Heather Muran - Executive Director, SLO Wine CountryIn SLO Wine Country, the wineries are located just five miles from the ocean on average. The prevailing marine conditions are among the most pronounced of any wine region in California and beyond—which has a profound impact on the wines. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are, of course, among the varietals that thrive amid the cool and exceptionally long growing season. Other standouts include aromatic whites such as Albarino, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gruner Veltliner, all rare, refreshing and exemplary of SLO Wine Country.
SLO Wine Country is home to some iconic California wineries, such as Talley, Chamisal, Claiborne & Churchill, Saucelito Canyon and Edna Valley Vineyard. In recent years, however, several new wineries have come along and there’s a fresh energy to the region right now. So you have this interesting juxtaposition—it’s an established wine region, but also up and coming.
This is California’s “beachy” wine country. Here, a casual flip-flop lifestyle comes with a progressive taste for food and wine. Locally, it’s called the “SLO Life,” with an unhurried and unscripted vibe that sets it apart from any other wine country.
SLO Wine Country is an intimate region populated by less than 30 wineries along storybook terrain from backroads to beach towns to the university town of San Luis Obispo. On the SLO Coastal Wine Route (Price Canyon Road), you can turn off 101 in Pismo Beach and find yourself in the heart of SLO Wine Country in just five minutes. You can see a map here: http://www.slowine.com/taste/index.ph
SLO WINE SURF REPORT
Media Bulletin (Things to talk about)
The surf’s always up in SLO Wine Country. Here, in southern San Luis Obispo County on California’s Central Coast, our wineries reside an average distance of just five miles from the ocean, resulting in prevailing marine conditions that are among the most pronounced of any wine region in California and beyond. Which is why we are known for producing standout Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, aromatic whites and other wines—and for our laid-back vibe that locals call the “SLO Life.” From beachfront tasting rooms to storybook backroads, here’s what’s shaking in SLO Wine Country this season:
Gracious Growlers: Talley Offers Wine on Tap
Talley Vineyards has tapped into a new way to enjoy fine wine—reusable glass “growlers” that you can fill up and take home to enjoy with family and friends. Just purchase a Talley growler (1.89 liters) at the tasting room and fill it up with your choice of red or white wine, then return when you’re ready for a refill. The available varietals and blends change seasonally. As with traditional craft beer growlers, Talley’s growler program enables the winery to create special small batches of wine just for on-tap customers. Also, because the growlers require less packaging, they are environmentally friendly and create cost savings that are passed along to the wine drinker. www.talleyvineyards.com
Claiborne & Churchill Showcases “Mature” Riesling
While aromatic white wines are typically enjoyed in their vibrant youth, some are surprisingly ageworthy as well—which is why Claiborne & Churchill Vintners took the unusual step of bottle aging its 2010 Estate Riesling for two years prior to releasing the wine. “We want our customers to have the chance to experience the extraordinary pleasures of a mature Riesling,” says Proprietor Clay Thompson. He says that these pleasures are “all about texture and structure, rather than flowers and fruit, foregoing the easy charm of a young Riesling for the complex patina that only a mature Riesling can offer.” www.claibornechurchill.com
The Wine Shed—A Wine Bar with Levity
Are you ready for a fresh riff on the traditional wine bar? Located on Broad Street in San Luis Obispo, just minutes from the heart of SLO Wine Country, the Wine Shed offers an impressive list of local wines on tap, all available by the glass. The Wine Shed’s innovative keg-and-tap system ensures the integrity of each glass of wine. “The Wine Shed is designed to bring some needed levity to the wine bar concept,” says co-owner Steve Sutton. “We think of the Wine Shed as a place that’s more of a neighborhood pub, not a wine bar.” The Wine Shed is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. (and to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays) and also offers craft beers and personal pizzas. www.facebook.com/wineshed
Featured Winery Quick Hit: Kelsey See Canyon
While most wineries are surrounded by vines, Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards is nestled among the apple orchards of Avila Valley, just two miles from Avila Beach. Not surprisingly, the winery makes limited-production “apple wines” in addition to its fine Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other wines. This family-owned winery also offers a distinctive tasting room experience, with a quaint garden tucked along See Canyon Creek in the company of peacocks. www.kelseywine.com.
Emma Swain - CEO, St Supery
One of a kind wines from the very best winemakers are on the auction block this weekend at Premiere Napa Valley!
Produced in California's renowned Napa Valley, Premiere Napa Valley is one of the rarest wine brands in the world. For 17 years the region's top winemakers have offered ultra-boutique wines to the trade, crafted in as few as 60 bottles and never more than 240 bottles, as individual bottlings for the brand known as Premiere Napa Valley.
These wines, created each only once, by 200 different wineries are offered as futures at auction only to the wine trade—individual restaurateurs and wine retailers—so they have the most unique, and some of the very best wines made from America’s leading appellation. Essentially think of Premiere Napa Valley as a brand consisting of 200 "single vineyard," small case production offerings.
Each wine from each producer is one-of-a-kind, and will not be found in the market except by the wine seller who secures the unique wine via an annual trade auction held each winter. Though reminiscent of how Hospice de Beaune wines are produced, the process is uniquely American. The winemakers take a gloves-off approach, often using varieties they may not bottle as a stand-alone, or perhaps a noted white-wine-only house producing a red wine. These wines are innovative and showcase the region's sense of explorations in fine winemaking.
Premiere Napa Valley
Saturday, February 22, 2014