Velo Vino: 30 Miles of Cycling Perfection through the Santa Maria Wine Country

Explore the rolling hills and pristine valleys of the Santa Maria viticultural area.

By: Josiah Roe + Save to a List

The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail is a beautiful cycling route connecting the Santa Maria Valley and the Foxen Canyon from Santa Maria to Los Olivos, passing through the heart of the one of the most famous winemaking areas in southern California.  

The unique topography and geology of the area coupled with a lengthy growing season helps create the ideal condition for delicate varietals like pinot noir and pinot blanc for which the area is famous. Most evenings the westward facing valley allows the marine layer to move far inland, cooling the grapes and extending their time-on-vine.

The trail itself has become a popular cycling trail, allowing for multiple stops at tasting rooms and small eateries along the way, and when done as an overall trip from Santa Maria to Los Olivos and back, has a total length of just less than 60 miles.

The road itself begins at the intersection of Betteravia and Philbric roads, just east of Santa Maria, heading southeast through Santa Maria Valley. For epic views overlooking the Santa Maria Valley, you can take the short alternate route on Santa Maria Mesa Road past the Cambria Estate Vineyards

Santa Maria Mesa Road intersects with Tepusquet Road at Bryon Winery and the trail heads back south until it reconnects with Foxen Canyon Road at Riverbench Winery, an excellent place to stop for outdoor tasting & bocce. 

From there the trail proceeds south into Foxen Canyon, past the historic, century-old gatekeeping San Ramon Chapel

Once into Foxen Canyon, the trail passes several fantastic wineries including the first to plant Rhône varietals, Zaca Mesa, and Foxen Vineyard and Winery, made famous by the film Sideways and featuring the fantastic and what can only be described as a "wine dive bar" called "The Shack".

The trail passes several other excellent tasting rooms and the wonderful wine town of Los Olivos. For more information on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail visit the Santa Maria Valley website.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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