Artiste is a boutique winery and tasting studio located in Los Olivos, California. It is a place where art meets wine and creates something magical. As you enter the tasting studio, it feels like you have travelled back in time, entering a late 1800’s art studio. On the one side of the studio is a community canvas, ready for the next clients to explore their artistic skills. As you look up, you see some of the previous customers’ artwork fixed to the ceiling.
The beautiful wine bottles on display, each with its art label caught my attention. We strolled around the tasting room, tasting their wines while viewing their art and different wine bottles. The pendant light was truly a unique feature as it was created using their old wine bottles, each with a different art label.
As an art and wine lover, the thing that I loved about this winery was the story behind every bottle of wine and how art played a role in the winemaker’s process. The winemaker selects an art piece and uses this as his inspiration, to blend wine that he thinks best represents the specific art piece. The selected art piece is then used as the bottle label. I have to admit after hearing that the wines are all blends, I was a bit on the sceptical side. I was not the biggest fan of the blended wines I have tasted in the past, but boy did Artiste prove me wrong. Their wines were delicious and easy on the pallet. One of my favourites was “Girlfriends”. You really can’t help but stare at the bottle’s label while sipping on the wine trying to imagine the process the winemaker went through to link the art and wine. It was such a unique experience for me.
Some of the artwork that they had were just magnificent. The two artists that stood out for me were Christina LoCascio and John Bramblitt. Christina LoCascio uses wine as her painting medium. I am not someone that enjoys seeing good wine being wasted and was shocked at first, but after seeing the amazing art pieces she produced, I let it slide. The other artist, John Bramblitt was the main reason we visited this little gem of a tasting studio. We had seen a video of him and his painting technique, and I was instantly fascinated with his ability to paint so beautifully, even though he was blind. His story touched me tremendously, and I knew we had to visit Artiste on our California trip. John’s art is impressive for any artist to produce and the fact that he was doing this all as a blind artist made it even more special.
All the wine we tasted were beyond expectations, and every bottle label was gorgeous, if we had no restriction on the amount of bottles we could fly with, we would have surely bought a lot more. Other than the art and wine the overall experience was fantastic, and we just loved this place so much. If you are ever in the Santa Barbara County area in California, be sure not to miss the place where art meets wine. Artiste, you get the DBM splash of approval.