Wine Your Way Around Los Olivos' Best Wine Tasting Rooms



You're visiting Santa Barbara - or perhaps you're a local - and you're craving a little (or big) taste of those Central Coast grapes everyone is always talking about. So what do you do? You can get down and dirty in the Funk Zone and explore the Urban Wine Trail (very good and quite convenient). Or, if you love adventure and scenery, we recommend that you set aside a day to visit Los Olivos.

Los Olivos is a small town about half an hour north of Santa Barbara. Although it's not very far away, you will feel like you have been transported to a different place entirely. The road there is beautiful, packed with scenic vistas, sunshine and wildlife. Deer sightings are not uncommon.

Once you arrive in downtown Los Olivos, it's highly likely that you'll fall in love at first sight. Wineries and restaurants line the two main streets, and people are almost suspiciously friendly. This is actually very dangerous because you can easily follow the wrong smile and end up in what looks like a super-fun tasting room, only to discover that it actually pours mediocre wine. 

10Best to the rescue! This list of the 10 best tasting rooms in Los Olivos will help you avoid the tourist traps and go straight to the good stuff. Alta Maria, Carhartt, Kaena... every place on this list serves wines that completely validate the Central Coast's reputation as a viticultural force to be reckoned with.


10
Los Olivos


Tercero Wines is the brainchild and passion project of winemaker Larry Schaffer. If you're looking for Rhone varietals, both red and white, this is where you will find something special, made in such small batches that it is truly a treat....  Read More




The Stolpman Vineyards Los Olivos tasting room is housed in a little red farmhouse. There are cool concrete counters inside and wine-barrel topped tables outside on the sunny brick patio. They are well known for their range of Syrahs and for...  Read More


8


The Demetria Estate is hands down the prettiest place to taste wine in Santa Barbara County, and the fact that their wine is delicious certainly doesn't hurt matters. Call ahead to make a tasting reservation. At the appointed time, you will...  Read More


7
Los Olivos


A family owned and operated winery, Tensley Wines shares a small tasting room in Los Olivos with Carina Cellars. Winemaker Joey Tensley worked at several respected regional wineries before launching his own label in 1998. Tensley produces only...  Read More




If you're strolling the main street of Los Olivos and you see a very small building - a building much too small to hold even a handful of people, let alone be one of the more popular tasting rooms in the area - then you've found Carhartt. Do not...  Read More


5
Los Olivos


Although Longoria was established as an independent winery in 1982, winemaker Richard Longoria has been involved in the local wine industry since 1976. Longoria seeks to preserve the unique expression of each vineyard from which his grapes are...  Read More


A boutique, family-run winery with a vineyard in prize-winning Ballard Canyon, Larner Vineyard & Winery has a small tasting room in Los Olivos. Pop in to taste their wines, and we're sure you'll leave with a bottle (or two). The Larner...  Read More




The tasting room for Beckmen Vineyards is cozy and painted red, just the sort of place you imagine you'll find on a wine tasting expedition. There are flowers, scenic vistas, friendly cats and - oh! - super wines, too. Beckmen's estate vineyard,...  Read More


2
Los Olivos
Kaena Wine Co
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


Los Olivos may be inland, but that doesn't mean that the mindset of every tasting room is! For some great wine with a hint of, well, Hawaii, seek out Kaena's tasting room. Does this mean they sell wines that are pina colada sweet? Heavens no....  Read More


Alta Maria Vineyards
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


Formed as the result of a longstanding friendship between viticulturist James Ontiveros and winemaker Paul Wilkins, Alta Maria produces small batches of wine using the area's finest grapes. Expressive bottles include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and...  Read More


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Meet Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives moved to Santa Barbara in 2000 on a whim (ok, and to go to college) and never looked back. She loves Santa Barbara because it’s really one of America’s greatest small towns - it...  More About Geneva

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