It’s easy to be lulled into thinking the world rises and sets in wine country on the California Central Coast with Paso Robles. Considering Paso was the worlds number one wine region, it’s no wonder why I or anyone else would regard the North County of San Luis Obispo with such high praise and even reverence. Ah, but that would reduce the significant contributions from the rest of San Luis Obispo County.
More pointedly, the city of San Luis Obispo and surrounding area have more than their fair share of wine producing vineyards and tasting rooms. Just a handful of miles from the Pacific Ocean, vineyards in places like Edna Valley on the southeastern part of town to more south into the Arroyo Grande Valley are unique and produce fine wines. Other than Avila Valley to the west, tasting rooms mostly are in or around the city itself.
Varietals such as Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir along with Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are what the region produces the most of. Cool ocean air makes growing grapes like Pinot Noir ideal. It appears wine has been produced in the area for 150 years or more.
All of these areas including Paso Robles and Santa Barbara County to Santa Cruz County in the north, are part of the larger Central Coast AVA. The Monterey Bay region has wonderful wine districts and of course Santa Barbara is now well known in part because of the movie ‘Sideways‘. When folks visit the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara, they often will then head up an hour and a half away to Paso Robles, often skipping places, driving right by cities like San Luis Obispo … but it’s worth the time to stop and take in the southern part of the county.
The growing season is one of the longest in California and offers an array of wines that should be checked out by anyone interested in finding the newest upstarts in the viticultural business. So as you can see, the county of San Luis Obispo is more than just the North County and Paso Robles – check here to find out more.
Daryle W. Hier