Thanks to ideal growing conditions, the wine industry is a jewel in SLO CAL’s crown, not to mention a major draw for visitors. With recognition for its terroir and the gifted people who gambled on its potential, the region has blossomed into the home of several lauded American Viticulture Areas (AVA) that are known throughout the country and across the globe today.
To the north, the Paso Robles AVA was named Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s “Wine Region of the Year” in 2013 and is a hot territory for both critics and consumers to watch. Varieties most generally planted in Paso Robles include cabernet sauvignon, merlot, zinfandel, syrah and chardonnay, as well as petite sirah, cabernet franc, grenache, mourvedre and petit verdot.
With an average distance of only five miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley appellations to the south are, by contrast, far cooler and more widely owned and operated by families and small producers. Varieties best suited to the area’s coastal conditions include chardonnay and pinot noir, as well as syrah and viognier and high-quality aromatic whites, like pinot gris, riesling and gewurztraminer.
Each AVA is as unique as the tasting rooms themselves. Whether you’re a novice or sommelier, you will most certainly find a favorite (or two) amongst SLO CAL’s 250+ wineries and tasting rooms.