Saturday, January 09, 2016

Edna Valley Winetasting

I recently visited the Edna Valley for the first time. This wine region is located about 15 minutes east of Pismo Beach and 15 minutes south of the city of San Luis Obispo, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angles, near US-101. 

Being close to the Pacific, the Edna Valley is best known for cool-climate grapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We also tasted some good wine made with Alsatian varietals, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Blanc, as well as Syrah. 

We visited four wineries:  Claiborne and Churchill, Kynsi, Chamisal, and Wulff. At all of the wineries, staff were friendly and helpful. Visiting on a Wednesday in early January meant that we often had the tasting rooms to ourselves. Tasting fees ran between $10 and $15 per person and were usually refundable with the purchase of a bottle or two. 

The only downside to visiting the Edna Valley is the lack of places to eat. Sexton winery has a deli, but it was closed when we visited. Many wineries will let you bring food and picnic. It's also easy to head into one of the towns for lunch and then continue winetasting after eating. 

Being just off US-101 makes the Edna Valley a good place to stop if you are driving from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.  It's also not too far from the Hearst Castle in San Simeon; although the Paso Robles region is closer. If you like good Pinot Noir, check out the Edna Valley when you visit San Luis Obispo County.   

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