Top 3 Olive Oil Tasting Experiences In Solvang

Wine tasting is a popular activity in Solvang, but many don’t know about another type of refined tasting experience available in town: olive oil tasting. Most olive oil sold on American shelves is low-quality and adulterated, even when labeled as extra virgin. High-quality extra virgin olive oil is a wonderful and complex flavor, and the health benefits of authentic olive oil are numerous. Explore the world of high-quality olive oil with some of Solvang’s best-tasting experiences.

1. Solvang Olive Press

Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm daily

Located downtown, Solvang Olive Press provides the quintessential Solvang olive oil tasting experience. Their gourmet olive oils are imported from Italy, Argentina, Chile, and other modern orchards, showing off some of the best olive oil-making the world has to offer.

A trip to the Olive Press guarantees a wonderful and refined olive oil-tasting experience. Upon entering the clean, contemporary shop, guests are provided with small paper cups and can sample the various imported bottles of oils and vinegars that line the walls. Cups of water to cleanse your palate during the tasting are also available.

While most olive oils labeled extra virgin are actually mixed with other oils, this is definitely not the case at Solvang Olive Press. Real extra virgin oil and various types of balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, take center stage, along with a variety of flavored oils (the black truffle, almond, and blood orange are among the most popular in the shop). Solvang Olive Press also has plenty of flavored balsamic vinegar, including strawberry and fig, and stuffed olives to snack on.

Once you select an olive oil, the staff fills the bottles in front of you. The owners are longtime olive oil connoisseurs who spent several years immersing themselves in the world of olive oil tasting before they opened their shop.

The shop’s website is a repository of interesting information about the health benefits of olives and has a “club” option where you can purchase olive oil at a discounted price. If you like what you see in these Solvang Olive Press photos, stop in and give this tasting experience a try!

2. The Olive House

Hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily

Located in the heart of downtown Solvang, The Olive House is the perfect spot for trying unique and high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

The Olive House offers a cozy and intimate place where you can sample and drink wine and enjoy the fine olive oils, various types of vinegar, and tapenades.

With olive oil flavors such as black truffle, basil olive oil, garlic & mushroom olive oil, and much more, there is plenty to sample. If you see an olive oil or vinegar that you would like to try, just ask! The friendly owner, Jeff Feeley, will help you out with a free sample of any of the olive oils or vinegars on the bar.

Their popular California wine, Twenty Mile, is also available to drink or purchase by the bottle. If you’re visiting Solvang, CA, make sure to stop by Los Olivos and try some of their olive oil or wine. You may even get lucky and see the owner’s adorable brown Labradoodle.

3. Global Gardens

Hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily

Global Gardens is Santa Barbara County’s first certified organic extra virgin olive oil producer. In 1998, Global Gardens made their first harvest from over 2,000 organic olive trees, and since then, the family business has been producing fine organic California olive oil.

Global Gardens offers an exquisite olive oil-tasting menu featuring 12 olive oils and 4 types of vinegar you’re guaranteed to love for only $20. All ingredients in the oil tasting are locally sourced, except for two, which are imported from Greece.

Global Gardens will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, so be sure to stop by and celebrate. Its back patio is a beautiful space for its private olive oil-tasting events. It is also available to rent, and it is the perfect space for intimate parties, family events, and get-togethers.

Solvang Olive Oil Tasting FAQs

How did Solvang come to be known for its olive oils?

Many tourists come to Solvang to visit vineyards and wineries, but did you know that wine and olive oil have been paired for centuries? In Italy, wine and olive oil are each an essential part of a good meal. It’s no wonder that a town known for its wineries would come to have a vibrant olive oil scene. Nearby olive oil producers like Rancho Olivos and Olive Hill Farm round out the town’s reputation for delicious and healthy olive oil making.

If you are interested in Solvang wine tasting, read all about it here!

What makes for the best-tasting olive oil?

Unfortunately, most of the olive oils purchased in grocery stores are mixed with other types of oil. For the best taste, try to purchase real extra virgin olive oil—data shows that only 10% of all olive oils sold qualify as extra virgin. Ultra-premium (UP) extra virgin olive oil exceeds all existing European, Italian, and North American quality standards.

What does high-quality olive oil taste like?

Surprisingly, many consumers have trouble distinguishing between good and bad olive oil. Possibly this is because of the large amount of defective olive oil labeled as extra virgin sold at U.S. grocery stores. Extra virgin olive oil is oil that has been cold-pressed from olives without the use of heat or chemicals. High-quality olive oil should taste fruity and slightly bitter, with a pungent, almost peppery quality. Like wine or coffee, authentic olive oil is a complex and nuanced flavor, making it perfect for a tasting experience.

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