Let’s Go! Ventura County Barrel Tasting Weekend June 24 and 25

Dan Kessler of Kessler-Haak pulls out a barrel sample for me to taste in April 2017. This weekend 8 wineries in Ventura County will offer barrel samples.

As a wine blogger, one of the best privileges is the opportunity to taste wine from the barrel — and often with the winemaker! Even though I’ve done this many times, as recently as at Kessler-Haak in April where we tasted a half dozen or so different barrels of Pinot Noir and at wineries as varied as Painted Rock in British Columbia following the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2013 to Basel Cellars in Walla Walla during the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2010 and, more locally, at Bridlewood with David Hopkins in Santa Barbara County, with Ventura County’s Bruce Freeman of Clos de Amis last fall, with Micheal Meagher of Vino V, and with Mike Brown of Cantara Cellars.

Sometimes at tastings, they will pull a barrel sample to taste alongside other vintages and that can be fun too: you can taste a wine BEFORE it’s bottled and get a sense of a vintage. Wines are super fresh and often intense, but they give you a looking glass into the future of a wine.

No wonder Barrel Tasting Passport Weekends are so popular!

This coming weekend, June 24 and 25, seven Ventura County vintners will open up their barrels for sampling by passport holders in a once a year tasting event. During this unseasonably warm weekend, you’ll be invited in from the heat into the cool of the barrel room for a rare adventure with winemakers to taste the wine’s development in oak barrels. Each $30 ticket offers access to barrel taste at each participating location:


Plan B Cellars
3520 Arundell Cir, Ventura (805) 233-1453
Open Noon – 5 pm

Four Brix Winery
2290 Eastman Ave Ventura (805) 256-6006
Open Noon- 5 pm


Cantara Cellars
126 N. Wood Road #104, Camarillo (805) 484-9600
Open 11 am – 6 pm

San Vicente Cellars
537 Constitution Ave. Camarillo  (805) 388-3279
Open 1 pm – 6 pm

Back Patio Cellars
930 Flynn Road, Camarillo (805) 388-3457
Open 11 am – 5 pm


Magnavino Cellars
961 Rice Ave. Oxnard (805) 983-2500
Open 11 am – 5 pm

Strey Cellars; 951 Rice Ave. Oxnard (805) 988-1087
Open 11 am – 6 pm

also (but this may not be part of the $30 passport):

Sunland Vintage Winery Tasting Room
1321 E Thousand Oaks Blvd, # 108, Thousand Oaks, California 91362
starting at 1pm

This event is organized by the Ventura County Winery Association which “promotes the production and appreciation of fine wines grown or produced in Ventura County. Member wineries produce more than 250 different white, rosé, and red wines using grapes grown in Ventura County and throughout California. They range in size producing less than 500 cases annually to more than 200,000, with most members producing between 1,000 to 5,000 cases. Located less than an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, Ventura County is short drive for visitors to enjoy an easy getaway to enjoy the region’s urban wineries, beautiful beaches, and fine dining.”

Buy your $30 tickets for this special annual event here. You are going to get quite a bang for your buck!

Share your experience or find out what others did using the hashtag #vcwinesbarreltaste.

PS Also this Saturday afternoon in Santa Barbara is the Santa Barbara Wine and Food Festival:  

And if you’re going to Santa Barbara, you should go up early enough to experience the world famous Summer Solstice Parade and party at Alameda Park — which is FREE!

One thought on “Let’s Go! Ventura County Barrel Tasting Weekend June 24 and 25

  1. Pingback: Ventura County Barrel Weekend 2017 Highlights | wine predator

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