This is why you need to go Wine Tasting in SLO
Tasting the Central Coast
Recently we stayed in our friends' home in Los Osos and partially explored the San Luis Obispo Region. We cannot wait to go back and check out the rest of the wineries and breweries in this area.
According to slowine.com there are 31 wineries in the region. This website is a great tool for planning a wine tasting trip; they have addresses & phone numbers of local wineries, a local map, list of tours and transportation options and more.
Our first stop was:
The Chardonnay and Syrah here were both amazing (in fact, we bought 6 bottles of each). We did a full tasting of their line-up and look forward to taking our bottles home to share with our friends.
The property was lovely with a space for their members featuring games and a unique assortment of bisected wine barrels that could hold succulents or other decor during special events.
Chamisal has a rescue cat on the property, named Tannin, he fends off all the "undesirables" on the property (rodents). We're sure his hard-work is a sign of gratitude for having been rescued from the streets.
Attached to the Chamisal brand, Malene features a range of Rosé. This cute property hosts a vintage trailer with couches, tables with bright orange umbrellas and expansive views of the growing grapes which eventually will ferment into more delicious wine.
The property also hosts a badminton/ volleyball court, for whichever is your game of choice. Laying on blankets and beach towels and taking advantage of the picnic space, our group felt as though we were in a Renoir painting.
When thinking of Malene's line-up, pool wine comes to mind. This wine is light, easy on the palate, pairs well with mild cheeses and salty meats, has less depth than other wines but is great for lounging outside on a warm day. Their trailer featured wine-on-tap, and Kara was able to pour some wine herself.
The staff was incredibly friendly and the ambiance was lovely making Malene a great winery to visit for an hour-or-so.
Unfortunately, the wine on property is quite pricey for the style so we did not purchase any bottles. However, they do sell their wine at Costco if you want to try some of their Rosé!
It's always a fun experience when someone in your party, "just can't wait" for you to check out their favorite place in town.
The picnic-style yard is adorned with succulent plants, low tables, high-tops, picnic tables and a large fire pit that was occupied by a retirement party during our visit.
Our experience was great. With the choice of drinking at an indoor or outdoor bar, we chose to sit outside. A high point of the experience was enjoying the snacks we brought while having the tastings come to us (It's always nice to not have to get up for wine every 2 ounces). Full-service wine sampling is the best!
It was clear the Saucelito team was educated on how to go out, pour tastings for their guests while clearly explaining each wine. This is great because it allows the guests to remain relaxed and simply enjoy the ambiance of the grounds.
Our friends are currently Saucelito members and graciously shared their wines with us. For the time being we have not joined their club, however their delicious, high-quality wines and excellent service may be a driving factor to join in the future.
A winery surrounded by gently rolling hills, the tasting area shoulders up to a barn that is home to 7 owls (two parents and five fluffy baby owls) ready to guard their precious land. Owls can hunt up to 42 moles a night - Impressive!
We asked if they knew the owls names or had any photos, unfortunately they did not. One of the tasting room staff is a biologist and showed us other photos of burrowing owls so we left satisfied, haha.
The tasting area has a beautiful array of strawberry trees - a dark, pink wood with spiky branches, which we had never heard of - have you ever seen strawberry trees before? We joked that there were apple bushes nearby.
As small business owners, we enjoy supporting the arts, local wineries, breweries and distilleries. Generally when we go wine tasting, if we do not join the club, we purchase a few bottles - at least one per person.
Kynsi is the Finnish word for talon and their gift shop held an array of cute owl photos, wine glasses and other knick-knacks for wine lovers.
Beautiful family owned property, you can see the tractors in the distance- reminding each guest of how much work goes into each bottle of wine they're enjoying on the sunny, flower friendly patio.
The home they used to live in is now the tasting room, while a giant castle next door is their current residence. We had a lovely experience in their garden area, enjoying the view as the staff came to our table with the next pours of wine in our tastings.
After a sampling of their wines, we decided to join the wine club. We felt Wolff offered the best price point for high-quality wine over any of the other wineries we were able to visit on our trip.
We look forward to Wolff's harvest barbecues and a series of other fun, wine filled events.
Luis Wine Bar
Located in downtown San Luis Obispo, we wanted to make a stop at the local wine bar to check out any great wines we may have missed out on. Also, after a day of only 2oz pours, it's nice to enjoy a full glass of wine. Luis Wine Bar has a cozy back patio, with a wooden bench lining the perimeter, you're surrounded by trees and can hear the nearby creek flowing beneath the deck.
We loved the bar's beer glassware and also that they served drinking water in re-purposed wine bottles. Using the bottom halves of wine bottles, we were impressed by the business's sense of 'up-cycling'. It also seemed that they used the top halves of those bottles as table decor.+ The indoor area is a very open-air setting, with a lounge sensibility. While we didn't have the desire to drink hard liquor at that moment, they seemed to have some interesting cocktail offerings as well.
Kara may be obsessed with small, furry animals and our friends knew of a spot in Morro Bay where the otters reside year round. If you go wine tasting in the San Luis Obispo area, this is a must see. Otters roll around in seaweed, sometimes wrapping themselves together so they don't drift apart. They are always holding their paws out of the water, it's the only part of their body that has the ability to get cold
Brian offered to make some Garlic Shrimp on the BBQ and accidentally purchased shrimp that had not been de-veined.
It took over an hour and Kara chose to drink wine, laugh and later enjoy the fruits of Brians labor.
Huge, misshapen, BBQ the oysters in the shell. Purchased at the local Farmer's Market, these oysters are unlike anything you will find outside of the local area. A little sweet and saline, perfect with a splash of lemon and pinch of garlic hot sauce
The Bakery - Pagnol Baywood
This adorable bakery has the best bread, hands down. We have tried to buy bread since enjoying theirs and nothing is comparable. Jalapeño & Cheese bread, Olive & Rosemary bread and apricot and raspberry tarts were potentially the best purchases we made all weekend. Located in a house, they run out of their products nearly every day & have minimal hours open. Don't miss out!
Wine and snacks is the best combo, amirite?
Often in wine country, there aren't a lot of food options and unless the winery is teamed up with a farmer, they have pretty basic cheese options. We like to find a local grocery shop, pick out 3-5 cheese, meats, hummus and other snacks, put them in a cooler and head out for the day.
A future blog is going to discuss the best cheeses to get for your wine country or brewery hopping adventure!
Blue Heron, Bill's house
We were invited to explore the property of restaurant Blue Heron Ranch. We sampled white strawberries (they taste like nature skittles!), raspberries, met the local chickens and our guide was a glorious German Shepherd. The owner is growing 100 different types of tomatoes to see which varietal grows the best, so impressive. Something fun he does is use hay bales as planters to avoid wasting water. Cute decor & great for the environment!
Staying in vs. Going out
We like to go out for lunch and then purchase locally sourced items (if possible) to make for dinner at home so we dont have to figure out our driving situation.
We grill chicken, salmon and/or steaks, zucchini (or whatever neat veggies we found at the farmers market) bake some red potatoes and always leave plenty of snacks out while everyone contributes in their own way in the kitchen.
Tiki boat tour
What are some of the wineries and breweries we are missing out on?