Wine is a multipurpose liquid, serving as both a meal-complementing beverage and a potent truth serum used to answer the age-old question “What’s with the lampshade on your head?” Toast this functional fruit drink with today’s Groupon: for $30, you get a winery tour, an olive-oil-press tour, and a tasting for two, plus a bottle of Pietra Santa's estate organic extra-virgin olive oil and a $10 wine credit, at Pietra Santa Winery in Hollister (up to a $95 value).
Nestled 25 miles east of Monterey Bay, the 450-acre Pietra Santa estate has been producing delectable wines for upwards of 150 years. Look on in awe as grapes metamorphose from humble orbs into ambrosial adult sippables during a 30- to 40-minute winery walkabout that includes stops in the fermentation room, the crushing area, and the barrel room. Pay homage to another nectar-producing small fruit with a visit to the imported Pieralisi olive press, where granite weighted crushers coax oil from pitted berries like dairymaids squeezing the milk from tree-grown cows. As an architectural treat, the prairie-style doors of the historic Dickinson house¬—designed by Frank Lloyd Wright associate Burley Griffin Junior—are opened to tours if the residence is unoccupied at the time. In the vinous VIP tasting room, oenophiles partake in a diamond tasting session lead by a trained taster to help navigate the maze-like bouquets of estate produced olive oil and seven different wines from the Pietra Santa and Signature Collection labels. Visitors are gifted a bottle of sumptuous estate organic extra-virgin olive oil ideal for dipping, cooking, or dabbing on as a savory perfume.
Tasting-titillated tongues can use a $10 wine credit toward the purchase of one of Pietra Santa’s wines, such as the Sacred Stone red blend ($10) or the tank-aged 2008 chardonnay ($15), to stave off Dionysian dehydration. Post-visit, alfresco aficionados can drink in mature grape juices and idyllic landscapes in Pietra Santa’s picnic area overlooking the breathtaking Cienega Valley. The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours are scheduled at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Though Pietra Santa sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.
Pietra Santa Winery
In the 1850s, winery founder Theophile Vache chose a piece of land to plant wine grapes because of its maritime climate and unique soils. More recently, this land was christened Pietra Santa—Italian for “sacred stone”—in honor of the region's granite- and limestone-rich soils, which have produced subtly earthy wines for 150 years. Rows of olive trees and wine grapes, including pinot noir and pinot gris varieties, sprout from 450 acres of fecund soil nestled in the Gabilan Range.
Within the Mission-style winery, vintner Alessio Carli ferments vino in oak barrels, and a Tuscan-imported press squeezes oils from organic olives. The winery's picnic area furnishes guests and marooned hot air balloon captains with breath-nabbing views of Cienega Valley. In addition to garnering the adoration of oenophiles, Pietra Santa has attracted attention from Frank Lloyd Wright associate Burley Griffin Junior, who designed the estate's prairie-style Dickinson house, which was built in 1905.