Decompression Chamber

The bright, airy and comfortable — and dog friendly! — Deep Sea Tasting Room at Ventura Harbor Village.

Deep Sea Wine Tasting Room

1591 Spinnaker Drive, Suite 115, Ventura



Ventura Harbor Village is all aglow for the season, with festive decor and holiday lights everywhere. Also on board: Dozens of shoppers on the hunt for fabulous gifts for their loved ones. Can’t say I blame them — there are some great stores here for crossing off any shopping list. But all that yuletide mania can get to the best of us. And when you’ve had enough of the merrymaking, head over to Deep Sea to decompress.

The wine tasting room opened in the fall of 2022, and has been delighting visitors to Ventura Harbor’s cluster of shops and restaurants ever since. The space perfectly encapsulates its location: Light and airy, with beachy tones of warm white, pale sand, ocean blue and sea green throughout. Furnishings are unpretentiously stylish; simple, modern, clean and comfortable. And the location, with a large patio that faces the water and a spectacular view of the harbor, can’t be beat. Mellow and relaxing and the perfect place to unwind with a little vino.

The beverages come courtesy of Conway Family Wines, made by a trio of Santa Barbara siblings. Most of their grapes are sourced from Santa Barbara County, although some hail from the Arroyo Grande Valley in San Luis Obispo County. Hand picking the grapes is key to their winemaking philosophy, which emphasizes maintaining the integrity of the fruit and clean fermentation in order to express each varietal’s “innate characteristics.”

I tried several of the Deep Sea offerings during a recent wine tasting excursion, and found a pronounced lightness to be common to most of them. The Seahorse (all the wines have ocean-themed names) is a crisp, citrus-forward sauvignon blanc. The Seastar rose, a beautiful orange-pink in color, is fruity and zesty . . . dare I say, perky. The Seaturtle chardonnay had a decent balance between oak and butter. And the pinot noir was very much as one would expect: a lighter-bodied red with hints of red stone fruit and spice.

For those who prefer something richer, Deep Sea does have a few items worth checking out. The aptly named Devilfish marries syrah and petite sirah with merlot and malbec — a big, tannic wine that’s ideal for steak. Then there’s the dry, complex, cedar-and-spice malbec known as Octopus.

My personal favorite was the Nautilus, an off-dry white blend full of floral notes and peaches made with muscat canelli, malvasia and riesling. I was also intrigued by the grüner veltliner, a grape not familiar in these parts but common in Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It’s a white more savory than sweet, with lots of mineral and pepper. A very unusual vintage, and worth exploring.

If you find yourself taking in the seasonal and seaside pleasures of Ventura Harbor Village, pop into Deep Sea for a respite from all the holiday hassle. Try a tasting flight to get an overview of what Conway Wines are all about, or treat yourself to a wine and chocolate pairing, featuring freshly made sweets from nearby Top This Chocolate. Afterward, enjoy a full glass of your favorite and breathe in the experience: the serene surroundings, the fresh ocean breeze, a moment of zen. There’s no finer antidote to the stress of the season.