Fans haven’t exactly been loving the latest season of “Vanderpump Rules,” with many claiming the popular Bravo reality series is currently dying a slow, beleaguered death. Brian Moylan, Vulture’s “VP” recapper extraordinaire, has been particularly vocal about his disdain, espousing in his most recent write-up, “I am so ready for this season to be over like I have never been ready for anything in my entire life. It’s just a slog going through the same old motions. James is popping off for no good reason, Brock and Scheana are making bad life choices, Ariana continues to be a queen, Charli is a great song played in the wrong club, and Lisa Vanderpump delivers nothing but fakery.” All valid points, indeed. Whether the show’s decline stems from the loss of OG cast members Stassi Schroeder and Jax Taylor (both problematic, yes, but they could always be counted on to bring the drama) or the fact that the SUR group has been broadcasting their ridiculous escapades for nine years and their antics now just read as tired, is anyone’s guess. Still, this particular season seems to be grating on audiences everywhere.
One element of the latest episode, “Between a Brock and a Hard Place,” that Moylan does have kind words for? Sunstone Winery, the spectacular vineyard DJ James Kennedy and one-time fiancé Raquel Leviss (the two broke up last month) chose for their engagement party (without ever having toured it beforehand, it seems) – and the spot Scheana and Brock very shadily hoped to secretly commandeer for their own nuptials. Stating that the venue is fully deserving of “every ounce of promo that the show is giving it,” Moylan writes, “We have seen the Real Housewives and their reality kin visit a lot of hotels, wineries, event spaces, Hong Kong junks, Franciscan monasteries, international space stations, and dry bars in our day, but there is never one I actually wanted to go to like Sunstone. The rooms look amazing. The grounds look immaculate. Everything about it screams, ‘A secondary character on “Game of Thrones” was murdered here.’” Again, all valid points (though I’ve admittedly never seen an episode of “GOT”). The stunning vineyard certainly took my breath away, proving far more engrossing than anything the “VP” cast was doing throughout the 60-minute show.
There’s good news for those as taken with the gorgeous site as I am. As purported in the episode, the winery does actually operate as a special events venue in real life. (Who says “Vanderpump Rules” isn’t authentic?) Nestled on a serene patch of 52 acres (28 of which are dedicated to grape-growing), Sunstone can be found at the end of a long dusty driveway at 125 N. Refugio Rd. in Santa Ynez (which, no matter what Raquel may tell you, is pronounced “eee-nez” not “eye-nez”).