San Luis Obispo County is a gorgeous section of California. The rolling hills, vast farmlands, rich soil, temperate climate, and cool ocean breezes make the perfect combination of growing great grapes for wines.
The area has boomed in the past couple decades and winemaking has expanded and become known worldwide. The county has around 200 wineries, many wine festivals, food festivals, tasting rooms, and much more to offer the traveler wanting to make a day trip.
The northernmost part of the county hosts the Art and Wine Festival during the last weekend of every January in Cambria. Paso Robles, Atascadero, and Templeton offer a wine festival in March and many events throughout the year.
October has a special wine harvest event with the wineries opening their doors to special events and tastings of new fall flavors.
The Central Coast Wine Classic in July is a major charity event in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande, featuring the local vineyards and wineries, hosting dinner at Hearst Castle, auctions, and other events throughout the weekend.
The Best of the West Celebration and the Harvest Wine Festival round out the year in November. San Luis Obispo County is about a three-hour drive from Los Angeles.
Vina Robles Winery is a small winery in Paso Robles with a Swiss style of excellence. Then make your way over to the Cass Winery, also in Paso Robles, for a lunch that you will not forget. They offer lunch that you can eat outside in the garden under the trellis.
The Eberle Winery offers gourmet lunch with a reservation, a wide variety of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah, Zinfandel, and more. Wild Horse Winery in Templeton offers a unique experience then drive over the grade into southern San Luis Obispo County.
Like the rest of the Central Coast, the wine grapes were first planted in this area in the 1880’s but did not become known for it until recently. Produced in Edna Valley and the Arroyo Grande Valley is a variety of wines, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Edna Valley is a beautiful area where you can be close to the town’s amenities and yet feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere. There are bed and breakfasts and numerous places to stay if you get caught up on your day trip and need a place to stay for the night.
The Laetitia Winery named one of Wall Street Journal’s Best Buy wine, is situated right on Highway 101 just south of Arroyo Grande and offers breathtaking views of the area along with tasting room that is open daily
From there it is an easy drive into Santa Barbara County and the growing number of wineries there.
If you prefer to stay on Highway 101, the wineries will be found from Los Alamos through the Santa Ynez Valley. The Fess Parker Winery is in Los Olivos, also known for the Michael Jackson Ranch.
There are hundreds of wineries to choose from. The drive is spectacular, especially after some good rains when the hills turn a deep green and everything looks so alive.