The world renown wineries in San Luis Obispo are among the most popular activities in the area for locals and tourists alike. In just 15 minutes, you can drive from downtown SLO to Edna Valley, the heart of San Luis Obispo wine country, which makes it easy to go wine tasting in San Luis Obispo on a whim. With over xx wineries in the beautiful rolling hills of Edna Valley, it is easy to find the perfect wine tasting experience – whether you are looking for an outdoor dog friendly tasting room or if you prefer to sip your wine overlooking the ocean, you can find your spot.

San Luis Obispo wineries are well known for producing world class wines thanks to it’s unique cool coastal climate as most wineries are a short distance from the ocean. Chardonnays and Pinot Gris wines are among the most popular white wines in SLO. White wines from San Luis Obispo wine country tend to boast of aromatic fruit profiles the natural acidity and cool environment. Zins and Pinot Noirs are among the most well regarded reds wines in San Luis Obispo. Complex and flavorful fruit and spice profiles are common to both the Pinot Noirs and Zinfandels from Edna Valley.

Our Rating:

★★★★★

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Our Rating:

★★★★★

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San Luis Obispo Wine Tasting Map

Wine Growing in San Luis Obispo

There are many unique characteristics of the San Luis Obispo wine growing area that makes its wines some of the most unique and sought after. The growing region for San Luis Obispo wine country stretches from the coast lands to the Santa Lucia mountain ranges on the east. Wineries in San Luis Obispo can be typically found in one of the two primary wine growing areas of the region: Edna Valley or Arroyo Grande Valley.  While both of these areas benefit from the cool coastal environment, they featured unique characteristics that differentiate their wines.

While Burgundian varietals – including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – are often often what the region is known for, Rhône varietals, such as Syrahs and Viogniers, grow exceptionally well in the unique climate of San Luis Obispo and are gaining in popularity and recognition. Other staples of the area include the Pinot Gris, Riesling, and in the warmer more inland regions you can find Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Edna Valley Wine Growing

Edna Valley, a short drive from downtown San Luis Obispo, is typically recognized as the heart of San Luis Obispo wine country and many of the wineries are only about five miles from the coast. This region is particularly known for producing exceptional aromatic white wines includes and Pinot Noirs. The soil in Edna Valley is volcanic and rich in calcium carbonate and contributes to the profile of these exceptional wines. Edna Valley wines also benefit from the cool coastal air flow from the Morro Bay/Los Osos area directly into Edna Valley due to the northwest to southwest geographical positioning of Edna Valley.

Arroyo Grande Valley

Arroyo Grande Valley lies just south of Edna Valley and has an extended mild, temperate growing season. Contrary to Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley lies in the northeast to southwest situation direction, which still helps bring in the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean. Arroyo Grande Valley tends to be slightly warmer than the neighboring Edna Valley. This mild climate here creates one of the longest growing seasons in the world. Here you can find Zinfandel growing on the eastern, warmer, part of the valley while Pinot Noir and Chardonnay can be found on the western hills of Arroyo Grande Valley, closer to the coast.

San Luis Obispo Wine Growing Climate

Wineries in San Luis Obispo benefit from the close proximity to the Pacific ocean which keeps the temperatures cooler and consistent. The San Luis Obispo growing area is one of the coldest wine growing climates in the world. Here the average maximum temperature is 70 degrees. It is not uncommon for there to find fog or a thick marine layer in morning. This typically burns off by mid morning and the sun shines down on the grapes in Edna and Arroyo Grande valleys throughout the rest of the day with the evening winds bringing in the moisture again.

Grapes in the San Luis Obispo wine region tend to have both a balanced natural . This is in part due to the nightly marine moisture helps give the San Luis Obispo wine regions longer ripening process. Another impact of the ocean on the climate here in San Luis Obispo is it’s moderating effect. Due the to proximity of the ocean, the weather tends to avoid getting overly hot or cold which helps bring balance to the grapes and provides year over year consistency in flavor profiles.

The marine climate and moderate temperature swings foster a long, balanced growing season for a harmonious ripening of sugar, acid and tannin.

SLO Wine Growing Soil

The wineries in San Luis Obispo are rooted in soil that is relatively young and rich in marine origins. The area features plentiful amounts of sedimentary marine rocks such as shale, limestone, and sandstone. Marine fossils have even be found the wine growing region of San Luis Obispo. These soil conditions help stress the vines which draws out the flavor of the grapes while still achieving balance.

Additionally, there are volcanic soil characteristics that can be found here. You can see the the more visible remnants of the volcanic activity in the area – the Nine Sisters which create some of the best hiking in San Luis Obispo. These soils contribute to produce grapes that are rich in flavor and in color.