Cristal's Blog


January 20, 2023

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The Santa Ynez Valley communities of Ballard, Los Olivos, Solvang and Santa Ynez come to mind when you think about Santa Barbara Wine Country. But, how about Buellton? Known until recently primarily for its pea soup, the town has become an important player when it comes to winery tasting rooms.

A Buellton Renaissance

Up the Santa Barbara area coast and just off of Hwy 101, the Santa Ynez Valley hamlet of Buellton has undergone a renaissance in the last few years. Of course, in addition to activities such as hiking, biking or horseback riding through stunning scenic trails, or exploring the budding botanic garden at River View Park, enjoying an up close and personal experience with an ostrich or emu, or playing a round at Zaca Creek Golf Course along the Santa Ynez River, there has always been world-famous Pea Soup Andersen’s.

Recently, however, Buellton has been experiencing a sort of reinvention, with a focus on food and wine. The introduction of wine tasting rooms, varied and creative dining options, a top-notch craft brewery/tap room, two distilleries, a sweet shop and more has turned the community’s main half mile thoroughfare into a hot spot destination for locals and visitors alike.

Six people's hands toasting with a glass of red wine.
Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

The Buellton Tasting Rooms

Here are the tasting rooms and vineyards the editors of 805 Living magazine recommend to Santa Barbara area visitors and locals:

Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyard logo

181-C Industrial Way,
Buellton, CA 93427

Alma Rosa Winery was founded in 2005 by wine growing pioneer Richard Sanford. The wines are layered, vibrant, and balanced, reflecting the unique terroir of the Santa Rita Hills. Discover their ephemeral Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.

Logo for Buscador Winery with wine grower man in red next to name

140 Industrial Way
Buellton, Ca. 93427

Enjoy handcrafted boutique wines at the vibrant Buscador tasting room. You’ll taste the truth and integrity in each sip. The wine served here demonstrates the best Bordeaux, Rhône, and Burgundian varietals from Santa Ynez Valley. This tasting room can be found along Buellton's burgeoning Industrial Way wine walk.

Log of Cholame Vineyard with a sun in gold at the top of the name


140 Industrial Way
Buellton, CA 93427

Referred to as ‘The Beautiful One®’, you will enjoy this vineyard’s award-winning wines and the inviting rustic tasting room. The vineyard’s exacting standard for excellence becomes apparent the moment one tastes the very limited-production selection. Enjoy either a traditional tasting or an all-red exclusive tasting.

Logo for Esguerzo Winery with outline of man in a hat walking along the vineyard carrying two buckets of grapes

140 Industrial Way
Buellton, CA 93427

From the farmer's fields and hands to your glass: the wines at this tasting room are deeply rooted in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. Plus, Esfuerzo Wines grants an intimate barrel-room experience and invites everyone to take part in it.

A gold palm tree tops the logo for Margerum Wine Company

59 Industrial Way
Buellton, CA 93427

Choose a flight of Rhône wines that showcases the Margerum Wine Company, or the Burgundian-style Barden Wines at their production winery and tasting room.

Tierra Y Vino Earth and wine logo

140 Industrial Way
Buellton, California 93427

Owners and partners in life, Andres Ibarra and Caren Rideau founded Tierra y Vino in 2012. A winemaker since 1985, Andres sources all fruit from La Presa Vineyard in Solvang that he planted and has managed since 1980.

Tasting Rooms Nearby

Just about 15 minutes from Buellton’s Industrial Way you can taste more wine at the beautiful Santa Rita Hills tasting rooms and vineyards listed below.

The letters KH in bold are at the beginning of the logo for Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines

1700 Gypsy Canyon Dr
Lompoc, CA 93436
Tasting Room
300 N. 12th St.
Lompoc, CA 93436

This family-owned vineyard and winery crafts estate-grown, award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and sparkling wines from the Santa Rita Hills AVA. Discover wines with a sense of time and place at their Lompoc tasting room.

A bird in flight tops the Strange Family Vineyards logo

1062 Drum Canyon Road
Lompoc, CA 93436
Malibu Tasting Room at the Lumber Yard
3939 Cross Creek Road, suite C140
Malibu, CA 90265

Producing world-class sparkling wines, chardonnay, and pinot noir, the folks here invite visitors to partake in both tasting and tours offered at the vineyard estate. Available by appointment for six or more. Or, stop by without a reservation at the tasting room.

All the Buellton area Santa Barbara Wine Country tasting rooms mentioned in this blog post are located just an hour or so from Santa Barbara and Montecito. Don’t you want to live close to some of the best wineries and wine tasting rooms, along with celebrated restaurants and other food purveyors? Then I suggest considering buying or selling a home in the area. Just give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch