The vineyards of SLO Wine Country unfold along the seafront side of the coastal Santa Lucia Mountain Range in coastal San Luis Obispo County. Here, the land exhibits a distinct set of growing conditions that bind the region’s wines.
From north to south, the SLO Coast extends from the seaside town of San Simeon to Nipomo. From east to west, it extends from the peaks of the Santa Lucia mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The geographic orientation of SLO Wine Country ensures a continuous influence of marine air from the Pacific Ocean.
SLO Wine Country includes two small adjoining American Viticultural Areas—the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley—and other nearby winegrowing areas. Each of these areas shares a unifying proximity to the ocean, as well as to each other.
Edna Valley AVA
Edna Valley, in the heart of SLO Wine Country, is California's coolest winegrowing 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.
Arroyo Grande Valley AVA
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.