by Jolene Rae Harrington, Media and Communications Director
We've been watching the Central Coast's growing popularity as a wedding destination with eager anticipation. Its gourmet dining, plush accommodations and artisanal shops are attracting an upscale reputation, and Central Coast wines have won international recognition. Yet with all the gold medals and high style, the Central Coast retains its small-town friendliness, and locals have positively thrown out a red-carpet welcome to bridal couples from near and far.
We did our own Central Coast Wine Country investigation, and came up with our top 3 venue picks:
Santa Barbara Wine Country
With a pastoral, sunkissed setting in the Santa Ynez foothills and a year-round program of tastings, concerts and special events, Gainey winery has become a favorite gathering place. Its hacienda-style winery features a handsome Tasting Room warmed by a grand-scale fireplace. Intimate rehearsal dinners simply glow in the Wine Cellar, brightened by flickering candlelight and lined with floor-to-ceiling bottles of aging vintages. Celebrate outdoors on the patio, a grassy open-air plaza framed by leafy rows of Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Couples say their vows in the Vineyard View Picnic Area flanked by two massive oak trees, while guests enjoy commanding vistas of the vineyards and hilly countryside.
With stunning Tuscan-inspired architecture and vineyard views to forever, this new addition to the Paso Robles winery scene is sheer romance. Four acres of manicured gardens and a luxuriously appointed interior beckon engaged couples to celebrate amid refined Old World splendor. A barrel room and enclosed patio vie with two lush outdoor sites to host different phases of your event. Villa San-Juliette Winery is a wedding venue worthy of your epic love story!
Monterey Wine Country
In a setting of soul-stirring beauty, Holman Ranch is a private residence with its own family vineyards. From a hilltop in the sun-splashed Carmel Valley, the historic estate offers a tantalizing variety of scenic event spaces. Begin with a ceremony on the Hacienda Lawn, which sweeps to the edge of a sloping hillside planted with Pinot Noir grapevines. Guests have a panoramic view of the vineyard above the lush valley floor, while in the background the Santa Lucia Mountains are burnished with the gilded blush of sunset. Continue to savor the postcard-worthy vista with cocktails on the Stone Terrace and an intimate dinner beneath a majestic arbor bordered by olive saplings and young grapevines.