LIFE IN THE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY
World-class wineries and vineyards, sprawling equestrian ranches and six small, delightful rural towns – Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang — comprise the Santa Ynez Valley. It is close to the perfect combination of rural-agricultural heritage combined with sophisticated “wine country” ambience.
Just a scenic half-hour drive over the Coastal Range from Santa Barbara, the valley was initially renowned for its thoroughbred horse ranches, although most recently it has become revered for its exceptional wines. Its eclectic population – a diverse mix of cowboys, ranchers, winemakers and city slickers — is also a reason for its popularity.
In spite of its relaxed rural atmosphere, the Santa Ynez Valley hosts a vast array of activities. Golf, biking, hiking and horseback riding are all easily accessible, as is fishing at nearby Lake Cachuma. The area’s rich past comes alive at its history museums and the 1804 Mission Santa Ines. A busy cultural calendar is always brimming with choices.
Santa Ynez Valley real estate includes a broad range properties — from the charming cottages in the picturesque Danish community of Solvang and the art gallery, restaurant and wine tasting room-rich village of Los Olivos, to multi-million dollar wine and equestrian estates.
A RETREAT FOR THE STARS
Numerous celebrities have called the Santa Ynez Valley home including: David Crosby (from Crosby, Stills & Nash music group), John Forsythe (actor), Bo Derek (actress/model), Jimmy Connors (pro tennis star), Doc Severinsen (longtime bandleader on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson), Robert Carradine (actor starred in Revenge of the Nerds, Noah Wyle (actor from ER) Steven Seagal (action movie star), Kelly LeBrock (actress/model and Seagal’s former wife), and the deceased Richard A. Harris (actor).
President Ronald Reagan called Rancho del Cielo, near Solvang, the “Western White House” during his two terms in office. Other luminaries to make the Valley their home or who have secondary homes at this time include musicians Dolly Parton and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. Bernie Taupin, songwriting partner of Sir Elton John, resides in the area, as does famed director Steven Spielberg. Actors Robert Carradine, John Corbett, and Steven Seagal have all called the idyllic Santa Ynez Valley home.
Through the years, the likes of Matt LeBlanc, veteran producer Jon Peters and former tennis star Jimmy Connors have migrated there seeking two things the Valley -- as it's known locally -- offers aplenty: peace and anonymity. In 2005, 20th Century Fox Television chairman Gary Newman and his entertainment attorney wife, Jeanne, opened Jorian Hill Vineyards, nestled on 20 acres in the hills of Ballard Canyon, and screenwriter Brian Helgeland's wife, Nan, is the proprietor of Martian Ranch & Vineyard a bit to the north.
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: P!NK'S PERSONAL PEACE
Alecia Moore Finds Solace in Her Santa Ynez Valley Vineyard
"Depending on the season, Alecia Moore can usually be found tending to her vineyard, cutting wooden vines during pruning season, pulling leaves to let in more springtime sun and summer breezes, and tasting the grapes as they ripen. In the mornings, she drops her daughter off at school, hits El Rancho Market or New Frontiers for groceries with her baby boy, and then sometimes rides motorcycles through the oak trees with her husband.
And in the evenings, Moore — the Grammy-winning, chart-topping pop star who’s known from Auckland to Amsterdam simply by her stage name, P!nk — makes dinner in her kitchen, or dines out at S.Y. Kitchen, or shoots pool at Santa Ynez Billiards & Café as the owners hold her kids."
CELEBRATED NAMES IN THE VALLEY:
• President Ronald Reagan - Rancho del Cielo, “Western White House”
• Fergie - the Black Eyed Peas
• Michael Jackson - Neverland Ranch
• Ellen Degeneres - Happy Canyon Winery
• Pink - Star Lane
• Robert Carradine
• Jimmy Connors
• Jake Copass
• John Corbett
• David Crosby
• Bo Derek
• Bob Eubanks
• Brooks Firestone
• John Forsythe
• Dan Gerber
• Richard A. Harris Dan Henry
• Sandy Hill
• Ed Joyce
• Kelly Le Brock
• Peter Lewis
• Tom Leykis
• Marty Paich
• Fess Parker
• Dolly Parton
• Ronald Reagan (Rancho del Cielo)
• Monty Roberts
• Todd Rogers
• Steven Seagal
• Edie Sedgwick
• Doc Severinsen
• Steven Spielberg
• Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
• Bernie Taupin
• Noah Wylea