Living next door to so many fantastic wine regions is one of the reasons I love the Bay Area, however, every once and a while (usually while nursing a major hangover) I reach my saturation point where I don’t want to sip, swirl, spit or even look at a grape! Which is why I was excited to hear about a brand new experience that I can try while visiting wine country.

Spend a beautiful day learning about artisan olive oil making in wine country! This November,Pietra Santa Winery is hosting its first annual “Olive Experience” in the picturesque Cienega Valley near Hollister, California.

Wine and Olive Oil Maker Alessio Carli will guide participants on a day long adventure where they will “get their hands dirty” learning how to harvest olives. Guests will also learn how to combine traditional techniques with modern technology to craft a premium bottle of extra virgin, organic olive oil, using the winery’s state of the art Pieralisi Press. Alessio will also lead an educational tasting including flavor profiling of the 5 different olive varietals grown on the estate.

After you return from picking olives and spending time on the crush pad, a garden lunch and dinner including wine selections from Pietra Santa will be provided on the winery grounds, with Alessio and winery owners, the Blackburn family.

To commemorate your trip, all guests will take home their own bottle of premium extra virgin organic olive oil that they helped to produce, along with a bottle of premium artisan wine from Pietra Santa and commemorative photographs taken during the day’s festivities.

If you want to make this a weekend affair, check out their website for suggestions on where to stay & what to see (antiquing, museums, adobe misssions,etc.)

Date: November 7th

Cost: $350 for one, $600 for a group of two