Wilkes Wines announced the opening of their new tasting room in downtown Los Olivos, a fabled wine country town on California’s Central Coast. The space highlights a distinct wine tasting experience including educational aspects focusing on the region’s unique AVA’s, an entertaining ‘quiz’ and private ‘Winemaker Office Hours’ with winemaker Wes Hagen.
“Some of my first experiences with Santa Barbara Wine, almost 30 years ago, were in Los Olivos with Bob Senn and the old timers. Bringing my own brand of hospitality and education (that made Clos Pepe famous) to the Los Olivos Tasting Room scene is thrilling for me,” said Hagen.
The J.Wilkes brand was launched in 2001 by wine industry veteran Jefferson Wilkes and after his passing in 2010, the label was relaunched by the Miller Family, a fifth-generation California farming family, as a tribute to Jefferson’s unwavering love of the region. J. Wilkes, under the guidance of accomplished winemaker Wes Hagen, is dedicated to producing wines from the greatest American Viticultural Areas (AVA’s) on the Central Coast. Their new tasting room and education center in Los Olivos boasts an experience that gives insight into these regions and their wines.
Setting themselves apart from traditional tasting rooms, the J. Wilkes Tasting Room and Education Center provides visitors with information about the area’s AVA’s including Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills and Paso Robles. Guests will learn about the influence of each region through tastings, discussions and by way of detailed maps and soil samples. Another entertaining aspect for tasters will be the opportunity to participate in the J. Wilkes ‘quiz’ with answers found throughout the space and winners awarded with a discount on their purchase.
Perhaps the biggest, most unique highlight of this new tasting room will be the “Winemaker Office Hours” hosted by Hagen himself. Visitors will have the opportunity to make “an appointment” with the winemaker to gain a greater understanding of J. Wilkes wines and California’s Central Coast winegrowing region.
The wines being poured range from the core J. Wilkes production of current vintage Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, as well as some special tasting-room-only offerings including the J. Wilkes Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir and the Santa Maria Valley Late Harvest Pinot Blanc. A Paso Robles Highlands Zinfandel and Chanda’s Reserve Pinot Noir will be offered in the coming months. To round out the experience, the tasting room will occasionally feature rare library wines made by Jefferson Wilkes himself.
“Come into the J. Wilkes Wine Tasting Room and Education Center and let us show you how we’re pouring some of the best wines in the county and providing fun and meaningful lessons on the history and breadth of the Santa Barbara and Paso Robles American Viticultural areas,” Hagen added.
The J. Wilkes Tasting Room and Education Center is located on the main street of Los Olivos at 2963 Grand Avenue. Tasting Room hours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday.
To learn more about J. Wilkes Wines and their new Los Olivos Tasting Room, please visit www.jwilkes.com.