Love is in the Air

Love is in the Air….Your sweetheart will love a surprise, romantic getaway to Lavender Inn. If you can’t get away, give your partner a gift certificate for a future visit.

Agri-Tourism in Ojai

Agri-Tourism is growing in popularity around the world. Essentially it the concept of doing something related to agriculture in the place you are visiting. It is a great way to experience the area, meet local people, and be part of a positive economic impact from tourism. Ojai is home to agri-tourism experiences for every part of your day. Start with honey tasting to add to breakfast. Continue on to sample olive oils for all your cooking needs. Spend the afternoon sipping wine. Lastly, while we do not recommend visiting the lavender farm in the evening, the scent of lavender is known to help with sleep.

Olive Growing and Olive Oil Tastings

Ojai is lucky to be home to two amazing olive oil tasting experiences:

Ojai Olive Oil Company

Centuries old Lechin de Sevilla olive trees were discovered near the Asquith farm and the family decided to purchase the land in order to produce olive oil from the heritage trees. Over time, the family visited Europe to seek out cuttings from olive trees in Tuscany, Provence, and Sicily. Today, the third-generation farm is able to produce unique olive oils that are rare to this part of the world.

Why is the olive oil produced at the Ojai Olive Oil Company so good?

  • The climate in Ojai is similar to that of the Mediterranean making it ideal for olive trees. The original grove was planted in the mid-1800s. When the grove was abandoned, the trees survived heartily on their own for a hundred years.
  • All of the olives are harvested by hand. This process allows them to be certain that the best fruit is chosen. It also means that the picking and processing time can be matched so that the olives can go straight to the mill the day they are picked.
  • Everything that they sell was made during the most recent season. They also bottle continuously so that what you purchase was in the barrel only days ago. You are guaranteed to get fresh olive oil at the Ojai Olive Oil Company.
  • Ojai Olive Oil Company uses permaculture farming that involves working in harmony with the land and local people. They have been an all organic operation since the day they started.

Where to try the olive oil:

  • The Ojai Olive Oil Company tasting room is open every day from 10am until 4pm. They may even be able to accommodate you on a holiday but ask that you call first.
  • They also have a booth at the weekly Ojai Farmers Market on Sunday mornings.
  • Visitors can try all of the oils in the shop for a $10 tasting fee.
  • There is a special enclosure for pets to use while you shop.
  • There is comfortable seating in the shade of two-hundred-year-old olive trees. Make time to sit, relax, and enjoy the day.

Carolina Gramm
Established in the downtown Ojai “arcade” in 2014, this tasting room’s owner was born in Northern Italy so she knows her olive oil. The shop features extra virgin olive oils, infused extra virgin olive oils, artisan infused balsamic vinegars, and classic balsamic vinegars. For a truly unique flavor, sample the mint and basil balsamic. You will also find skincare boasting the same certified extra virgin olive oils. The tasting room and shop are open six days a week, closed Wednesdays.

Ojai Wineries

There are three wine tasting opportunities within a half-mile radius of the Lavender Inn. When you visit a vineyard’s tasting room, you have the opportunity to speak with staff members who are experts in the wines they offer. They often know the history of the grapes used, the process used for the particular wine, and tasting tips and tricks.

Majestic Oak Vineyard
The winery has been named after an oak tree in the vineyard that has stood tall over family events for generations. In keeping with the sanctity of the local area, all the wines here are made right in the beautiful Ojai Valley. They have made sampling the wine easy by offering a tasting room downtown. Current offerings include chardonnay, petit verdot, barbera, and two cabernet sauvignons. The family-run winery is open for tastings seven days a week. If you are traveling with a group, they offer reservations for groups of seven or more. Bring cheese and crackers or other picnic items to enjoy on the patio with your tasting.

The Naturalist
This winery and tasting room boasts the honor of being the first certified organic winery in the Santa Barbara region. For 20 years, they have focused on growing grapes without any herbicides or pesticides to create organic wines. The family-run operation uses clean farming techniques. The tasting room in located on Main Street in the downtown “arcade” making it easy to combine with a trip to taste Carolina Gramm olive oils. This location was formally known as Casa Barranca Organic Winery Tasting Room.

The Ojai Vineyard
The tagline on their website is “we create California wines with a European sense of finesse.” They have spent four decades perfecting their craft resulting in the wine being served in restaurants around the world. The tasting room features over 300 wines to sample. This popular location recommends reservations to secure a spot for tasting. They offer flights of four to sample or you may purchase wine by the glass. Want to do some research before going to the tasting room? The website features extensive tasting notes on many of their wines.

Honey Tasting

Sampling local honey could not be any easier than a visit to Heavenly Honey. The tasting room is directly across the street from the Lavender Inn. The family business is proud of their inefficient bottling process that pays respect to the honey and results in the best possible product. The owner was raised in a beekeeping family and has a personal relationship with all the beekeepers who currently supply their honey. When you enter their shop, you will have the chance the sample ten or more varieties of honey. There are subtle differences between clover honey, sage honey, and wildflower honey. The staff can teach you about honey flavors and the bottling process allowing you to choose the product that is best for you.

If you want to see the beginning of the honey process, participate in a beekeeping experience at the Ojai Valley Inn. The 90-minute experience allows visitors to meet with the beekeeper, tour the bee yard, and sample local, raw honey. Participants will be outfitted in fully protective bee suits. Reservations are required for this experience.

Lavender Picking

The scent of lavender soothes the soul and the fields are a delight for the eyes. Frog Creek Farm presents the opportunity to venture into the fields and pick your own bundle during lavender season. What started as an effort to plan a drought resistant plant has turned into 600 plants of English Hidcote, French Provence, and French Grosso lavender. Make sure to bring a camera for portraits among the blooms. After exploring the fields, settle in for some lavender lemonade under the shady trees. The farm also has a small boutique shop with lavender products.