Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Wine & Steak Lover's Treasure!

I absolutely have to post about Sagebrush Annie's ( This is our favorite place to go have dinner & enjoy some of the best red wine we've ever had! The winemaker/owner is Larry Hogan. He is a retired ruminant nutritionist (ruminants are 4-chambered mammals; i.e. he advised ranchers on what to feed their cattle), and a wine-making genius. This wonderful restaurant/winemaker outpost is located on Highway 33, south of Highway 166, in Ventucopa.

This funky-cool place on Hwy. 33 looks like a little saloon from the old west. There is beautiful stonework on the property, all hand-laid by Larry. Behind the restaurant & stone patio area (great summer events there), is a huge stonework building for large events. It even has a huge fireplace. We have attended several fun events in the big room, which of course was hand-built by Larry.
Larry started & sold the Barnwood label (current owner makes Laetitia, our favorite sparkling wines). Now he produces fantastic red wine under his Sagebrush Annie's (Santa Barbara County) & Stone Pine Estates (Ventura County). His grapes are grown around Quatal Cyn/Ventucopa area, where Santa Barbara/Ventura/San Luis Obispo Counties converge.Larry produces cabernet, & has recently added zinfandel & merlot. His wines have won multiple gold medals. You can drop by on weekends to wine taste, as long as they aren't out at a festival or competition.

Our favorite thing to do is to make a dinner reservation so we can wine taste right before. Yes, Friday - Sunday, Sagebrush Annie's serves dinner (reservations a must). Karina, Larry's lovely wife & co-owner, makes all the sides, salad dressings, desserts & fantastic soups from scratch. Larry starts the bbq with one kind of wood, then moves to another kind of wood, & grills up salmon or steelhead trout, chicken or the best steaks ever.

We enjoy taking the dirt road, Quatal Cyn., just west of Pine Mountain Club to the 33. This drops you off just south of Sagebrush Annie's. The road is a kick to drive, & you see some beautiful landscape. In the spring, wildflowers abound. Right now, a ton of yucca are in bloom. This road is not recommended in winter or rain, however.

We enjoyed fabulous Mother's Day & Father's Day dinners at Sagebrush Annie's. Larry & Karina are the consumate hosts, & two of the most down-to-earth & fascinating people you will ever meet...We adore them!

Out-of-towners would enjoy spending the night at the lovely Pine Mountain Inn ( I'll post about this pretty hotel in the future...

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