy Canyon, achieved American Viticulture Area (AVA) Designation in November of 2009.  It is located in the eastern end of the Santa Ynez Valley, just north and west of Lake Cachuma.

So, what is it about this area, that makes it so unique and worthy of achieving this stature? Happy Canyon is one of the few places in the new world that shows such a sense of place and typicity in the grapes grown there.  It is producing some top Bordeaux varietals.  Happy Canyon’s microclimate, combined with its unique marine soils featuring Serpentine (along with lesser amounts of Chert) is the main cause for this. These soil types have very little nutrients.  This typically results in smaller vines, lower yields and high quality grapes with great flavors, as well as minerality.  Happy Canyon is the warmest microclimate in the Santa Ynez Valley and the massive diurnal swings play a large role in creating wines with richness and texture, but are balanced with refreshing acidity.

Happy Canyon is truly beautiful with its rolling hills, grasslands and oak trees.  It is home to six vineyards: Grassini Family Vineyards, Westerly, Happy Canyon, McGinley, Star Lane and Vogelzang Vineyard.  When visiting, make sure to take a drive through the Canyon or visit one of these wineries (by appointment only).  You may also want to seek out wines being made from fruit from these vineyards. We guarantee you will not be disappointed.

If you are looking for a home in the Santa Ynez Valley Mike and Micah Brady can provide excellent advice, as well as assistance in your search for property. Together, they have decades of residence in the Valley, and their experience and local market knowledge are invaluable to their clients. Contact Mike at 805.391.0587, or Micah at 805.331.3053.

Ballard Canyon AVA ~ The Newest Wine-Growing Appellation

Gorgeous Ballard Canyon Rd.

Gorgeous Ballard Canyon Rd.

In October of 2013, Ballard Canyon AVA, the newest wine-growing appellation in the Santa Ynez Valley was approved by the federal government. Ballard Canyon AVA covers 7,700 acre canyon located between the towns of Solvang, Buellton, and Los Olivos. This distinct area particularly focuses in Rhone varietals with over half planted being Syrah and the rest being Grenache, Viognier and Roussanne. According to the official Ballard Canyon AVA website: 

“The wines can be defined as incorporating the various aspects of Santa Barbara County: cool-climate marine influences from the Santa Rita Hills in the west, moderated by the warmer climate of Happy Canyon to the east. By virtue of the distinct wind, weather, soil, drainage, and geology of Ballard Canyon, the wines are able to express the broad spectrum of aromas and flavors that only come from growing in the critical mixed climate inherent in the Ballard Canyon AVA.”

Ballard Canyon AVA, which only has 550 acres planted to vineyards, currently includes 18 vintners. It is also home to some very well known vineyards, such as Tierra Alta, Saarloos and Son Windmill Ranch, Larner, Stolpman, Beckmen and many others.

If you are looking for a home in the Santa Ynez Valley Mike and Micah Brady can provide excellent advice, as well as assistance in your search for property. Together, they have decades of residence in the Valley, and their experience and local market knowledge are invaluable to their clients. Contact Mike at 805.391.0587, or Micah at 805.331.3053.


 

 

 

Santa Ynez Valley Charter School: An Innovative Approach

Santa Ynez Valley Charter SchoolSanta Ynez Valley Charter School was created thanks to 70 parents, educators and community leaders who came together in the year 2000 to create the vision and values for this great local school to become a reality. After approval by the state of California the school opened it’s doors on September 4, 2000 as and independent school. The school is overseen by the College School District in Santa Ynez, California

The Santa Ynez Valley Charter School, a K-8 school nurtures and prepares their students for high school and beyond via a innovative and challenging academic environment. Parental involvement is key and the community support the school receives is instrumental in the success of the school. Thanks to the Charter School Law, Santa Ynez Valley Charter School is a public school of choice which allows those who attend the benefits of a small learning community. The latest SARC report shows that the school enrollment was 202 students.

Parent participation is key to the success of Santa Ynez Valley Charter School. Volunteer requirements are written into the charter so as to ensure the continuous success of the school. Every family is required to contribute a minimum of 3 hours per child per month (5 hours per month for multiple children attending).

If you have school-age children and are looking for a home convenient to Ballard School or any of the schools in the Santa Ynez ValleyMike and Micah Brady can provide excellent advice, as well as assistance in your search for property. Together, they have decades of residence in the Valley, and their experience and local market knowledge are invaluable to their clients. Contact Mike at 805.391.0587, or Micah at 805.331.3053.

 


 

 

 

 

Ballard School: A Santa Ynez Valley Gem

 

Ballard School House

Ballard School House

Ballard School is located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley on the central coast of California in Santa Barbara County. This school and its’ picturesque red school house has been a staple of the Santa Ynez Valley since 1882. In the early days of the Santa Ynez Valley the schoolhouse was the only public building in the valley. Because of this, it has served many purposes over the years, making it a key component of the community. Located in the quaint and gorgeous little town of Ballard this public school teaches students from kindergarten to 6th grade. Ballard is home to less than 500 people and is considered a prize residential area. This past year the school was home to only 106 students. The school has a great tradition of parent involvement and her faculty is superb. The school is so committed to the development of their students that it acquired eighty new laptops so that every student in grades three through six could have their own Macbook to use for school work. Further, all classrooms are equipped with computers, projectors, document cameras and internet access. Students have access to Accelerated Reader, Reading Plus, and Study Island programs. Ballard School exemplifies all that is good about living in the Santa Ynez Valley.

If you have school-age children and are looking for a home convenient to Ballard School or any of the schools in the Santa Ynez ValleyMike and Micah Brady can provide excellent advice, as well as assistance in your search for property. Together, they have decades of residence in the Valley, and their experience and local market knowledge are invaluable to their clients. Contact Mike at 805.391.0587, or Micah at 805.331.3053.

Dunn School: A College Prep School

Dunn School sign in Los Olivos, CA

Dunn School is a college-prep school for grades 6 – 12 located in Los Olivos, Ca. The school is o an 55-acre campus ,which brings together 43 talented teachers who inspire students to become sharp thinkers, creative doers and confident leaders. The distinctive Dunn culture is decidedly collaborative, hands-on, friendly and open minded. Learning takes place not just in classrooms but in well-equipped buildings all over campus.

Academic standards are lofty at Dunn School . Students enjoy challenging classes and hold high academic aspirations. There are over 15 Advanced Placement and Honors classes. Students also enjoy small classes with an average class size of 12 students.  Courses are demanding, whether they are standard college-prep courses or the faster-paced and even more rigorous honors and Advanced Placement courses. 100% of students are admitted to selective 4 year universities, which is largely due to a comprehensive college counseling program which begins in the 9th grade.  

Many Santa Ynez Valley families choose this school for its wonderful environment and impeccable academic record. Furthermore, Dunn School has a great activities and athletics program with very competitive teams. 

If you have school-age children and are looking for a home convenient to Dunn School or any of the schools in the Santa Ynez ValleyMike and Micah Brady can provide excellent advice, as well as assistance in your search for property. Together, they have decades of residence in the Valley, and their experience and local market knowledge are invaluable to their clients. Contact Mike at 805.391.0587, or Micah at 805.331.3053.

 

Olive Grove School sign

Olive Grove School: Education Excellence Can Boost Home Prices

Olive Grove Charter School sign

Olive Grove School, a much-loved charter  school in Los Olivos, California, is one many such charter schools throughout California that have been said to be a positive factor in the value of local real estate, and one that can actually boost home prices. Founded in 2001 by the Los Olivos School District, and located at 2540 Alamo Pintado Avenue in Los Olivos, the school serves 485 students in grades K-12. It has a diverse population in which students excel at independent study under the supervision of their parent or guardian. The innovative curriculum and educational philosophy empowers kids to reach their highest potential in a homelike setting. The students receive daily and weekly support from the Los Olivos Olive Grove School teaching staff, and fulfill their educational goals at their own pace.

The school has an API score of 741/1000 and an API ranking of 7/10 compared to 6/10 ranking of similar schools. The Olive Grove Charter School has an excellent staff and resources for its students. Both the K-8 and  High School curriculums are readily available. Overall, the school is an excellent choice for many families and an attractive feature to potential Santa Ynez Valley home buyers.  

If you have school-age children and are looking for a home convenient to Olive Grove Charter School or any of the schools in the Santa Ynez Valley, Mike and Micah Brady can provide excellent advice, as well as assistance in your search for property. Together, they have decades of residence in the Valley, and their experience and local market knowledge are invaluable to their clients. Contact Mike at 805.391.0587, or Micah at 805.331.3053.

Los Olivos Elementary School sign

Santa Ynez Valley Schools: Great for Kids and Home Values!

Los Olivos Elementary School sign

One of the most important factors for many people when deciding on a home to purchase is the quality of the school district. Whether you have kids or not is irrelevant as history has shown that homes in good school districts typically have higher resale value and are easier to sell. The Santa Ynez Valley schools are of the highest quality, making the choice of purchasing a home here much easier.

The Los Olivos School District is home to several schools which are highly regarded. One of these is Los Olivos Elementary, located at 2540 Alamo Pintado Avenue has a strong academic program and is fortunate enough to have great community support. The school has an API score of 915 and a API statewide ranking of 9/10 compared to 6/10 ranking of similar schools. The class population is 245 students making the classes small and manageable.

 Over the course of the next few blogs we will continue to highlight both local public and private Santa Ynez Valley schools so you can learn more about why the Santa Ynez Valley is a great choice for a new home! 

If you have school-age children and are looking for a home convenient to Los Olivos Elementary School or any of the schools in the Santa Ynez ValleyMike and Micah Brady can provide excellent advice, as well as assistance in your search for property. Together, they have decades of residence in the Valley, and their experience and local market knowledge are invaluable to their clients. Contact Mike at 805.391.0587, or Micah at 805.331.3053.