Larner Vineyard Tasting Room
The Biggest-Littlest Tasting Room in Los Olivos
Sandwiched between Panino (a quaint café serving up delicious sandwiches) and The Los Olivos General Store, on the corner of Grand Ave and Alamo Pintado, (in a vintage 1901 gas station building), is the Larner Vineyard’s Tasting Room. Although barely 200 square feet, don’t let the size deter you from visiting and tasting some of the most impressive, highly acclaimed wines in this wine town of about 40 tasting rooms. The tasting room, café and General Store perfectly meld together a sense of yesteryear in a charming, relaxing and very tasty setting.
Que Syrah Syrah!
Translated….that simply says: WHAT Syrah! And if you love Rhone varietals, especially Syrahs, Larner is the place to taste. Michael Larner is a master winemaker of Rhone varietals, it is his passion; and, Ballard Canyon, where Michael grows his grapes, may be one of the most highly regarded micro growing areas in the Santa Barbara area. Quite a few quality producers throughout the Central Coast source grapes for their own wines from Michael’s Ballard Canyon Vineyard, so step into the Larner Tasting Room for a real treat.
Jeni, the tasting room manager, is personable, friendly and knowledgeable, loving to engage visitors, chatting and describing the various wines, winemaking philosophy and even some family vignettes. Christina, Michael’s wife, runs The Los Olivos General Store, adjacent to the tasting room, and on Wednesday and Thursday is generally pouring. And, don’t be surprised to sip with Michael Larner on occasion, when he stops by for a visit, to relax with a glass of wine.
The current tasting menu consists of 5 wines, including 3 Syrah’s, a red Rhone style blend, a Rosé and a very special white: Malvasia Bianca. Although specializing in Rhones, especially Syrah, don’t miss savoring Larner’s Malvasia Bianca. Michael trained in Italy, and this aromatic white Italian varietal is Michael’s homage to Italy. On a warm spring or summer day, you will be hard pressed to find anything more pleasant than relaxing with a glass of this liquid gold.
Next door to Larner’s tasting room is Panino, where you can order a savory sandwich, enjoying it on the patio out front, relaxing and people watching, accompanied by a glass of wine. Once you have finished, take some time to browse through The Los Olivos General Store, where you are sure to find something to grace your home.
Taste these tantalizing wines, you will come back again and again; I certainly do. The tasting room is open from 11:a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. In los Olivos at 2900 Grand Avenue.