Defined by the Elements of the Pacific

Discover Where the Coast Meets the Vines

Cool climate wines influenced by soil, shaped by wind, cooled by fog, kissed by sun.
Coastal fog, wind, soil, and sun create
Wines Refined by the Pacific’s Influence
With just a few miles between them, the elements of the Pacific Coast greatly shape the wines of California’s coolest wine growing region.
  • One of the world’s longest growing seasons
  • Marine conditions keep things cool, complex, and balanced
  • Varied marine topography of fossilized shells, shale, and sand
  • 20 varieties grown, led by Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
  • Just 5,000 total vineyard acres planted
  • Wines with a unique exuberance and energetic acidity
2019
Big News on the Horizon
250 years after the first grapes were planted in the area, some exciting things are in the works for wines grown West of the Santa Lucia Mountains in SLO County.
1990s
Viticultural Diversity & Energy
We enter a new era of winemaking on the SLO Coast, with more sophisticated growing techniques, varied clonal selections, and a new group of artisanal, small production wineries.
1979
Modern Wineries Blaze a Trail
Early wineries such as Chamisal, Edna Valley Vineyard, Claiborne & Churchill, Laetitia, Saucelito Canyon, and Talley pave the way and put SLO Wine Country on the world map.
1973
SLO Coast Wine Varieties Established
The success of the first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir planted by forward-thinking vintners in the Edna Valley establishes the SLO Coast as a premier cool climate wine growing region.
1870s
First Commercial Vintners Settle on the SLO Coast
From Pierre Dallidet in San Luis Obispo to Rancho Saucelito in the Arroyo Grande Valley, new settlers begin to recognize the winegrowing potential of our region. (Photo courtesy of the History Center of SLO County.)
1772
Founding of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Father Junipero Serra and the padres of the Mission planted the first grapes on the San Luis Obispo Coast to make their sacramental wine.
Discover the Elements that Define the
Essence of the Coast
    1
    Soils
    Approximately 17 million years ago, the San Luis Obispo Coast was forged by the collision of the Pacific and Continental plates.

    This sheer force of the Earth caused the commingling of our region’s unique seabed soil of marine shale, sand, and fossilized shells with the volcanic soil of the area’s distinctive morros, together forming a rare soil complexity that often varies from acre to acre.

    Geographically speaking, our soils are young, diverse, and complex. They are lean and shallow, well-draining with hard bedrock below, putting vines through just the right amount of stress to produce amazingly complex fruit with intense color and flavor.

    2
    Climate
    Billowing morning fog gives way to warm afternoon sunlight. Come evening, a salty breeze rustles through the vines.

    Our vines count on this reliable cooling and warming cycle to maintain our long growing season–one of the longest in the world. The result is a harmonious ripening of sugar, acids, and tannins.

    The majority of the SLO Coast is classified as “Region 1,” indicating we are one of the coolest winegrowing areas in the world, and the coolest within California. Our pronounced marine conditions and moderate temperatures allow the fruit to achieve rich, full flavors while maintaining their natural acidity, structure, and balance.

    3
    Varieties
    Over 20 grape varieties flourish on the SLO Coast, a nod to the diversity of our soil, climate, and local winemaking culture.

    Particularly well-recognized for Burgundian varieties and cool-climate favorites Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the SLO Coast also makes an excellent home to aromatic white varieties such as Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer. Rhône varieties, such as Syrah and Viognier, are also among our favorites found on the SLO Coast. And in our warmer, mountainous areas, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot have been growing strong for decades. The diverse fruit of the SLO Coast is united by an energetic acidity and vibrancy only achieved via our unique set of growing conditions.

    4
    Sustainability
    Our collective practices reflect a progressive yet respectful approach to the land, the people, and the environment.

    The agrarian and farming culture on the Central Coast instills a long-term respect for the earth that encourages many of our vineyards to farm organically and with biodynamic practices.

    The majority of vineyard acreage in the SLO Coast is Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certified, a holistic and forward-thinking perspective on sustainability. SIP focuses on great wine, healthy vineyards, the well-being of our teams, and the health of our overarching community.

    5
    People
    Our region is one founded by bootstrappers, families, visionaries, and craftsmen.

    …The grandchildren of whom you’re likely to encounter in the tasting room or on a cellar tour, fulfilling their destinies as the winemaking and vineyard teams of today.

    We have fun making wine we enjoy drinking and sharing ourselves, and the bootstrapping and inviting culture of our wine region is still very much evident. Wineries large and small are not afraid to experiment, take risks, and produce small quantities of wines that are best enjoyed in the same county in which they were grown.