Plan B Wine Cellars
An Unexpected Delight
If the industrial area near Mid-Town Ventura is the oyster, then Plan B Wine Cellars is the surprising pearl. The backstreet location and unassuming building adjacent to a yard filled with slabs of granite and limestone is in stark contrast to what you find inside the tasting room. Surrounded by barrels of aging wine, the striking reclaimed oak slab bar invites visitors to relax, and take in the view towards the harbor and the Channel Islands while enjoying a seated tasting or a glass of wine. Owners and winemakers Marlow and Janis Barger came to the wine business as consumers first, and it shows in their low key approach. “We don’t have a typical wine club” states Janis, “because we both felt that always pushing a wine club detracts from the enjoyment of the tasting experience.” “We just wanted people to enjoy themselves without feeling like they had to join a club, it’s less intimidating, especially for folks that are just getting into wine” adds Marlow, “we feel wine tasting is about the experience, not just about flavors and wine jargon. People need to learn to trust their own pallet and drink what they like.”
Sundays, a time of Wine and Music
The City of Ventura has long been known for its beach culture, but is fast becoming a destination for wine, food, and music, as well as the vibe that only a beach city can provide. Plan B Wine Cellars has been hosting music for most of the six years the tasting room has been open, and the venue has become popular with musicians who find the acoustics surprisingly good and the audiences attentive and enthusiastic. While music in the barrel room happens almost every weekend, the signature music event each month is Second Sunday Supper. Held on their 2200 square foot covered patio, half jokingly referred to as “The Stoneyard” because of the stone slabs visible next door, the event features an “outdoor” band, and a food truck. Second Sunday Supper, as the name implies, is held on the second Sunday of the month, 4:30-7 p.m., and has become a popular way for fans to wrap up the weekend. Check their Facebook page, Instagram or website (www.PlanBWineCellars.com) for more details, or better yet, sign up to be on the “B-List” and receive emails with info on upcoming events.
Bringing the Best to Ventura
Ventura County’s mild coastal climate and rich farmland are poorly suited for wine grapes, so neighboring Santa Barbara County is the source of most of the grapes used in Plan B Wine Cellars wines. With some additional fruit from Paso Robles and the Edna Valley, the grapes used to produce Plan B Wine Cellars’ wines come from some of the best vineyards on the Central Coast. You owe it to yourself to stop in for a tasting! Learn more about their loyalty plan, the growler program, and just how the name Plan B Wine Cellars came to be. While you’re there, don’t forget to “toast the train”, your glass will not be empty!