Alta Maria Vineyards
Open daily 11am - 5pm
Bring in this story and receive one free Alta Maria wine tasting.
Though the Alta Maria Vineyards tasting room only recently opened, they have been making wine for more than a decade. Co-owners Paul Wilkins and James Ontiveros chose to set up shop in Los Olivos, which is fast developing a reputation as a destination in the heart of the acclaimed Santa Barbara County Wine Country. Decorated with what the duo calls a “Central Coast Heritage theme,” the tasting room is clearly influenced by the old stagecoach and Pacific Coast Railroad days of Los Olivos. It is at once Western yet with a nod to the contemporary; historic but classy.
And the tasting room is a stone’s throw from Mattei’s Tavern, the still standing historic railroad stop. “Like that of our home town, the Santa Maria Valley, Los Olivos and the Santa Ynez Valley are deep with history that few people realize,” says Paul Wilkins. “It is rich with potential and its past and the people that surround it bolster its odds of becoming something very special. We want to be here with our wines to help tell the stories of our past and this community’s heritage and to also to be a part of Los Olivos’ future,” he adds. And that’s a fitting comment since co-owner James Ontiveros has family roots going back to 1781.
Paul and James were college buddies who both share a love of farming and a love of wine. James works as viculturalist and Paul as the winemaker, but they are both equally excited to share their personal and professional histories through their wines.
By Michael Cervin
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon
A small casual patio, which fronts Grand Avenue, the main drag in Los Olivos, allows you sit and watch the world go by. You can purchase wine by the glass, too.
The tasting room walls have 1860 and 1861 maps which show the recording of 411 privately held Spanish and Mexican land grants including Rancho Tepusquet, which was originally owned by the Ontiveros family starting in 1837.
The label artwork for Alta Maria Vineyards features images of hand-hewn iron nails used by homesteaders before the Industrial Revolution introduced mass produced machine cut nails.