The Santa Rita Hills, a notable stop on your Wine & Waves Getaway, is only 30 minutes south of Pismo Beach. As one of California’s smaller AVA’s, it manages to produce some of the region’s most exciting wines. With it’s eastern edge about four miles west of CA-Highway 101 in Buellton, and continuing west about two miles east of CA-Highway 101 in Lompoc; it includes all locales between the Santa Rosa Hills and the Purisima Hills. These boundaries were carefully chosen to match its distinct members’ criteria for hillside Pinot Noir and Chardonnay viticulture. In a short period of time, these youthful vineyards, planted in the last two decades, continue to produce wines that reap critical acclaim. The characteristics of Santa Rita Hills wines come from a combination of east-west coastal valleys, cool weather, and fog. Moreover, its wind and soils limit vine vigor and crop yield, intensifying the flavors of the wines and adding complexity. Another common thread throughout the region is natural acidity, balanced with firm structure, making Santa Rita Hills wines pair beautifully with a variety of foods. The Santa Rita Hills AVA consists of approximately 2,100 acres of Pinot Noir, 500 acres of Chardonnay, and an additional combination of, 140 acres of Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and other wine grape variety vineyards. Santa Rita Hills has eight tasting rooms open regularly and others by appointment. It is easily explored on the scenic 34-mile loop running from Santa Rosa Road to CA-State Highway 246.