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Santa Barbara County Wineries: Los Olivos

Alta Maria in Los Olivos, CA

Alta Maria Vineyards in Los Olivos, CA

Yesterday was our second day in Santa Barbara County. After a delightful night’s stay in the city of Santa Barbara near what is sometimes referred to as America’s Riviera, we drove north on Route 101. At this time of year the dryness of the region has created many dried plants with occasional spots of green trees. The terrain is hilly to mountainous.

As we approached Los Olivos, we saw a couple of vibrant green vineyards. Just upon entering the town, a sign gave the population of Los Olivos as about 1,000. We soon discovered what appears to be the main street with numerous signs for winery tasting rooms. According to one person we met at a tasting room, the town has about 40 tasting rooms. We visited four tasting rooms and wished we had planned to spend longer in the town. Just before leaving we spied an olive oil store and stopped by to taste olive oils from Santa Barbara olive groves.

Alta Maria

Our first stop was Alta Maria where we discovered their signature wines are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The owners are Paul Wilkins, winemaker and James Ontiveros who focuses on the vineyards.


Next we stopped at Qupé where we discovered that Qupé is the Native American word for California poppy.  The winery was started in 1982. Visitors to Qupé will discover an assortment of the Rhone varietal wines. They produce nine different Syrahs.

Saarloos and Sons Saarloos and Sons is a family-run vineyard and winery. The focus of Saarloos is on family and that can be seen with this quote, “Wines are meant to honor those who came before us and prepare the way for those yet to come.” Visitors to this tasting room will find Grenache Blanc and Syrah.

Dragonette Cellars Dragonette Cellars offers the story of three couples who share similar wine likes and made a barrel of wine for fun. In 2003 they decided to leave previous occupations to start their own winery. While they source fruit, they do most of the work in the vineyards. In the future they would like to have their own vineyard. The Dragonette tasting room is about a block off the main street and easy to find.

What’s Up?

Today we will be visiting three wineries: Andrew Murray at Curtis Estate, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard and Demetria. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn for complete articles and photos of our winery visits.

Cheers, Kathy

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