We were jammed into the Jacuzzi Winery tasting room on a mid-week day fighting our way to the squeeze among a busload of tourists at the tasting bar. The big tour companies out of San Francisco love this winery. It is an easy drive from San Francisco, and they know tourists from far off places will have a fun time at this spacious facility tasting wine, sampling olive oils, and browsing the merchandise in their store. But it is just not the bus tours that like this place, it is the passersby who spot the winery from the Carneros Highway. Once drivers see the beautiful Italian-style villa they want to find out what is inside.
There are two main visitor rooms, one for tasting wine and the other for olive oil tasting and buying merchandise. We liked the fact that there is no charge for tasting wines at Jacuzzi. You get to pick five wines from a nice selection of red and white wines. We enjoyed very much the Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and the Sangiovese. We also loved the big courtyard where you can picnic, provided no weddings or corporate events are going on. Beyond the courtyard, there are a few picnic tables that sit just above beautiful vineyards. We chose to picnic at one of these tables and had a very relaxing stay. We must say the staff at Jacuzzi is very pleasant and accommodating.
The winery is also home to the Olive Press, a custom crush facility for local olive tree growers. You can watch the press and taste several different olive oils here and, of course, purchase olive oil. The only downside of a visit to Jacuzzi are the crowds. If you like small quiet wineries off the beaten path, then skip Jacuzzi.
Other wineries in the area are Cline Cellars across the road, where the Jacuzzi wine is made. Fred Cline and his family own both wineries. Just a mile ahead is the Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards. Here you can taste wine and sparkling wine made in the traditional Methode Champenoise, in which a second fermentation takes place within the individual bottle of wine. Both of these venues are also very popular. If you want something a little less busy and more quaint, visit the Robledo winery just ten minutes away. To get to Robledo, drive past Gloria Ferrer and get onto Arnorld Road, towards Glen Ellen, at the big Intersection at Highway 121 and Arnold Drive. Drive approximately one mile and turn left on East Bonness Road. Make a right on Bonness.