8 Best Tasting Rooms in Los Olivos to Visit (2021 Updated)

Remember how vacations are riddled with crowds and fixed schedules? Wine tours are different. Enter cellars, the countryside, wineries!

Wineries are a getaway from crowds. They offer a remarkable experience; every winery is unique, and no wine tastes the same.

If you are a bubbly and wine lover heading to Santa Barbara, you do not want to miss a trip to Los Olivos. It is a perfect getaway for unique wine tasting opportunities, some real adventure, scenery, and sunshine.

A small town located about 40 minutes north of Santa Barbara, Los Olivos is a top wine tasting destination with over 50 wine tasting rooms representing vineyards and wineries from all over Santa Barbara county. There is something for everyone, whether you are a novice wine taster or a professional sommelier.

The wine world can be daunting if you don’t know what you like. And more overwhelming if you can’t figure out where to go wine tasting in Los Olivos. We’ve done all the work on the best wineries in Los Olivos that command our attention. But, first, let’s learn some history.

Highlights of the Town

Los Olivos Vineyards
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A precious jewel, Los Olivos is a small beautiful Victorian-styled town situated on CA-154 in Santa Ynez Valley.

It all started during the 1880s, when Alden March Boyd, aged 22 from New York, bought 157 acres near Alamo Pintado Creek, planted 5000 olive trees, and named the property Rancho De Los Olivos. Later, the town was named Los Olivos in 1887 after the arrival of the Pacific Coast Railway.

This hidden treasure is the home to award-winning tasting wines, a unique atmosphere, fine art, antique, epicurean restaurants, and friendly residents.

Los Olivos is geographically positioned between the AVAs of Happy and  Ballard Canyon and prides in just the right climatic balances to house both cool-climate and warm-climate varieties that favor grape acidity, sugar production, and fruit ripening.

The major grape varieties include cool-climate varieties like Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay and those typical of Bordeaux, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot.

It is located in a broad alluvial terrace with soils that range from moderate to well-drained clay loam and sandy soils loaded with nutrients resulting in flourishing wine industry.

More wineries have mushroomed due to these climatic conditions. Top wineries and vineyards are located on Grand Avenue and offer an in-depth understanding of the region’s winemaking activities, traditions, and culture.

Best Los Olivos Wineries & Vineyards map:

Beyond wine tasting, enjoy the bustling nightlife of Los Olivos.

8 Best Los Olivos Wineries

Stolpman Vineyards

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  • Location: 2434 Alamo Pintado Ave, Los Olivos CA 93441
  • Wine Tasting Room Hours: 11am – 5 pm
  • Tasting Price: $20
  • Contact Number: 1-805-688-0400
  • Website: https://www.stolpmanvineyards.com/

Stolpman is an incomparable, approachable, and pup friendly cottage. It is well known for its wonderful Syrah. It offers various styles of wines made of Italian and Rhone varietals that are fully estate grown wines.

Stolpman Vineyards is a family-owned winery in Los Olivos started by Tom Stolpman over 20 years ago. The cottage is now managed by his son Peter.

A stand out; this winery has a cordial relationship with its workers where profits from La Cuadrilla, one of its wines, is shared among them. Quite impressive, right? It makes you want to support this incredible act.

Plus, their wines are delicious and tickle your taste buds, from reds such as Syrah, spicy Sangiovese, and Sauvignon blanc to whites such as Roussanne and Viognier. Immerse yourself fully.

Stolpmans are among the pioneers of Ballard Canyon AVA, and their wines are a true reflection of cool, windy conditions and limestone soils with minimum irrigation. Therefore, the wines have a high-toned profile.

Plus, they have yet another label, So Fresh, that includes natural and carbonic wines with well-crafted blends in various creative labels.

The icing on the cake; L’Avion, their full-bodied Roussanne, is out of this world. You can never go wrong on this one.

Beckmen Vineyards

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  • Location: 2670 Ontiveros Rd, Los Olivos, CA 93441
  • Wine Tasting Room Hours: Thu – Sat: 11am – 6pm, Mon: 10am – 5pm, Tue – Wed: 11am – 5pm
  • Tasting Price: $28
  • Contact Number: (805) 688-8664
  • Website: https://beckmenvineyards.com/

Founded by Tom Beckmen and his son Steve in 1994, Beckmen vineyards prides itself as one of Rhone varietals’ top producers, including Grenache, Syrah, Counoise, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Mourvedre.

Their Grenache is a kick-ass, the best in the region. The same Grenache served at Obama’s state dinner.

Beckmen vineyards is a little off the freeway; it’s hidden and tucked away in a fun winding drive through the vineyards. It gives you the feeling of the countryside in a scenic foreign country.

You can do your tasting at the wine counter or the covered outdoor patio. The winery has outstanding grounds with gazebos and picnic tables next to the pond. They are open to everyone or can be reserved for a group.  It is surrounded by vineyards offering breathtaking scenery.

Their use of biodynamic practices and organic farming stands out. Instead of using pesticides in the vineyards, they use ladybugs to drive pests away. A huge bonus in our recommendation!

Besides, they use a different tasting room approach. Instead of the ordinary grandiose room with barrels and wood, the winery is a little red house with a patio facing the pond and a lot of green space, giving you a romantic vibe.

Dragonette Cellars

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  • Location: 2445 Alamo Pintado Los Olivos, CA 93441
  • Wine Tasting Room Hours: 11am – 5 pm
  • Tasting Price: $20
  • Contact Number: 805-693-0077
  • Website: https://dragonettecellars.com/

Dragonette Cellars offer high quality wines with a tribute to the fruit and the region. The wines in their tasting room are top-notch. Heard the buzz around this winery? It’s justified.

It offers a free tasting flight in their tasting room for $20 and top-level personal tasting at the tasting nook at the winery in Buellton and the Dragonette cellars study at discounted prices.

Two brothers Steve and John Dragonette and their friend Brandon Sparks-Gillis founded Dragonette Cellars in 2005. Brandon and John worked together in a wine retailer in Los Angeles.

The wines range from Sauvignon blanc, Syrah,Rose and Pinot noir. Trust me; their Syrah is outstanding, nothing like it in the entire Santa Ynez valley. And if you love pinots, they’ve got you!

Besides, if you are up for some education with your wine tasting, Dragonette is the place to be. They have a 3-glass canister of soils from various vineyards in the tasting room and provide information on how they affect the grapes.

Carhartt Vineyard

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Yet another family affair, Mike Carhartt tends the vineyard while Brooke (wife) and Chase (son) make the wines, and they all participate in pouring and interacting with guests.

Carhartt vineyard has a woodsy appearance and may resemble a shack from the exterior, but you will see a small tasting room and an open patio at the back with lots of space, trees, and shrubs upon entry. Gives you the vibes of a friend’s party or a relaxed ambiance in your garden.

They produced their first wine in 1998 and have managed to make over 26 different wines up to date. The wines include merlot, rose, Sangiovese, and Syrah from their vineyard and Zinfandel, Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir from nearby sources in Santa Ynez valley.

Their wines are quite balanced and not so overwhelming.  Even though you may not be a fan of dark reds, you will definitely love their merlot. Try it out!

What sets it apart? The customer service is top-notch, and they have an adorable patio area in the back. The outdoor space lets you enjoy the weather while tasting delightful and fun wines. Besides, you can bring your pups.

Again, it offers an appealing change of pace. Most tasting rooms in Los Olivos offer grapes from cool climates, but the grapes here are locally grown in warmer climates.

Carhartt vineyard has the best and most intimate patio in Los Olivos! It gives you a rustic and less modern feeling.

Story of Soil

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  • Location: 2445 Alamo Pintado Los Olivos, CA 93441
  • Wine Tasting Room Hours:  Fri – Sun: 11 am – 5 pm, Mon – Wed: 12 pm – 5 pm
  • Contact Number: (805) 686-1302
  • Website: http://storyofsoilwine.com/

Wine made in gratitude, the mantra that drives Story of Soil winery. Focused on quality over quantity, it is an excellent stopover in Los Olivos.

The Story of Soil is the heart and soul project of female winemaker Jessica Gasca. Suppose you’re looking for single variety and single vineyard wines. In that case, this is where you get to enjoy balanced and exciting wines with a focus on small production and quality-about 150 cases of each wine.

This epic tasting room is open Friday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm and Monday to Wednesday from 12 pm to 5 pm. Reservations are highly recommended.

The tasting room has a black and white map display of wine-growing regions of Barbara County. It lets you get acquainted with the region. And not just that, they offer excellent service; you will find the warm and welcoming Brady Fiechter, Jessica’s husband, in the casual tasting room pouring wine.

Visitors get to enjoy 5 wines for a small fee—the winery crafts outstanding Grenache, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc and unique reds. I highly recommend trying their Gamay-unique to the area and made more like Cru Beaujolais.

Every wine has a story with it. Quite a refreshing break from big wineries!

SAMsARA Wine Co

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  • Location: 2446 Alamo Pintado Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441
  • Wine Tasting Room Hours: Thu – Mon: 11am – 5pm
  • Tasting Price: $20
  • Contact Number: (805) 688-8689
  • Website: https://www.samsarawine.com/

SAMsARA takes you back to the native winemaking from whole cluster fermentation, long macerations, savory and texturally driven wines, to long barrel aging.

It is owned by Joan and Dave Szkutak, who brought Matt Brady as the winemaker. SAMsARA is well known for the great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Grenache, and Syrah.

It focuses on handcrafted wines with little intervention; treatment of vines and grapes, elevations, soils, and altitudes to make sure the terror shines in each wine. The wines are produced from the best vineyard areas around Sta. Rita Hill including Bentrock, Cargasacchi, Kessler-Haak, Zotovich, Melville, Rancho La Vina, Turner, Larner, and Las Hermanas.

The tasting involves 5 release wines from single-varietals, single vineyards which use native ferments for savory and spicy flavors.

The tasting room has an outdoor patio with an excellent atmosphere and great service.

Uniqueness? The whole cluster fermentation impacts the depth and earthiness of the wines. You don’t want to miss out!

Saarloos & Sons

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  • Location: 2971 Grand Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441
  • Wine Tasting Room Hours: Thu – Mon: 11am – 5pm
  • Contact Number: (805) 688-1200
  • Website: https://saarloosandsons.com/

Saarloos & Sons is one of the unique and edgy tasting rooms. It is a family-owned winery with a lively atmosphere.

It feels like a little cottage with tables and Adirondack chairs with built-in unique wine holders from the outside. The interior is breathtaking. The owner Keith and his wife have decorated the tasting room in a modern style but with a personal touch.

There is a bar setup, and on the right, there are amazing cupcakes by Enjoy Cupcakes. It is a mix of modern décor and vintage with tiny silhouettes painted on the walls and tarnished mirrors behind the bar. In addition, there is a photo stand where you can take photos.

Then comes the exceptional wines. Each vintage released is named after the Saarloos ancestors from grandmothers, grandfathers to extended family to celebrate them. The wine labels include man and wife, Bride, extended family, son, and mother. All their memories are kept alive on the Saarloos wines.

The wines range from full bodied reds to refreshing light white wines. They have amazing steel-aged chardonnay , sauvignon blanc ,a Bordeaux blend ,Pinot noir ,Syrah  and a Syrah-cab blend.

Saarloos & Sons believe that their wines are excellent due to the care and thought that goes into each wine, from the color, name, percentages in blends to the photo. Family inspires all the wines, and they change each time. You may find different wines from your last check-in.

Refugio Ranch Vineyards

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  • Location: 2990 Grand Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441
  • Wine Tasting Room Hours: 11am – 5pm
  • Contact Number: (805) 697-5289
  • Website: https://refugioranch.com/

Refugio ranch vineyards is a family-owned business started by Kevin and Niki Gleason and their family in 2006. The Refugio Ranch lies on 415 acres, and only 26 acres have been planted grapes by the Gleason family.

Gleason family brought in Ryan Deovlet, the winemaker, and Ruben Solorzano, the vineyard manager, popularly known as the grape whisperer, to make high quality wines. The winery produces Rhone varietals and Sauvignon Blanc purely from estate-grown grapes.

In 2012, they opened the Refugio Ranch tasting room in Los Olivos. It is a beautiful and warm wooden cabin tucked in at the bottom of a hill. The yard is perfect with comfy anorak chairs and lots of shade. The ambiance is rustic and quaint.

You will get to taste several of their award-winning wines. Their Barbareno, which is a double gold winner, is mind-blowing. It is a blend of 65% Petite Syrah and 35% Syrah. There are layers and depth in this one. And you don’t want to miss their Ineseno, a Rhone blend of Viognier and Rousanne, made in a white Bordeaux style. The complexity and depth are everything.

Their staff are welcoming and knowledgeable; their hospitality and generosity are outstanding and will move you.

Refugio Ranch believes that it’s the terroir that gives each wine its soul, giving you a connection to something ancient. This is a must-visit tasting room.

Final Words

Where every weekend is wine-fest, Los Olivos is a small town that is incredibly beautiful and offers a perfect place to soak up the region’s wine culture.

If you plan to go wine tasting in Los Olivos, here is what you should know. Weekends will bring crowds, and most tasting rooms close at 1700. Reservations are highly recommended, and you need to be early if you need a full Day.

These great tasting rooms meet all types of wine lovers’ needs, whether you want to learn about how the wine grapes are grown, tickle your taste buds, or enjoy the scenery.

Each of these tasting rooms offers a unique experience.

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