Updated 12.17.2019: We recently showed you how to travel through Champagne Country, but if you’re looking for a tasty refreshment state side, we’ve got you covered there as well. Guest contributor, Susan Guillory from The Unexplorer, recently took a trip through California and is here with some recommendations on experiencing the best wineries in San Luis Obispo County.
Three ways to sip & savor in San Luis Obispo County
No matter what your pleasure is adult-beveragewise, San Luis Obispo County is the place to find it.
While it’s not as well-known as Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Paso Robles wine country in San Luis Obispo County has a lot going for it. It’s conveniently located right off Highway 101, a main artery connecting the LA area to the San Francisco region.
Not only that, but the region makes fantastic wines at its more than 200 wineries. From Pinot Noirs to Chardonnays, the region is rich in its viniculture.
And yet…I may be the only person who ever visited San Luis Obispo County and drank more beer than wine! On a girls’ getaway to the Central Coast, my girlfriends and I set out to tour the different wineries in San Luis Obispo County, but discovered the many layers of tasty beverages of all types in the region.
More to love than just California wine
Certainly you must sip and sample wines if you make the trip to San Luis Obispo County, particularly Paso Robles, but realize that there’s something for everyone.
The county holds its own when it comes to locally brewed beers, and this is coming from a beer snob who happens to live in the Craft Brew Capital of the US (San Diego).
Libertine Brewing Company, which brews in San Luis Obispo but also has tasting rooms throughout the county, offers pucker-inducing sours, as well as farmhouse pale ales, and a Belgian-inspired wild Dubbel. In Morro Bay, after being dazzled by the hundreds of dollar bills pinned to the walls and ceilings, we sampled from the wide variety of Libertine’s own beers as well as other local favorites.
In the tiny town of Los Olivos, we discovered Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company. Despite the fact that the brewery has multiple locations throughout the LA area and north, I’d never heard of it.
Los Olivos’ location seemed to draw local good ole boys, boisterous at the end of a work week. A die-hard stout lover, I gravitated toward the Stagecoach Stout and was not disappointed.
Has this article inspired to go on a San Luis Obispo adventure? Start your search for hotels in San Luis Obispo with us.
If spirits are your thing…
While we didn’t make it to one of the region’s up-and-coming distilleries, I was impressed to hear that brands like Re: Find are using normally-discarded components of the winemaking process to create spirits like vodka, gin, liqueurs, and rye whiskey. As a result, Re: Find has reclaimed about 60 acres of premium Paso Robles wine grapes a year. More reason to return to the area!
Local wineries in San Luis Obispo
While we certainly explored more than wine in the area, we weren’t morons! We did manage to have some amazing glasses of locally-grown and locally–produced wines.
While we waited for our lunch at Sebastian’s in San Simeon’s former general store, we each grabbed a glass of wine from Hearst Ranch Winery, which shared the delightfully old-fashioned space. My rosé was refreshing and put me in a relaxed state of mind before our Hearst Castle tour across the street. My friends preferred the full-bodied petite sirah.
A few days later, we stayed at the impressive Allegretto Vineyard Resort, which, as you might guess by the name, also has a winery! While more focus is put on the Italian-inspired work of art that is the resort, the winery does produce some impressive wines, despite being less than two years old.
John, our wine tasting guide, walked us through the full range of its offerings, from the sharp but refreshing viognier to the berry-rich cabernet sauvignon. At dinner in the resort’s Cello restaurant, we tried another local bottle: Le Vigne’s Kiara Bella sparkling wine, which went perfectly with our food.
At the end of the day, it didn’t matter what we drank. Every beverage was thoughtfully crafted, and enhanced our impressions and memories of the region.
More things to do in Paso Robles:
Lear to drive a stagecoach. Alan did!
Take a crash source in grape growing. This tour includes a fun jeep ride.
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