Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Visiting Los Olivos Tasting Room & Wine Shop, Santa Ynez Valley, CA

This visit was part of our brief expedition cruising Santa Ynez Valley.

Los Olivos Tasting Room & Wine Shop is nothing if not eccentric. Both the physical location and the collection of wines live up to that designation. The tasting room and wine shop provide samples and sales of wines from (generally) the central California region which do not otherwise have dedicated tasting facilities. For a modest fee, you get a good sampling of whatever happens to be open at the bar (you will not be offered a keepsake glass, however).

The eclectic tasting approach is both good and bad. With 75 or more wines on their list, the chance that your favorite - or the one you're most interested in tasting - will be open is slim. That said, you may discover some interesting gems.

And if you'd prefer to pout about the matter, or just enjoy a few extra minutes of peace, a pleasant porch with park bench awaits just outside the entrance. That porch comes with its own hummingbird community, by the way, courtesy of a nearby feeder. And, naturally, the Los Olivos Tasting Room & Wine Shop was featured in the "Sideways" film too.

Listing from most to least favored, here are the wines I sampled at the Los Olivos Tasting Room & Wine Shop:
2005 Jack Creek Kruse Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir, Paso Robles, CA
2005 Brophy Clark Santa Rita Pinot Noir, Santa Ynez Valley, CA
2005 Herman Story Syrah, San Luis Obispo County, CA
2005 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, CA
2003 Di Bruno Stolpman Vineyard Sangiovese, Santa Ynez Valley CA
2006 Curran Granache Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley, CA
2004 Edge Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA
2004 Lane Tanner French Camp Syrah, San Luis Obispo County, CA

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