San Benito County Wine Tasting!
You'd probably be surprised to hear that San Benito County is home to some of the BEST vineyards and wineries.
Check out the SBC Wine Growers Association website for a list of local wineries, maps, etc.
The two wineries I most recommend are Calera and Peitra Santa. The two are close by each other and make for a nice afternoon of wine tasting. Wine tasting is free except for the premium wines which they charge a small fee. I believe the fee is not charged if you buy something. Pietra Santa also has a fabulous line of olive oils.
The drive to these wineries takes you through some lovely Hollister countryside with plenty of hills and vineyards along the road.
An hour at Casa de Fruta
Hollister, California, USA
Location: 36° 50' North, 121° 23' West
Population: 34,413 (2000 Census)
Founded: November 19, 1868
This is what happens when you put a bunch of misfits into a minivan and send them on a road trip to the Coachella music festival. You become very loopy and silly and when you see a roadside tourist trap such as Casa de Fruta, it becomes the greatest thing ever!
After spending the night with friends in San Jose, we drove through Gilroy (with the strong stench of garlic in the air) and found ourselves on State route 152 through California's rolling hills.
Ever so often there would be a large billboard on the side of the road. "Casa de Fruta - 10 miles away!" "Casa de Fruta - 5 miles away!" "Casa de Fruta - 1 mile away!" So when Casa de Fruta was finally in sight, we had to stop and see it.
We spent about an hour at Casa de Fruta. It was over the top. In the middle of nowhere there was this large shop selling Californian fruit and vegetables, balsamic vinegars, nuts, jams and jellies, pickled things, candy, and all kinds of fun looking foods. It was a theme park to California's agriculture.
And yet, it got better. Everything was "Casa" themed. Casa de Fruta, Casa de Diesel, Casa de Choo-Choo, Casa de Restaurant, etc.
We were all in our early 20's and loved it all. So we took a lot of silly photos before getting back in the car on our way to LA.
Hollister - Hometown California
Hollister is a city south east of San Jose, CA and ever further south east of San Francisco, CA. It's best known for off road sports for 4x4s and dirt bikes. If you're interested in either of these two things you'll probably want to make a trip to Hollister.