SLO Coast Wine

Pinot Noir Trail on the SLO Coast

Spring 2019 – see websites for availability of wine

Pinot Noir is a popular red wine grape for a reason: it’s elegant, nuanced, smoky, earthy, fruity and pairs well with a wide variety of dishes. In our cool-climate, coastal wine region of San Luis Obispo, you’ll find a large range of Pinot Noirs from these twelve wineries that specialize in the esoteric variety.

 

1. Baileyana Winery

Baileyana, Tangent & True Myth is a family wine company in the truest sense. Our patriarch, Jack Niven, pioneered wine grape planting in the Edna Valley in the early 1970s, and today, his children and grandchildren are carrying on his legacy. We believe in sustainability, quality, community, innovation, tradition (when warranted), and educating consumers in the ever-changing world of wine.

Baileyana Winery on the SLO Coast

The flagship winery from the Niven Family, Baileyana was created over 30 years ago by our matriarch, Catharine Niven, and is now in the expert hands of the second and third generations of her family. An expression of classic cool climate varietals, each wine is sourced from select blocks from our estate Paragon Vineyard—planted in 1973 by Catharine’s husband, Jack. Baileyana’s range of Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and sparkling wines are all crafted by our dynamic winemaking team. Refined, rich, and perfectly balanced, Baileyana wines emulate the spirited woman who brought them to life. Discover your favorite Pinot Noir from our array of different offerings—all estate-grown and hand-crafted by our veteran cool-climate winemaking team.

  • Baileyana Rosé of Pinot Noir (2018) – With flavors of watermelon and strawberry bursting from the glass, the bright acidity of this Rose’ creates a delightful freshness that makes this wine perfect year-round! This wine was made by bleeding off (saignée) some juice from recently harvested Pinot Noir grapes.
  • Baileyana “Firepeak” Pinot Noir (2017) – Created from the top Firepeak blocks from our Estate vineyard at the base of Islay Hill, this cool-climate wine ripens in a leisurely fashion leading to a balanced harmony of fruit and acid.
  • Baileyana “El Pico” Pinot Noir (2016) – Produced exclusively from Burgundy clone “943” this wine is barrel-aged for nine months in French oak barrels; versatile enough to pair with salmon, chicken or mushroom risotto!  You won’t find this limited production wine in stores.
  • Baileyana “Halcon Rojo” Pinot Noir (2016) – Produced from the Burgundy 667 and “Swan” clones, this wine is barrel-aged for eight months in new French oak. A light and elegant Pinot!  You won’t find this limited production wine in stores.
  • Baileyana “La Entrada” Pinot Noir (2016) – Produced from Burgundy clones “777” and “943” this wine is 100% barrel-aged for 9 months in new French oak barrels. Earthy and seductive, the aroma will keep you coming back for more!  You won’t find this limited production wine in stores.
  • Baileyana “The Architects” Pinot Noir (2016) – Named after ‘The Architects’ of these wines – our dynamic winemaking team – this special limited release Pinot Noir has good complexity and depth of red fruit. 91 Points, Vinous
  • Baileyana “S-BAR” Pinot Noir (2016) – Vine- and barrel-select, very limited production, this is arguably the best Pinot we make! Aged for 9 months in 30% new French oak, this bottling represents around 1% of our total Pinot Noir production – you won’t find this wine in stores.  93 Points, Jeb Dunnuck

 

2. Center of Effort (appt only)

The powerful forces of skillful cultivation, artistic winemaking and a passion for unparalleled excellence are blended together to capture what we refer to as the “magic” in the bottle, focusing solely on estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Center of Effort estate is blessed with a remarkable growing environment for classic Burgundian varietals.

Center of Effort Winery on the SLO Coast

There is nothing expedient in our winemaking approach. We embrace the detailed, labor-intensive methods that are required to produce the finest wines. Even then, only a handful of elite lots from each vintage are ultimately deemed worthy for designation under the ‘Center of Effort’ label.

  • 2013 Pinot Noir, ‘Center of Effort’ – The terroir of the Edna Valley truly comes to life in this bottling. Showcasing a classic Pinot Noir nose of orange peel and Montmorency cherries, this wine expresses the land in which our vineyard lies. The palate is mid-weight with ripe plum, cocoa dust and a balancing freshness.  Earthy notes of new leather and faint campfire lead to a lengthy finish.  To enjoy the fullest aromatic expression, decant up to an hour before serving.
  • 2014 Pinot Noir, ‘Effort’ – Effort is the companion label to our limited-edition Center of Effort wines. Each lot of the vintage is crafted in accordance with our vigilant standards of quality, all competing for the crown. However, only a handful of elite lots are ultimately designated for Center of Effort. What remains is our best EFFORT of the vintage. Stylistically, Effort wines exhibit a more approachable, fruit-forward style, bringing diversity and dimension to our portfolio.

 

3. Cutruzzola Vineyards

Nestled among towering pines and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean is the quaint village of Cambria, California. There, Cutruzzola Vineyards specializes in Pinot Noir and Riesling, both grown right in Cambria near Santa Rosa Creek Road. We produce just 500-600 cases a year so quality over quantity as we can monitor closely every stage of the process!

Cutruzzola Winery on the SLO Coast

Our estate vineyard is in a coastal valley just outside the town center only a few miles from the water’s edge, just over the coastal mountains and rolling hills of the Westside Paso Robles wine region. It’s a picturesque sprinkling of small, family-owned farms and artist studios that unfold along scenic Highway 1. On most days you’ll be warmed by sunlight and cooled by ocean breezes as you stand in the vineyard, where we grow Riesling and Pinot Noir on steep hillsides in a cool climate that is ideal for these varietals.

  • 2013 Pinot Noir, Gloria Estate – 441 Cases Produced – Upon opening, minerality frames the flavors of red and dark cherry, plum, and baking spices. This wine is highly structured, with silky tannins. While this wine can be enjoyed now, we anticipate it will improve significantly with 3-5 years of bottle age. 91 Points, PinotFile / 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2014 Pinot Noir, Gloria Estate – 156 Cases Produced – Gloria is all about finesse and elegance. Delicate red fruit and spice on the nose. The voluminous mid-palate balances ripe fruit with high natural acidity. Spice and silky tannins texture the long and utterly delicious finish. 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2014 Pinot Noir, Riven Rock Vineyard Estate – 128 Cases Produced – A beguiling nose blends notes of spice, cherry, plum and red earth. The mid-palate reveals silky tannins and a bold texture before graduating to a complex and persistent finish. This wine is crafted to be dense and serious yet elegant. 90+ Points, Wine Advocate

 

4. Deovlet Wines

As links in a chain, we at Deovlet Wines understand the importance of working together with premium sites and talented winegrowers. Fruit quality is essential to crafting memorable wines of elegance, balance, and harmony.  At each vineyard site during each vintage, vines are carefully managed and yields are restricted in an effort to achieve the ultimate concentration of flavor.  With respect to Mother Nature, harvest decisions are based intending to display the purest, most natural vineyard expression possible.

Deovlet Winery on the SLO Coast

Throughout the winemaking process, to produce a seamless balance between grape variety and site, the wines are carefully handcrafted with minimal intervention.  Bringing together passion, artistry, and intuition, we are always leaning on the history of this ageless craft and never forgetting ‘those who went before us and showed us the way.’

  • 2017 Zotovich Family Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills, Pinot Noir – Stunning and beautifully delineated, this wine offers such purity and pretty aromatics in a mix of blood orange, pomegranate, raspberry, rose petal, white pepper, Palo Santo, with hints of nutmeg and mint. The sandy soils at the site lend themselves to the soft, lush, and juicy palate presence alongside 20% stem inclusion bringing texture and structure. Aged for 15 months on fine lees in 100% French Oak, 33% new.
  • 2017 Santa Barbara County, Pinot Noir – Capturing the region with its wonderful balance, vibrancy, and richness this Santa Barbara County offering has beautiful complexity with a mélange of red fruit, blood orange, juicy red plum, earthy undertones alongside baking spices, floral notes, wild herbs, and hints of crushed rock. The wine offers pure varietal identity with layered complexities from each site, good concentration, and lovely freshness supported by a silky texture completing the wines seamless length. Aged for 15 months in 100% French oak, 10% new.
  • 2016 Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills, Pinot Noir – Coming from two different blocks within this famed site, the vineyard pedigree resonates in this classic offering. A bright, vibrant nose presents hints of Bing cherry, wild mountain red raspberry, and red plum with floral notes of lavender, rose petal, and black tea. On the palate the wine has beautiful freshness, intensity, and structure, with a rocky mineral presence. Aged for 18 months in 100% French oak, 30% new.
  • 2016 Zotovich Family Pinot Noir – Always an aromatic pleaser, this wine offers a mix of blood orange, black raspberry, white pepper, potpourri, rose petal, and hints of mint. The sandy soils at the site lend themselves to the soft, lush, and juicy palate presence alongside 20% stem inclusion bringing some texture and structure. Aged for 16 months on fine lees in 100% French Oak, 33% new.
  • 2016 La Encantada Pinot Noir – This site is always a balancing act between fruit, savory, and earth notes. Layered with bing cherry, red delicious apple, cranberry, and orange peel coupled with black tea, bouquet garni, and more earthy notes of wet terracotta and iron. Exquisitely balanced with depth, power, and lively acidity. Aged for 16 months on fine lees in 100% French Oak, 30% new.
  • 2016 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir – This wine has beautiful approachability which captures the vibrant diversity of Santa Barbara County. Offering pure varietal expression layered with a mélange of red fruit, earthy undertones, grilled herbs, hints of crushed rock, and baking spices. Classic, youthful, and vibrant acidity is supported by good concentration and structure completing the wines seamless length. Aged for 15 months in 100% French oak, 25% new.

 

5. El Lugar (appt only)

Family owned and operated, El Lugar means the place, and makes small-lot, vineyard-designate Pinot Noir, defined by its place of origin.

El Lugar Winery on the SLO Coast

Coby Parker-Garcia has been making wines for 12 years and fell in love with Pinot Noir long ago and dreamed of creating high quality Pinot Noir from well-known vineyards and AVAs. In 2013, Coby and is wife took a leap of faith and made that dream come true by producing their first vintage of two vineyard designate Pinot Noirs. Currently they source fruit from 4 vineyards, including one to make a white Pinot Noir.

  • 2018 Pinot Noir Blanc, Greengate Vineyard – Our white wine created from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, from Greengate Vineyards. 90 Points & Editor’s Choice, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2017 Pinot Noir, Rincon Vineyards – Rincon Vineyards, Arroyo Grande. 157 Cases produced
  • 2017 Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyards – Santa Maria Valley. Released in April 2018
  • 2017 Pinot Noir, Hilliard Bruce – Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

 

6. Kynsi Winery

Kynsi Winery is a family run operation focused on producing distinguished wines from renowned Central Coast vineyard properties.

Kynsi Winery on the SLO Coast

The blessed coastal climate, along with unique soil profiles and innovative farming techniques is why this region is considered to be one of the finest of the world. Our mission is to produce wines of the highest caliber while reflecting the unique terroir of nature’s most expressive sites.

Kynsi Winery resides on a historic ranch in a charming and renovated old dairy in the heart of the Edna Valley. Visitors are welcome to experience their acclaimed wines in one of the most idyllic settings in the region. Depending on the vintage, we bottle 8 different pinots!

  • 2015 Pinot Noir, Edna Valley – Aromatics of red cherry and rose petal are prominent with a textured mouthfeel and notes of nutmeg, cola and fresh strawberries. A great overall representation of Edna Valley Appellation characteristics. 91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2015 Pinot Noir, Stone Corral Vineyard – Grown on the winery property on an uplifted seabed, it opens with terroir driven scents of red raspberry, wild lupine and California sagebrush. Wrapped around a complex core, it delivers velvety layers of root beer and tree ripened cherry. 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2015 Pinot Noir, Precious Stone – This gem is a barrel select blend of exemplary Stone Corral Vineyard lots that unanimously stood out in blind tasting trials. Opens with a clean, ocean-kissed bouquet of black raspberry, sandstone and spring florals. It is pure satin on the palate with nuanced flavors of maple and strawberry-rhubarb pastry. 94 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • Sold out are Kynsi’s 2015 Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard and 2017 Pinot Noir Rose, Barn Owl Blush.

 

7. Laetitia Vineyard & Winery

At Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, we are passionate about producing premium estate wines that showcase the distinctive qualities of the Arroyo Grande Valley.

Laetitia Winery on the SLO Coast

Located in Southern San Luis Obispo County, our coastal property overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Originally known for méthode champenoise sparkling wines, Laetitia continues to produce seven unique sparkling wines. Currently, we are just as well known for our handcrafted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and more.

Comprised of the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard’s highest echelon Bordeaux and Rhône-variety grapes, NADIA Wines eloquently express the remarkable high-elevation terroir of the Sierra Madre Mountains in limited-production lots.

  • 2017 Laetitia Estate Pinot Noir – With an initial spiced marionberry quality, the wine unwinds slowly into notes of cedar plank and delicate rose petal, framed by fine, dusty tannins. The palate is expressive with tangy notes of sarsaparilla, red currant and warm baking spice.
  • 2016 Laetitia Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir – With an initial spiced marionberry quality, the wine unwinds slowly into notes of cedar plank and delicate rose petal, framed by fine, dusty tannins. The palate is expressive with tangy notes of sarsaparilla, red currant and warm baking spice.
  • 2016 Laetitia Clone 5 Pommard Pinot Noir – One of the first French clones to come to California, the Clone 5 shows classic cherry and tart rhubarb flavors. Old world in style, this wine is known for its jammy, pie-like characters along with ripe tannins, bright acidity and a long, lingering finish.
  • 2017 Laetitia Clone 828 Pinot Noir – Our Clone 828 is a distinguishable example of this attractive clone originating in the Dijon region of Eastern France. Intoxicating smoke and delicate truffle make way for sumptuous notes of dried rose petal, sassafras and deep black currant. This medium-bodied wine with smooth, polished tannins pairs well with oven-baked salmon fillets and roasted mushrooms with herbs.
  • 2016 Laetitia Single Vineyard La Colline Pinot Noir – Our original Pinot Noir planting on the vineyard, La Colline leans toward the Burgundian side with elegant spiced cherry, rose petal and potpourri notes on the nose. On the palate, cherry pie, enticing clove and fresh leather are framed by mouth-coating viscosity and lively acids, leaving a lingering finish with a great depth of flavors.
  • 2016 Laetitia Single Vineyard Les Galets Pinot Noir – Rich in mineral driven notes of chalk and wet limestone, the Galets Vineyard, known for its abundance of rounded stones translates well into the finished wine. Prevalent aromas of dark berries and dried black cherry are framed by flavors of earthen truffle and root beer spice. Velvet-like texture and well-integrated tannin make this a perfect candidate for pairing with fennel-scented duck breast or salmon with roasted Shiitake mushrooms.
  • 2016 Laetitia Single Vineyard La Coupelle Pinot Noir – The La Coupelle vineyard resides in a protected microclimate of the ranch which yields warmer temperatures and in turn, a wine of deep, rich complexities. Opening with brooding aromas of wild berry, root beer spice and rose petal, the palate is layered notes of cedar smoke, forest floor and cherry marmalade. Pair with a thick cut of rare prime rib with mushroom risotto and braised asparagus.

 

8. Sinor-LaVallee Wines

Sinor-LaVallee was founded in 1997 by Mike Sinor and Cheri LaVallee-Sinor. Our wines are all from our Estate vineyard in Avila Beach with an Ocean View. There we have 8 clones of Pinot Noir along with Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Albariño.

Sinor-LaVallee Winery on the SLO Coast

Our journey began almost 23 years ago, when we met at college in San Luis Obispo and started working at local wineries. The wine bug bit us hard, and the Pinot Noir bug bit us even harder. We worked one harvest after another, consuming the craft of winemaking, and studying the art of Pinot Noir. We got married in Burgundy. We had two beautiful children. Experience led to opportunity, and opportunity led to more experience, and both led to fanaticism. And from fanaticism our little winery was born.

The SLO Estate wines come exclusively from Bassi Vineyard. Because the vineyard falls outside of any recognized AVA, these wines are designated with a San Luis Obispo County appellation. But make no mistake—these are limited-production estate bottlings that speak vividly of a single vineyard.

  • 2015 Pinot Noir SLO Estate

The White Label is reserved for ultra-limited wines that exhibit a leaner expression of Bassi Vineyard. We select clones, blocks, yeasts and barrels that cultivate structure, yielding wines with lower alcohol and higher acidity. These wines are all about litheness and clean site expression:

  • 2015 Pinot Noir White Label, San Luis Obispo
  • 2014 Pinot Noir Anniversary Cuvée

The Black Label is reserved for ultra-limited wines that offer a fuller expression of Bassi Vineyard. We select clones, blocks, yeasts and ultimately barrels that foster weight and roundness, yielding wines with higher alcohol and lower acidity. These wines are all about power and richness:

  • 2015 PN Black Label

 

9. Stephen Ross Wine Cellars

Stephen Ross Wine Cellars was founded on the principle of working with quality vineyards and hand-crafting the best wines possible from the grapes they yield. The winery started small, grew as financial resources allowed, and we stuck to our principles in winemaking and business – great, small production wines, solid business practices, and a nice, engaging place to work for our crew.

We planted our estate vineyard, Stone Corral Vineyard, entirely to pinot noir in 2001 in partnership with two other wineries in the area. In addition to our estate vineyard, we have continued to contract grapes from some of the best vineyards on the Central Coast.

Our wines reflect our commitment to consistently produce elegant, mind-blowing wines that demonstrate both terroir and Stephen’s winemaking skill from ultra-high premium grapes, estate and contracted. Small production for over 20 years, Stephen Ross wines have won acclaim throughout the industry.

  • 2015 Pinot Noir Stone Corral Vineyard – This is the best Pinot Noir we produced in 2015. The wine is quite deep in its ruby garnet hues, with aromas that are reminiscent of forest floor, rose petals, black cherry, and nutmeg…it is rich and full on the palate with a soft acidity and lingering notes of small red berry on the finish. 94 points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2015 Pinot Noir Escolle Vineyard – This 2015 is quite dark, ruby-black in color.  The nose is youthful and brings notes of dark cherry, plum, cassis, coffee, dark chocolate, cherry pie and subtle hints of oak with vanilla bean and allspice.  The long finish is all finesse, with balanced and integrated acid and refined tannins. 93 points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2015 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard – This is Bien Nacido at its best. Deep dense ruby-purple color. Baked cherries, touch of nutmeg, butter and brown sugar aromas. The palate is fully extracted, medium body, bright notes on the acidity, lingering cherry pie and woodsy flavor notes. 92 points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2016 Pinot Noir Edna Valley Estate – Dark, deep magenta in color. Bing cherry pie/compote, cassis, black tea, bittersweet chocolate, cardamom. This is an exquisitely clean expression of Pinot Noir fruit in its purest form. Structured and youthful on the palate, medium body with nice berry tannins. Lingering structured, textural finish with lasting flavors of cherry or plum. One of our best efforts from Stone Corral Vineyard. 91 points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2016 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highland – Pretty, dense ruby red color. Raspberry, fresh rose petal, savory note of thyme and a touch of nutmeg/vanilla in the aroma. Exquisite balance, flavors of small red berries, and firm tannins on the finish.

 

10. Talley Vineyards

Talley Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery that specializes in estate grown chardonnay and pinot noir ideally suited for the climate and soils of the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys. The Talley’s farming history in the area dates to 1948 when Oliver Talley began growing vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley.

Talley Winery on the SLO Coast

Guided by this legacy and a commitment to long term sustainability, Talley Vineyards focuses on attention to detail in all aspects of farming and winemaking operations. The goal is to produce distinctive wines of consistently high quality that best express the unique character of each of the Talley family’s six vineyard sites in the two valleys.

  • 2017 Bishop’s Peak Pinot Noir – Aromas of Bing Cherries, Dried Cranberry and Allspice and Raspberry, Mesquite and Bay Leaf on the palate.
  • 2016 Talley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir – Aromas of raspberry pie, cherry cola, and rhubarb are complemented by soft sandalwood undertones.
  • 2016 Rosemary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir – Plum and strawberry aromas on the nose are complemented by black tea and wet earth undertones.
  • 2016 East Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir – Ruby in hue and offers aromas of fresh red cherry, violet, and dusted chocolate.
  • 2016 Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir – The Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir offers aromas of fresh raspberry and cranberry with a subtle touch of potpourri.
  • 2016 Stone Corral Vineyard Pinot Noir – Aromas of raspberry, wax, and orange peel.  The palate is dense with juicy notes of blueberry and raspberry.

 

11. Timbre Winery

Timbre (pronounced TAM·ber or TIM·ber) is the “color” of music. It is what makes two voices sound different, even when singing the same song. It is why two winemakers, working with the same vineyards, make unique wine. As a terroir-driven winery, we make wines expressive of the places and times from which they came. As winemakers, we channel those sites through our experience, adding our own mark- our TIMBRE- to the resulting wines.

Timbre Winery on the SLO Coast

Founded by Joshua Klapper and Alex Katz, Timbre Winery is the culmination of years of hard work, and dedication to our craft. It is winemaking expressed through the universal language of musical sound.”

  • 2015 Supergroup Pinot Noir – This wine is blended from Bien Nacido and Presqu’ile vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley. The Bien Nacido portions are old vine G Block, which cut across the west side of the Bien Nacido bench section. The Presqu’ile comes from the block of 777 Clone facing Clark Avenue in the Solomon Hills region of southern Santa Maria. These two vineyards, when blended, absolutely rock! Pale red, the super intense nose of this wine defies its color… Bright with notes of cherry pie, rose petals, and cranberry, and just a hint of stems. The palate, highlighted by cherry cola and strawberry preserves on buttered toast, is lifted by cinnamon and savory spices through the finish. 65 cases produced.
  • 2014 Lead Vocals Pinot Noir – Bien Nacido has been the front-man for American Pinot Noir for over 40 years and the own-rooted Pommard clone in G Block’s gravel and sandy loam provide the complexity of a true icon. Since 2009, we have been fortunate enough to source Pinot Noir from one of the most coveted Pinot Noir vineyards in the country. Continuing the tradition, our ‘Lead Vocals’ Pinot is 100% ‘G block’, one of the own-rooted sections of the vineyard, planted in 1973. The own-roots and vine age seem to create a complexity and stuffing rarely found in American Pinot Noir and, even in a big vintage like 2014, these old vines produced less than 2 tons per acre. As usual, Bien Nacido delivers intrigue on the nose. The funkiest of our Pinot Noirs, this wine promises layer upon layer of complexity from the outset. On the palate, the wine still has the classic, pretty Pinot Noir elements of strawberry and cranberry, but gets deeper with earthy elements of caraway seed and sous-bois. The oak is more apparent on this wine that our other Santa Maria Valley offerings, with a tantalizing riff of cocoa powder running throughout.
  • 2014 The Hi Hat Pinot Noir – John Sebastiano Vineyard spans adjacent hilltops, consisting of myriad microclimates. This wine, blended from 3 distinct blocks, is a unique expression of this remarkable terroir. Planted in 2007, John Sebastiano sits on the far eastern edge of the Sta. Rita Hills. As far east as Hilliard Bruce is west, these two vineyards could not be further apart and still be in the same AVA. They offer a glimpse at two completely different micro-climates, both expressions of this amazing place for Pinot Noir. The exposed hilltops are constantly being bombarded by wind, and as such, often struggle to produce a crop one would call ‘healthy’. The 2014 vintage was a departure from the norm, and the excellent yields afforded us perfect clusters of 667, Swan, and Pommard clones with which we made this beauty of a wine. This wine shows classic Sta. Rita Hills character from the first whiff, with fruit on the darker end of the Pinot Noir spectrum, cola, and an almost hidden spicy component. On the palate, the wine delivers what it promised on the nose, with a mouth-filling weight, flavors of plum torte, black currant and Dr. Pepper, pulled back by peaches on the mid-palate.
  • 2013 Guest Star Pinot Noir – Aubaine Vineyard may not be part of our regular cast, but when we got the opportunity to bring this San Luis Obispo County fruit on our 2013 vintage tour, we jumped at the chance. Aubaine, in San Luis Obispo County, is no more than 10 miles north of the Santa Maria Valley, but the wine from this vineyard provides a stark contrast to the strawberry/sour cherry-driven Santa Maria Valley Pinots. It is an amazing site, planted at 800 feet of elevation, just 5 miles inland of the Pacific Ocean and on a slope that faces directly Southwest into cool southern Central Coast sunlight. The site produces a deep, darkly colored wine with a strong fruit expression on the nose and voluptuous, polished tannins that finish with a lasting impression. The wine smells of red currants and is noticeably softer on the palate than its Santa Maria counterparts. It stays on the sweeter end of the spectrum, driven by currants, sweet cranberry, and even nectarine, eventually resolving into a spicy finish highlighted by dark roasted coffee.
  • 2018 Opening Act Rose of Pinot Noir – This saignée, bled from our best Pinot Noir fermentations, is floral, aromatic, balanced, and delicious. It’s the perfect wine to start the show and might just steal it. This wine, like its predecessors since the 2012 vintage, is again a saignée from our best vineyard sources. The translation of saignée is bleeding, meaning that this wine is bled from our red wine fermentation vessels immediately after the fruit has been destemmed, when the juice has been allowed to gain only the slightest bit of color from the red grape skins. This wine is primarily blended from Bien Nacido, Presqu’ile, and Squire Canyon vineyards. Fermenting in 50% neutral oak, and 50% stainless steel allowed us to keep all the lovely freshness and bright acidity in this Rosé. Salmon in color and super fresh, this wine exhibits cherry blossom and rose water, with hints of citrus peel. Minerality, Meyer lemon, and whispers of raspberry finish fruity and clean.

 

12. Tolosa Winery

At Tolosa Winery, we are true believers in the special terroir that is Edna Valley, nestled amongst the northwest to southeast running volcanic hills of San Luis Obispo County and the frontier for the most complex cool-climate varietals in California.

Tolosa Winery on the SLO Coast

Our Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays reflect the cold northwest wind that sweeps down the coast and funnels into the valley, as well as the remarkable diversity of soil types: ingredients for nuanced and balanced wines of distinctive character. Now, we have 16 different Pinot Noirs.

  • 1772 Pinot Noir 2016 – This wine exhibits bright flavors of red currant, raspberry, rhubarb and earthy notes of blonde tobacco.  Aromas of ripe red plum, candied cherry, cocoa powder, cinnamon, white pepper and worn leather.
  • Stone Lion Pinot Noir 2015 – Deep red cherry color with a slight blue hue, welcomes the senses with primary aromas of black cherry, ripe red plum with notes of graphite and allspice.
  • Pacific Wind Pinot Noir 2016 – This wine has expressive aromas of red cherry and raspberry that showcase a punchy ripe fruit characteristic on the palate. Flavors exhibit notes of cola, strawberry seeds, rhubarb, leather and a hint of eucalyptus.
  • Cuvee Pinot Noir 2016 – The grapes used for this wine were sourced from four different vineyards in California with a focus on preserving the character of each site.  A medley of red fruit, rhubarb, white pepper showcasing a gentle tannin structure with a fresh acidity.
  • Albatross Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir – Albatross Ridge Vineyard is perched on a mountaintop of ancient uplifted seabed with gravelly loam, limestone and shale soils like those found in Burgundy. Located only 9 miles from the Pacific Ocean, it has a long growing season with temperatures rarely exceeding 85 degrees.
  • Apex Vineyard Pinot Noir – Farmed by the Franscioni family, Apex Vineyard consists of 84 acres located 28 miles from the cold water of Monterey Bay in the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands. The vineyard receives morning sun exposure before being influenced by the daily fog and ocean breezes.
  • Drum Canyon Vineyard Pinot Noir – Drum Canyon vineyard is farmed by the Dierberg family and situated in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA in western Santa Barbara County. The region is adjacent to the Pacific Ocean and famous for its transverse mountain range which allows the strong maritime winds and fog to cool the vines.
  • El Coro Vineyard Pinot Noir – El Coro vineyard is farmed by the Keller family and located within the Petaluma Gap AVA, the premier gateway to the Sonoma Coast. The “Gap” is a wind gap that allows the maritime wind and fog to roar into the region.
  • Hollister-Edna Ranch Pinot Noir – The Hollister portion of our home vineyard, Edna Ranch, is the closest to the Pacific Ocean receiving a moderating influence to maintain balanced acidity in the grapes. Hollister has a series of rolling hills optimizing sun exposure to ripen concentrated grapes.
  • Saltonstall Vineyard Pinot Noir – Saltonstall Vineyard is in the Petaluma Gap, 30 miles north of San Francisco and 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The 40-acre hillside parcel rests in a bucolic landscape surrounded by dairy farms and sheep pasture. Soils are loamy clay with a touch of gravel settled on the clay.
  • Solomon Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir – Located at the westernmost end of the Santa Maria Valley AVA, the vineyard sits in the valley widely open to the Pacific Ocean only 10 miles away and gently slopes towards it, so you can see the dunes from the vine rows.
  • Toyon Farm Pinot Noir – Toyon Farm is in the southwest corner of Napa in the Carneros region. The vineyard is sloped and is southwest facing. It is divided by Clone 777 and Clone 115. The wines are cane-pruned and carry an average of 2-3 tons to the acre. The soil is sandy-clay loam with great water retention.
  • Thorn Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir – Thorn Ridge vineyard is owned and farmed by legendary Sonoma grower Tedd Klopp and located southwest of the town Sebastopol within the Russian River AVA. The vineyard is located 7 miles from the ocean. The site is a magnet for cold Pacific air and fog.
  • Primera Pinot Noir – Our flagship Pinot Noir, Primera, is a small lot selected from the very best barrels to showcase the balance, depth, and complexity of our Edna Ranch vineyard.  Our home vineyard, Edna Ranch, is in the coolest appellation in California—a mere 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
  • Dijon 115 Pinot Noir 2014 – Deep red cherry color with nuanced aromas cedar, truffle, damp earth and sage with underlying hint of ripe raspberry.
  • Beyond Pinot Noir 2014 – Ruby color with floral aromas of violet, rose petal and hibiscus surround the spice notes of juniper berry, allspice and sandalwood.