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Food & Drinks
For A Date
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Grapes were ripe and ready to go.
Closest available address
5000 Zaca Station Road Los Olivos, CA 93441
Tasting room is open 10am-5pm. Tours are offered at 11:15am, 1:15pm and 3:15 pm.
Best time to visit
Firestone Vineyard is a well known winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, located about 2 hours north of Los Angeles. The property is approximately 400 acres, of which 325 acres are used for planting. In addition to the tasting room and some picnic areas, the winery offers complimentary daily tours of the wine production areas. Free concerts in summer are held on Fridays and include various types of music along with some BBQ food options.
When Leonard Firestone established the Firestone vineyard in 1972, the grape growing potential of the area had not yet been widely recognized. That changed over the years, and now there are hundreds of wineries, so many in fact that choosing a couple to visit was somewhat overwhelming. Firestone though was a logical choice given its good reputation and free tours. The Firestone family owned the winery up to 2007 when it was sold to William Foley who owns a number of additional wineries on the west coast.
Most vineyards in the area don’t offer a tour. While touring every vineyard would get tedious, walking around a couple is time well spent, and the 30 minute tour was informative. It included a stop at a cork tree near the tasting room, checking out grapes on the vine, and then a walk around the production facilities. As for the tasting room, it was crowded on a Friday afternoon. Tuesday-Thursday tend to be slower days, and late fall through winter is the slow season. The tasting bar is large and had a number of servers, but service was still rushed due to the number of customers. As for the wines, you can choose a $15 reserve option to sample five wines only available at the estate or can sample five featured wines available elsewhere for a $10 fee. Cheese and meat platters were available for an extra cost. The best reserve wines were a 2012 Pinot Noir and a 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. Both were very drinkable, smooth and somewhat fruity. The 2012 Chardonnay, 2010 Merlot, and 2009 Meritage were either too robust or too dry to hit the mark. A 2011 Syrah from the featured menu was very good, with a strong oak taste and a lasting smooth finish. The servers offered few if any wine insights; maybe more information would be available at a slower time. Overall, this visit was decent but not great. The tour was the most interesting part. More communication about the wine and a less busy atmosphere would have made it better. The wine quality though was generally good.
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Los Olivos, CA
Fess Parker - Winery
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