I just got home from visiting Los Olivos, a town in the Santa Ynez Valley just 2 hours north of Los Angeles. I love the quiet there; the great food and wine keep me coming back. I had some great ‘firsts’ on this visit and I wanted to share them with you. I think these gems are definitely worth checking out.
I finally got to check out the Carhartt Wine Tasting Room in Los Olivos. This is a popular one with the thirty-something crowd and I can see why. There is an ease about relaxing on their back patio, sipping wine and chatting over the tunes of the Black Keys. Their patio is furnished with handmade rustic patio furniture, a flowing water fountain made from a wine barrel and plants that make you feel a bit like you’re nestled in the woods.
The other tasting room I really enjoyed was Malibu Family Wines, also in Los Olivos. Firstly, I loved all their wines. Secondly, they are fun folks and very generous. With our wine tasting they offered us chocolates, cheeses, and credited our tasting fee toward our purchase of a bottle of wine. They also sell snacks (meats & cheeses) and they offer little tables to sip wine at, a cozy lounge, and an outdoor picnic area. Very pleasantly surprised. The tasting room is having a Grand Opening all weekend on January 18th and 19th, complete with wine, lunch from the best caterer in town (Industrial Eats) and live music by the ‘Vineyard Birds’.
J. Woeste Home & Garden Treasures is close by with an extensive fairy tale garden (pictured above). They’ve created a world of characters and animals within potted succulent gardens and water fountains. They are colorful and have a charm that anyone would enjoy.
It is worthy of note that in late January is the annual event known as Restaurant Week in the Santa Ynez Valley. Twenty local restaurants are offering tasting menus for a fixed discounted price. I can tell you without hesitation that my favorite restaurant on the list is the Vineyard House located in a Victorian home dating back to 1907. The food, service and ambience has always been exceptional.
If you, like me, have a love of walking in fields of lavender or perhaps just photographing the vibrant purple flowers gifted to us by mother nature, visit Clairmont Farms in Los Olivos who cultivate five acres of the French ‘Grosso” variety of lavender, entirely organic.
Discounts in Los Olivos
The Wine Valley Inn is running a special, 50% off their usual rates ($84 per night). This is typically where I stay when visiting the area and I have enjoyed my stay each time. The location is in central Solvang, just a couple miles from Los Olivos. The rooms are spacious and designed to make you feel like you’re in a cottage. They have lovely gardens, a koi fish pond and breakfast comes with your room.
If you plan to visit more than four wineries, you’ll save some money if you get a Wine Tasting Pass for $40 from the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country Association. They have partnered with 14 different wineries in the area and the pass is offered year round. You might also want to check out my go-to site for wine tastings coupons:
Get wine tasting coupons here — select “Central Coast”.
Lastly, I’ve rounded up all the Groupon discounts on wine tasting in Los Olivos and the whole Santa Ynez Valley: