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Beckmen los olivos tasting

Wine Tasting in Los Olivos

Posted: Aug 31, 2015

Named after a ranch of 5,000 olive trees, Los Olivos is a his­toric and quaint town locat­ed just 45 min­utes north of San­ta Bar­bara in the acclaimed San­ta Ynez Val­ley. Los Olivos was orig­i­nal­ly a stop on the stage­coach route that ran from San Fran­cis­co to San Diego, and grew in size when the Pacif­ic Coast Rail­way came through town in the late 1800’s.

Now her­ald­ed as a top wine tast­ing des­ti­na­tion in Cal­i­for­nia, Los Olivos has 50+ wine tast­ing rooms rep­re­sent­ing winer­ies and vine­yards from all over San­ta Bar­bara Coun­ty. You can park once and spend your day mean­der­ing through this pic­turesque com­mu­ni­ty, with more than enough award-win­ning wines to please your palate. Scat­tered amongst the tast­ing rooms are art gal­leries, antiques, beer tast­ing, restau­rants, and charm­ing bou­tiques. There are a lot of hid­den gems in Los Olivos, so down­load a walk­ing map of the town to make sure you see all of the his­toric sights. Are you look­ing to spend time on a vine­yard instead? Good news! There are mul­ti­ple estate vine­yards scat­tered around the Los Olivos area. Vis­it one of these winer­ies if you want to see wine­mak­ing facil­i­ties and be among the vines as you taste wine.

Downtown Los Olivos

Wine Tasting in Los Olivos

Wine tast­ing in Los Olivos makes for an inter­est­ing adven­ture; there are so many dif­fer­ent types of wine and styles of wine­mak­ing avail­able to try. Whether you are a novice wine taster or an expe­ri­enced som­me­li­er, you will have fun wine tast­ing in Los Olivos. Here are our top rec­om­men­da­tions for places to visit.

Downtown Los Olivos

You can park once and eas­i­ly walk from place to place:

  • Andrew Mur­ray Vine­yards: A fab­u­lous Rhône line-up, includ­ing sin­gle vari­etal wines and blends
  • Byron Wines: Excel­lent Pinot Noir and Chardon­nay sourced from the San­ta Maria Val­ley, north of Los Olivos
  • Drag­onette Cel­lars: Inter­est­ing, small lot styles of Pinot Noir, Sauvi­gnon Blanc, and Rosé
  • Kae­na Wine: If you’re look­ing for a great Grenache, you’ve found it
  • Larn­er Wine: Amaz­ing Syrahs and an uncom­mon­ly found Mal­va­sia Bian­ca; locat­ed in the cen­ter of town (aka per­fect for sit­ting out­side and peo­ple watching)
  • Lon­go­ria Wines: Most well-known for Pinot Noir and Chardon­nay, they also make stel­lar Span­ish wines Albari­no and Tempranillo
  • Qupe: Con­sis­tent­ly some of the best Rhône vari­etal wines in all of San­ta Bar­bara County
  • SAM­sARA: Lim­it­ed release Pinot Noir and Syrah found tucked away in a tran­quil bungalow
Larner Wine

Los Olivos Area

Worth the short dri­ve to expe­ri­ence wine tast­ing on an estate vineyard:

Recommended Restaurants

Wine tast­ing all day will make you hun­gry, so stop by one of these restau­rants for lunch or dinner:

  • Los Olivos Wine Mer­chant & Café: Com­bin­ing good food and good wine, Los Olivos Café offers a taste of the Cen­tral Coast with their local­ly sourced, organ­ic ingre­di­ents and region­al wine selection.
  • Mattei’s Tav­ern: A His­toric Land­mark, Mattei’s was orig­i­nal­ly a hotel, built in 1886 as a stage­coach stop. The menu is a cre­ative com­bi­na­tion of his­tor­i­cal dish­es and mod­ern fare, with a wine list Wine Spec­ta­tor named Best of Award of Excellence.
  • Pet­ros: Locat­ed inside the Fess Park­er Wine Coun­try Inn & Spa, this ele­gant restau­rant dish­es up fla­vor­ful Greek cui­sine for break­fast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Sides Hard­ware & Shoes: Sides (as the locals call it) has clas­sic Amer­i­can fare that nev­er dis­ap­points. Sit on their charm­ing patio for a view of the Los Olivos action.

Other Los Olivos Activities

Break up your day of wine tast­ing with one of these fun activities:

Ever been olive oil tast­ing? Glob­al Gar­dens offers won­der­ful olive oil and fruit vine­gar tast­ings at the junc­tion of Los Olivos and Solvang. Open Fri­day – Sun­day or by appoint­ment, you will learn a lot at this cozy demon­stra­tion garden.

Anoth­er place to go olive oil tast­ing, Ran­cho Olivos is locat­ed just east of High­way 154 near Bran­der Vine­yard. The tast­ing stand is set on the owner’s farm, so you’ll be sam­pling oils amongst their sev­en acres of beau­ti­ful olive trees. Open sev­en days a week.

Clair­mont Farms is an organ­ic laven­der farm that offers stun­ning views as well as amaz­ing laven­der prod­ucts. Essen­tial oils, per­son­al care prod­ucts, soaps, and more are made from the five acres of laven­der they grow. Stop by for one of their dai­ly dis­tiller demonstrations.

Insider’s Tips

Los Olivos tast­ing rooms don’t sell food (with a few excep­tions), so swing by Los Olivos Gro­cery or R Coun­try Mar­ket and pick up deli­cious snacks and pic­nic goods. There are mul­ti­ple gar­den and patio areas through­out Los Olivos, where you can take a break from wine tast­ing and have a bite to eat. Most tast­ing rooms are okay with you bring­ing in out­side food, but ask ahead just to make sure.

Imbib­ing too much? Walk over to Cor­ner House Cof­fee for a non-alco­holic bev­er­age and a chance to sit down, relax, and recharge. Plus, they serve McConnell’s ice cream, a San­ta Bar­bara ice-cream sta­ple for those with a sweet tooth. Open from 7am – 5pm.

Have anoth­er tip for wine tast­ing in Los Olivos? Share with us below!

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