These Best Tasting Experiences in the West Are the Ultimate Indulgence
These spots let you sample wine, whiskey, olive oil, and more.
Every year the Sunset Travel Awards honor the best in travel in the West. This year we had over 600 entries across all categories (a record number!). Below are the 2023 winners of the What to Do: Best Tasting Experiences category. Check out the complete list of winners here. For our definitive directory to travel in the West, click here.
Best Tasting Experiences
Alma Rosa Winery
Founded in 2005 by California industry pioneer Richard Sanford, the first vintner to plant Pinot Noir in the region, Alma Rosa is now known not only for its stunning Santa Rita wines but for its unique programming. This year, the winery launched two new hiking tours and tasting experiences for visitors at its historic El Jabali estate, the first certified-organic vineyard in the country.
The Salon at Heitz Cellar
Located at the original St. Helena property that Joe and Alice Heitz purchased in 1961, the salon consists of a grand tasting room, a private tasting room, the Quartz Creek garden, a veranda, and a chef’s larder designed by renowned architect Peter Fleming.
To taste olive oil at this 550-acre, family-owned farm in Petaluma is to taste California food history. A pioneer in the olive oil industry, McEvoy invites visitors to experience the full range of award-winning oils while gazing out at the rolling hills of Marin County. Guests can also tour the property, including orchards and the olive oil mill, and visit the shop for wine and pantry essentials.
Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey
Learn firsthand what makes a true Western whiskey at the first legal whiskey distillery in Colorado since Prohibition. With an impressive calendar of classes, guests can tour the distillery, taste flights of the brand’s single malts, and learn how to craft their own whiskey cocktails at the on-property bar.
The Miller House/Frank Family Vineyards
An old faithful in the Cabernet scene, the yellow Craftsman tasting room is one of Napa Valley’s most recognizable buildings. Adding to a storied reputation, this year they opened a new Howard Backen-designed space for tastings and food pairings, including a small-bites program by chef Christina Machamer.
Albuquerque’s Sawmill Market
Located in a former lumber warehouse in Albuquerque’s thriving Sawmill District, this is New Mexico’s first artisanal food hall and boasts over 25 merchants serving everything from tapas and tacos to smoothies and churros, making for a culinary experience that celebrates the diversity of New Mexican culture.