Must See SLO Wineries

 Tasting SLO Cal Wineries

As you roam the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route, you’ll find yourself tasting wines among lush rolling vineyards and in beach-front tasting rooms. So get ready to stick around and enjoy the wines and the views.There’s no shortage of delicious wines from the two major appellations in San Luis Obispo County: Arroyo Grande and Edna Valley. The geographic orientation of SLO Wine Country ensures a continuous influence of marine air from the Pacific Ocean. Whites tend to be aromatic, supple, and with ravishing minerality; reds are often vibrant, fruit-driven, and similarly mineral-fronted.

Wine Varietals

Nearly two dozen wine varietals are grown in SLO Wine Country, reflecting the inherent nuances of the geography and the creativity of the local winemaking culture. Burgundian varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are particularly recognized for excelling in our region, while Rhône varietals, including Syrah and Viognier, have also come on strong in recent years.

The SLO Coast is also distinguished by the quality of its aromatic whites, including Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. In the warmer mountainous areas, you will also find Zinfandel and classic Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Edna Valley AVA

The heart of SLO Wine Country, Edna Valley is California’s coolest wine growing region, located just 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  The northwest-to-southwest orientation of the Edna Valley creates a direct path for cool marine air to filter into the valley from the Los Osos/Morro Bay area.  This climate, combined with the calcareous and volcanic soils results in wines with intensity, concentration and fresh, balancing acidity, perfect for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and aromatic white wines. A few notable wineries to consider include: Wolff Vineyards, Claiborne & Churchill, Baileyana, Chamisal, Tangent, Sextant, Stephan Ross, and Zocker.

Arroyo Grande Valley

The Arroyo Grande Valley is a predominantly northeast-southwest oriented coastal valley that is recognized as one of the most temperate viticultural areas in the world.  These ideal conditions result in a long and mild growing season, with bud bread typically occuring in mid-February, flowering in early May and harvest in late September.  Still widely planted to vegetables on the valley floor, winegrowing in the valley dates to the 1880’s when Zinfandel was planted in the warmer eastern part of the valley.  The modern era began in the 1980s with plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the hillsides of the western end of the valley, closer to the coast.

Talley Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery that specializes in estate grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir ideally suited for the climate and soils of the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys.

Center of Effort estate lies in the western foothills of the Edna Valley where growing conditions are shaped by a rare confluence of lean sandy soils, reliable maritime breezes, and nuanced exposures.

Kynsi Winery – Kynsi is a family owned and operated winery producing distinctive wines from their Estate Stone Corral Vineyard, along with other select cool growing coastal vineyards.

Avila Wine Trail

Bassi Ranch. Photo Chris Lischinsky.

Nestled beneath the sheltering hills of Point San Luis and the Avila lighthouse, the Avila Wine Trail features family-owned and operated wine venues offering award-winning vintages that capture the essence of wine making on the Central Coast.  The Avila Wine Trail Map is ideal for planning a few days of tasting near the sunny sandy beach.  Acclaimed winemaker, Mike Sinor of Sinor-LaVallee features Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Syrah, from grapes grown less than 2 miles from the beach, in Bassi Ranch. Other nearby tasting rooms include Peloton, Morovino, and Alapay.

Pacific Coast Wine Trail

Travel the Pacific Coast Wine Trail and visit wineries and tasting rooms nested in quaint, seaside towns dotted along scenic Highway 1 Discovery Route. The Trail offers travelers a wine experience as unique as the coastal communities themselves. From Coastal Burgundian varieties grown on vineyards minutes from the Pacific Ocean to robust Bordeaux and Rhone varieties grown in Paso Robles, the wines of the Pacific Coast Wine Trail are handcrafted to highlight the individuality of the variety and reflect each winemakers’ unique style of winemaking. Those traveling the Pacific Coast Wine Trail are encouraged to complement their wine tasting with eclectic dining, coastal adventures, pristine beaches, wildlife rookeries and tours of Hearst Castle and the Piedras Blancas Light Station.