Tourists visiting California may drive up the coast and be drawn to the abundant number of wineries the state has to offer. Napa Valley would be the most obvious choice for many and would be considered a mecca for wine-lovers. However, there are areas up and down California’s coast that may impress and surprise visitors on the hunt for wine tastings and those who want to do some exploring outside the norm. San Luis Obispo is one region offering wineries that are sure to impress, especially those who have a taste for Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Here are some of the recommended wineries offering wine tastings in San Luis Obispo:
When you visit the Niven Family Wine Estates, you’ll enjoy the winery’s historic renovated schoolhouse, a charming setting for a wine tasting. The schoolhouse is over a hundred years old and overlooks a beautiful view of the vineyard. Guests and wine-tasters can enjoy the view over a picnic and lunch on the patio. Niven Family Wine Estates is open from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays through Thursdays, and from 10 am to 6 pm on Fridays. Wine lovers should book a reservation with the estate to ensure their space for a wine tasting.
Hidden away in the heart of Edna Valley, Saucelito Canyon is a winery that offers visitors a gorgeous backdrop of green hills and grape vineyards. Guests are welcome to enjoy charcuterie foods and drinks on the winery’s patio which sits on a green grass lawn. The winery is most known for its Zinfandels which guest can taste during their visit from 10 am to 5 pm. Visitors who fall in love with the winery’s wines can also join Saucelito’s Wine Club, which gives members 20% off or more on all wines as well as complimentary tastings, flat-rate shipping, and more.
Just minutes away from downtown San Luis Obispo, you’ll find the Wolff Vineyard, which offers visitors regular wine tastings in Edna Valley during their opening hours from 11 am to 5 pm. The tasting room offers wine tasters a mesmerizing panoramic view of the vineyard and the valley. Wolff Vineyards has also been recognized for its sustainable winemaking practices and water and energy conservation efforts. The vineyard was planted in 1976 by Wolff family and has over 125 acres of land dedicated to making wine.
The Claiborne and Churchill Winery was founded in 1983 by two former teachers at the University of Michigan, Claiborne Thompson and Fredericka Churchill Thompson. Visitors can enjoy wine tasting on the grounds every day from 11 am to 5 pm. Guests are encouraged to lounge around on the garden patio where they can feast on their picnics and enjoy a glass of wine. Reviewers rave about Claiborne and Churchill Winery’s dry Riesling, dry Gewertztraminer, and dessert wines, which all delight the taste buds.
Wine tasters on a budget can sip on sweet apple wine while roaming through the Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards. The winery has a relaxed and casual atmosphere, welcoming wine-lovers and vacationers alike. Guests can enjoy the art in the gift shop, walk through the winery’s apple orchards, have a picnic on the lawn, and can even feed the strutting peacocks on the grounds. Tasters can also enjoy complimentary pretzels and live music as they sip their wine.
Those who are fans of Pinot Noir will enjoy the Tolosa Winery, located in Edna Ranch where the winery’s fruit grows in over 60 different types of soil in the coastal valley. The rich soil makes for a delicious Pinot Noir which has been described as “glorious” and “superb” by tasters. Tolosa is open for wine tastings from 11 am to 6 pm every day, and although reservations are encouraged, they are not required for groups under 6. Following suit with many vineyards, the Tolosa Winery also has a wine club for those who are wine enthusiasts.
Named after the soil rich valley, Edna Valley Vineyard welcomes guests to relax and delight in wine for the everyday. The vineyard is known for its wide range of wines that are fit for every meal as you dine at home or with others. Since 1980, the Vineyard has been making its award-winning Chardonnay, which was one of the first variety in its region. Along with receiving special offerings, members of the Edna Valley Vineyard’s wine club can attend exclusive members-only events and tastings.
Guests can reserve picnic tables for their groups as they enjoy their lunch at Biddle Ranch Vineyard, a winery also located in Edna Valley. The winery is open from 11 am to 5 pm every day and offers tastings of five premium wines. Biddle Ranch Vineyard is unique for its wine tasting deal: buy 2 bottles of wine and the $15 wine tasting fee is waived. This is a great stop for any wine-lover who enjoys sipping their wine with a picnic basket. Visitors can also join the vineyard’s events such as the Winemakers Dinner and seasonal wine release parties.
About San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obisbo, also known by locals as SLO, was founded in 1772 during the expansion of the Spanish Empire and is considered one of the oldest communities founded by the Spanish. In current day, the city is home to over 269,000 people as well as over 180 historic buildings and landmarks. San Luis Obispo is also known for its colleges such as the California Polytechnic State University and the nearby Cuesta College. Attractions include the city’s numerous wineries, the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, downtown San Luis Obispo, the Madonna Inn, the Fremont Theatre, Bubblegum Alley, and more.