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Experiencing Santa Ynez's other specialty

9 Oct 2012 8:21 AM
Experiencing Santa Ynez's other specialty

To many people, olive oil is nothing special - something to cook with or an element of a simple salad dressing, perhaps, but little more. However, for others, olive oil is an integral ingredient in their lives. People have been known to scour the earth in search of the freshest, richest olive oil money can buy.

Some of these people may well live in Santa Ynez, a community of gourmands famous for their cultivated palettes and love of the finer things. Luckily for the olive-lovers in the region, Santa Ynez has a climate well suited for growing the fruit. Owners of luxury homes in the area don't have to go far to sample some of the freshest olives (and their oil) on the planet.

Ranchos Olivos, located at 2390 N. Refugio Road, is a sprawling estate filled with olive trees and open to the public for complimentary tastings. Offering several varieties, Ranchos Olivos is the perfect place for olive connoisseurs to sate their appetite or for newcomers to learn about the subtle distinctions between oils.

The venue also provides a nice counterpoint to the region's more famous attractions - its vineyards. For those who have sampled their fair share of the famous Santa Ynez wines, Ranchos Olivos provides a pleasant alternative.