Your Ultimate Guide To Best Wine Tasting Los Olivos


Los Olivos is a renowned wine region located in California, known for its unique varietals and top-notch tasting experiences. Tourists and locals alike flock to the area to explore its many wineries, enjoy local cuisine, take guided tours, or even book private tastings.

This guide offers an overview of the best ways to experience the world of wine tasting in Los Olivos.

Key Takeaways

  • Los Olivos offers a variety of wineries with wine tasting experiences, ranging from small family-run vineyards to larger production facilities.
  • The Santa Ynez Valley in Los Olivos produces unique varietals such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah, each with their own distinct flavors and characteristics.
  • Pinot Noir in Los Olivos is known for its balanced fruit flavors, earthy notes, high acidity, and full body texture that develops with age.
  • Chardonnay in Los Olivos has a rich flavor profile of ripe apple, pear, and citrus fruits, with hints of oak and butterscotch, making it perfect for seafood dishes or creamy pasta sauces.

Explore Los Olivos Wineries

Los Olivos is home to a variety of wineries that offer opportunities for wine tasting. From small family-run vineyards to larger production facilities, the area’s winemakers have crafted unique flavors and aromas that are sure to delight.

Visitors can choose from an array of different experiences, including tours, tastings, pairings, and more. There are also multiple options for dining in the area ranging from casual picnics at local parks to fine dining restaurants with exquisite views.

For those looking for hands-on activities, there are instructional classes available on topics such as food and wine pairing or blending wines.

Regardless of preference, Los Olivos has something special waiting for every visitor seeking a memorable experience within the world of wine.

Discover the Region’s Unique Varietals

The Santa Ynez Valley, home of Los Olivos wineries, produces many varieties of wines. Among the most popular are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. These varietals have become increasingly popular with wine lovers looking for a unique flavor profile that is distinct to this region.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine with high acidity and moderate tannin levels. It is one of the most popular red wines in the world due to its versatility, complexity and delicacy.

Pinot Noir has been grown in Los Olivos region since the late 19th century. Here are some characteristics associated with Pinot Noir from this region:

  • Balanced fruit flavors of cherries, raspberries, cranberries and strawberries
  • Notes of earthy mushrooms, herbs, tobacco and leather
  • High acidity that creates crispness in taste
  • Full body texture that often develops with age

Los Olivos’ Pinot Noirs offer an unmatched combination of elegance and finesse. They give you a true sense of freedom as you explore their unique flavor profiles.


Chardonnay is a popular white wine variety that is characterized by its high acidity and full body. It has a rich flavor profile of ripe apple, pear, and citrus fruits with hints of oak and butterscotch. It pairs perfectly with seafood dishes or creamy pasta sauces.

In Los Olivos, Chardonnay can be found in many area wineries such as Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, Sunstone Winery, and Lincourt Vineyards. Each offers unique experiences for those wanting to experience the flavors of this classic white wine.

At Laetitia, visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch in the vineyard or take part in one of their special tasting flights to get a feel for the different styles they offer.

Sunstone offers small-lot single-vineyard wines from their estate vineyards that are perfect for an intimate gathering with friends or family.

And Lincourt Vineyards offers guests an opportunity to taste some of their award-winning wines during their guided tour through the grounds where grapes have been cultivated since 1996.

Whether you’re looking for something light and crisp or robust and buttery, try out some Chardonnays from these renowned Los Olivos wineries—you won’t be disappointed!


Syrah is a dark-skinned grape variety originating from France’s northern Rhone region and is known for its intense, spicy aromas and flavors. When harvested, the grapes are usually of a deep purple color.

Syrah wines tend to have high tannin levels as well as high acidity, making them ageable but also enjoyable when consumed young. Its flavor profile typically contains notes of pepper, tobacco, leather and dark fruits like blackberry and plum. Certain varieties may contain herbal or floral notes such as violets or rosemary that contribute complexity to the taste.

Syrah pairs well with hearty dishes such beef stew, roasted duck or lamb chops. To experience this full-bodied wine at its best in Los Olivos, visit one of the many wineries located in Santa Barbara County’s wine country.

Enjoy Local Cuisine

Exploring the local cuisine is a great way to enhance any wine tasting experience in Los Olivos. From savory steak dishes to fresh and flavorful salads, the area offers plenty of options for dining. Here is an overview of some of the best restaurants available:

  1. The Hitching Post II – Enjoy classic American fare with a side of excellent wines from their extensive list.

  2. Carivintas Winery & Marketplace – This eatery specializes in Latin American dishes like empanadas, tamales, and tacos.

  3. Cold Spring Tavern – Serving up delicious wood-fired pizzas and hearty sandwiches since 1865.

  4. Industrial Eats – Featuring globally inspired small plates prepared with fresh ingredients sourced from nearby farms and ranches.

Enjoying local cuisine provides an opportunity to connect with the community while discovering new flavors that can be paired with your favorite wines during wine tastings in Los Olivos!

Take a Guided Tour

Transitioning from enjoying local cuisine to taking a guided tour of the wineries in and around Los Olivos, visitors will find there are many options available.

Guided tours provide an educational experience as they take visitors on a journey through the history, culture, and craftsmanship that has gone into making the wines of this region. Visitors can expect to learn about grape-growing methods, harvesting techniques, types of grapes used for particular wines, as well as how the wine is aged and bottled. They will be able to sample different types of wines throughout their tour and have the opportunity to ask questions directly from the winemakers or knowledgeable staff members.

Guided tours also often include scenic views of vineyards and other attractions along their route. With these tours, visitors can gain insight into what makes each type of wine unique while also having an enjoyable outing with friends or family.

Book a Private Tasting Experience

Visitors to the region may opt to book a private tasting experience which offers more personalized attention and access to some of the best wines in Los Olivos. The experience allows:

  • The freedom to explore, as guests are guided through tastings at their own pace
  • The opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of wine-making in the area
  • Access to exclusive vintages that are only available for tasting in private settings.

Private tastings allow visitors to create a special memory with friends or family while exploring different flavor profiles and styles of wine from around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to visit Los Olivos for wine tasting?

The best time to visit Los Olivos for wine tasting is typically during the summer months, when temperatures are warmer and festivals and outdoor events are more frequent. However, the optimal time ultimately depends on individual preferences.

Are there any discounts available for wine tasting?

Discounts for wine tasting may be available depending on the time of year and location. It is advisable to check with local wineries or tourist information centers regarding any current discounts.

Are there any recommended accommodation options near the wineries?

Accommodation options near wineries in Los Olivos can vary; some may offer discounts. It is suggested to research the various options available and compare prices.

Are children allowed to participate in wine tastings?

Wineries typically impose an age limit for participation in wine tastings, as alcohol consumption is legally restricted to persons of a certain age. Age policies vary from winery to winery, and further inquiries should be made prior to attending.

Are there any special events or festivals related to wine tasting in Los Olivos?

Los Olivos is home to multiple events and festivals related to wine tasting. These include the annual Los Olivos Wine & Food Festival, featuring tastings from local wineries, as well as various music and art events. Other popular events are the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Celebration of Harvest and the Ojai Valley Wine Festival.

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