If you selected a tour that includes some free time in the charming and historic town of Los Olivos, you won’t be disappointed. The landmark flagpole, which sits in the center of town, features a crossroads of four spokes. Stroll in any direction, and you’ll discover an abundance of tasting rooms, art galleries and delightful one-of-a-kind shops as well as purveyors of fine foods and provisions. There are open spaces to relax, tasting rooms to sip and swirl, opportunities to play bocce ball and much more.

Fun Facts: The dinner scene from the Academy Award-winning film Sideways, you know the one where Miles spews his dislike for merlot, was filmed at the Wine Merchant Café. Other movies filmed in Los Olivos include Return to Mayberry and the Hallmark Movie Channel’s A Christmas Wedding Tail.

WINE TASTING TIPS & ETIQUETTE

A few things to consider when exploring Los Olivos tasting rooms on your own:

·        It’s okay to share a tasting. The one thing that is frowned upon in Wine Country is overindulging. You’rethere to taste wine, not chug it.  It’s perfectly acceptable to share a tasting (just ask for an extra glass), especially if you plan on visiting multiple tasting rooms.

·        Go ahead, use the dump bucket. Just because they poured it, doesn’t mean you have to finish it. It’s okay to use the dump bucket after a few tastes – that’s what it is for.

·        No scent make sense. Perfume and cologne can actually ruin a tasting experience. Not just for you and your group, but for everyone within smelling distance. Maybe forego that Jo Malone spritz just for this trip.

·        Keep an open mind. You hate merlot. Won’t drink merlot. Can’t stand merlot. Or, is that just a pre-conceived preference you’ve been telling yourself? Go ahead and give it a try when tasting. If you still don’t like it, use that dump bucket.

·        No shoes. No shirt. No Service. No Really. We’re rather confident you’ll arrive wearing a shirt, but you’re going to want to be comfortable too. Leave the stilettos and dress shoes behind and, instead, opt for sneakers, flats or sandals. Keep in mind you’ll be doing some walking either in the vineyard, around Los Olivos or both.

courtesy of http://www.losolivosca.com.