Los Olivos Wineries and Wine Tasting

Los Olivos offers some of the most interesting and unique tasting experiences available in California. You can taste close to 30 wineries in downtown Los Olivos alone and another 50 or so wineries within a few minutes drive. Very few regions in California still offer the chance to walk into a tasting room without an appointment and taste wine being poured directly by the winemaker themself, or by someone whose last name is on the label.  The following is our guide to Los Olivos wine tasting.

A Perfect Day in Los Olivos


Corner House Coffee:
2902 San Marcos Avenue
Los Olivos, CA 93441
(805) 688-1722
Open Daily: Monday - Friday 6:30am - 5:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 7:00am - 5:00pm

Start your day with a cup of coffee and a pastry at a locals favorite coffee shop. Corner House has comfortable seats including leather chairs inside as well as an expansive outside seating area which offers both shade and direct sunlight. Brewing California favorite Pete’s coffee, Corner House is a nice place to start your day with a bit of caffeine while being able to sit outside and watch wine country slowly come to life. With Blair Fox’s tasting room at the back of the building and other internationally known wineries such as Stolpman and Tensley on the same block, you’re liable to see one of your favorite winemakers getting a cup of coffee themselves, or carrying boxes into the nearby tasting rooms.

Beckmen Vineyards and Kaena Winery
2670 Ontiveros
Los Olivos, CA 93441
(805) 688-8664
Daily 11 AM to 5 PM
(last tasting at 4:45)

A short ride from downtown Los Olivos Beckmen offers your first taste of Syrah in the Santa Ynez Valley. Robert Parker has commended Beckmen Vineyards on quite a few occasions, even noting that after a decade of consistent performance Beckmen is among the best producers in Santa Barbara. Here is the Uncorked Ventures difference, while making a stop at the tasting room for Beckmen makes sense and is well worth the time, making an appointment with winemaker Michael Siguoin will offer unique access to what is happening at Beckmen, while allowing you to taste Kaena. Kaena offers a slightly different take with much the same fruit as Beckmen, Michael leaves his wine in barrel for longer before releasing them which creates more of Rioja feel to them. One of our favorites is his Hale blend, harkening to his Hawaiian heritage Hale is what Michael feels is a perfect house wine. Priced at under $20, smooth drinking it is the exact type of wine I don’t mind opening for either serious wine drinkers, or those more accustomed to drinking box wine. It’s simply at outstanding value for a wine rated close to the 90 point level and easily one of the best deals in all of Santa Ynez Valley.

After Beckmen it is a short drive back to downtown Los Olivos where we’ll have you pick up lunch to enjoy with wine tasting at your next stop.

 

Los Olivos General Store:
2621 Highway 154
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
(805) 688-5115
Open Daily 7am-9pm

Los Olivos Grocery is a must in Santa Ynez Valley for a quick lunch. Inside at the deli counter you’ll find a range of fairly priced food items from the standard deli sandwich fare to warm items hot of the grill including NY Strip sandwich and the California classic, Tri Tip. Salads are also made fresh daily. Pick up something for lunch with the plan to eat sitting outside in one of the most beautiful settings you are likely to find anywhere.

Demetria Estate
6701 Foxen Canyon Road
Los Olivos, CA 93441
805.686.2345
Tasting By Appointment Only(Call Ahead, it’s worth it)

You’ll notice a few easy reasons for sending you to Demetria. First, it offers one of the most beautiful drives you’ll find anywhere through wine country and we always think that spending ten or fifteen minutes truly enjoying the scenery is well worth the time. Secondly, Demetria gladly offers a place for guests to bring a lunch and sit outside. Lastly and most importantly, Demetria offers both a different focus and style of winemaking then many of their neighbors. Certainly old world in style the winery also crafts some of the better Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Los Olivos area. We think it’s a nice break from all the Syrah you’ve already been drinking.


After spending some time eating lunch and tasting wine at Demetria, you should find your back to downtown Los Olivos. Parking next to Corner House Coffee where you started your day is a good idea. Over the next 3 hours or so before the tasting rooms close at or around 5pm you should have plenty of time to taste at another few wineries while enjoying the art galleries and small town life offered by Los Olivos. In our perfect day in Los Olivos, we’d suggest tasting at the following four wineries to start and then branching out from there.

Stolpman
2434 Alamo Pintado
Los Olivos, CA 93441
(805) 688-0400

Stolpman Vineyards has been a favorite of ours at Uncorked Ventures for some time. After initially meeting with proprietor Peter Stolpman we’ve purchased a number of wines over the past few years for our wine club members. From their L’Avion, a unique Roussane offering which is a perfect white wine for red wine drinkers, to their La Croce which is one of the best Sangiovese/Syrah blends you’ll find anywhere, Stolpman is definitely a winery willing to take chances. They also boast perhaps the only set of full time vineyard staff in the state, with us we always like when we find people who are generally nice and treating their employees well, Stolpman certainly does that. It’s also worth it to note, Stolpman Vineyards will show up as vineyard designate wine at a number of local wineries as the family owns over 200 acres of vineyards, making it one of the largest farmers in the area.

Tensley
2900 Grand Avenue
Los Olivos, CA 93441
(805) 688-6761

Directly across the street from Stolpman and only a few doors down from Corner House Coffee, Tensley Wines has been one of the true break out stars in California wine. Owned by Joey Tensley who has an extensive history of making quality wine in Santa Ynez Valley (including some time at Beckmen where you started your day) this is a family owned business which will have Joey or his wife Jennifer often pouring wine in their tasting room. In 2009 Robert Parker tasted a variety of the Syrah’s produced and came away loving the results. We think that life likely changed for the Tensley family for some time based on the results. A few quick examples:

95pts: Colson Canyon Syrah 2007: $38
94pts: Thompson Vineyard Syrah 2007: $34

As you can imagine, the Syrah’s produced which can range to close to $100 in price, are among the most highly thought of in the state of California. A special note, Tensley makes only one white wine per year, a 4Blanc.

 

Blair Fox
2902 San Marcos Ave. Suite B (Front door on Alamo Pintado Ave.)
Los Olivos, CA 93441
805.691.1678
Monday-Thursday By Appointment Only
Fri-Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm

Blair Fox is the kind of winemaker, who makes you think making wine might in fact be the coolest job in the world. His wines do a good job keeping pace as well. The draw here for us is the Syrah, although anything he sources from the Tierra Alta Vineyard tends to be an outstanding choice as well. Deep and rich in character these are wines universally loved by both wine critics and consumers alike.

 

Dragonette Cellars
2445 Alamo Pintado Ave
Los Olivos, CA 93441
805-693-0077
Thursday-Monday 11am-5pm

One of the newest entries into the Los Olivos tasting environment, Dragonette offers a nice break from your Syrah and Rhone heavy day by sourcing some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in Santa Barbara County. Their Syrah is a nice value as well, but the Pinot Noir here steals the show. With much of their vintages selling out well before harvest, Dragonette looks to be a winery likely able to go mailing list only at some point in the future.


We hope you enjoy this short idea of a perfect wine tasting day in Los Olivos according to Uncorked Ventures. If you enjoyed this guide, please let us know. We also hope that you’ll join one of our wine clubs. If you like the wines you have tried on your tasting trip, you’re likely to enjoy one of our wine clubs.