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Home / keys 2 coast

Distill My Beating Heart

By Donna Polizzi

Keys 2 the Coast set out for a daytrip to explore the best places to go in Buellton, California. Buellton is one of the five distinct areas that make up the Santa Ynez Valley. Solvang, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos and Los Alamos, are all a haven for great restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries. With so many options, it is difficult to decide what to do on any given day, on the California Central Coast. Be prepared, there is so much to see and do here, even a set plan can lead to an unexpected adventure.  Go with the flow.

The original plan was to check out Loring Wine Company, which is located at 201 Industrial Way, right off of Highway 246.  It is locally known, that their expertise is in producing excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But there is a bigger story. What makes this place so special? Did you know, that Loring Wine Company has a fantastic chef?  They do, and April bakes artisan cookies on site, to pair with Loring and Company wines.

This was the first time that Keys 2 the Coast had heard of cookies and wine pairing. We were delightfully surprised. April’s delicious cookies magically enhance the flavor of their already delicious wine. You too will be a fan, when you bite into these unusual cookie concoctions.  Some of our favorites are the Lemon Brule, Montmorency Cherry, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and Fig and Gorgonzola. It’s definitely a delightful sensation for the taste buds. The cookies melt in your mouth. Who would expect that a burst of flavor from a cherry and vanilla cookie, would pair so fabulously with a 2014 Mateo Russian River Pinot? Wine tasting at Loring Wine Company is more than just sipping delicious wines. It is truly a savory and sweet experience.

– Courtesy photo / Donna Polizzi Keys 2 The Coast

Dorwood Distillery is a delightful experience!

Bonus: Sharing the same parking lot with Loring and Company, is Alma Rosa Winery, Industrial Eats (which has delicious food), and the unexpected highlight, Dorwood Distillery. The Dorwood Distillery experience was a delightful addition to spending an afternoon exploring, dining and drinking fine wine and spirits.

Your day is guaranteed to come alive, when you walk into the Dorwood Distillery and tasting room. It is owned by the ever so charming, Jay Lockwood. Have you ever been to a distillery?

Dorwood has five different spirits for you to try.

Distill my beating heart!  Dorwood Distillery is a wonderful place to taste and learn about small, handcrafted, batch spirits. The tasting room is quaint and nicely decorated.  Once you start tasting, you begin to realize just how different this is, from any other place on the Central Coast. You get to meet the maker and the offerings are impressive.  Vodka is made from Santa Barbara County wine grapes. Every single batches is hand-made, using locally sourced, natural materials. Tastings include whiskey, gin and two different types of Limoncello.

– Courtesy photo / Donna Polizzi Keys 2 The Coast

The White Hawk Malt Whiskey has a great smoky flavor, which is surprising since this whiskey had no barrel influence. Instead, it is distilled with Texas, Irish Scotch, in a 100% mesquite smoked barrel. I can only imagine how this would taste served up with some Santa Maria Style barbeque. The G7 Gin is not your dad’s gin. It also, is made with Santa Barbara County wine grapes and is delicious served up hot, like a cup of tea. This tea is guaranteed to put a spring in your step on a Monday morning.

Limoncello is a totally different experience. Think of a sugar bomb straight to the tongue. Most Limoncello’s are 50-60 proof, but Dorwood Distillery’s Limoncello is a whopping 80 proof. Their Limoncello has just the right amount of sweet and sour.  Imagine a heavenly sip by the  pool, while soaking up the sun. It is the perfect adult lemonade. If you enjoy a little spice in your life, and who doesn’t, the Habapeño Limoncello makes your tongue do the Tango! There is no comparison.

Like Jay told me “At Dorwood, we don’t do tastings, we do experiences. We do what it takes to serve the best spirits to be had.”

If spirits and wine are not your forte, less than a block down the street is Figueroa Mountain Brewing’s brewery and tasting room. They have an outdoor patio that overlooks huge fermenter tanks that hold the beer, before being kegged, bottled and canned. Inside the tasting room, you can sometimes catch the brewers at work, creating some of the most popular beers, like Lizard’s Mouth or the Aqua Santa.

– Courtesy photo / Donna Polizzi Keys 2 The Coast

Cheers to the Industrial Way bar crawl!

The outside patio is a great place to sit when visiting Figueroa Mountain. They have plenty of comfortable seating and it’s fun to sit and eat delicious food at the picnic tables or you can sit around a fire pit. Figueroa Mountain Brewery has over 20 different beers to choose from. What’s your pleasure; IPAs, blondes or stouts?

Life is meant to enjoy to the max.  Get out there and have some fun.  Keys 2 the Coast was pleased to discover what we like to call the “Industrial Way Crawl.” Cheers, prohst, sláinte mhaith, salute, genstzt and kanpai to a great day!

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