San Luis Obispo County and Edna Valley specifically are famous for leading a California revolution in wine production and wine tasting. This huge boom in the viticulture industry has created a culture of locals and tourists who demand excellence from the product being poured into their glass at every occasion. Wine to pair with meals, wine to pair with snacks, wine for relaxing at home—there’s demand for it all! One of the most popular and sought after varietals is Pinot Noir, which had its fame elevated in the movie Sideways, ever connecting it to the Central Coast as well. With so much buzz about this delicious grape, we’re here to feature some of the best bottles of Pinot you can find at the Edna Valley Wineries!
1. Wolff Vineyards: 2015 Pinot Noir
Wolff’s 2015 Pinot Noir was recently recognized by Wine Enthusiast with a 91 point rating, but it doesn’t take an award in a magazine to shed light on the delicious creation that Wolff has put out. You can pair this versatile red with fish, steak, a multitude of cheeses, or just enjoy it solo as you relax on a patio (maybe even theirs—we heard there are dogs)! Regardless of the setting, this is a palate pleaser for sure, and we recommend stocking up while you still can to enjoy the good times as they roll out of the bottle.
2. Talley Vineyards: Rincon Pinot Noir
Talley Vineyards is known for their diverse array of robust products, as well as having an award winning staff at their tasting room. That said, we want to specifically highlight the Rincon Pinot Noir as the can’t-miss bottle to take home from an afternoon of wine tasting at their property! With a complex taste throughout this full-bodied 2016 Vintage, each sip is sure to remind you of the rich history of Talley and this wine specifically:
“The Rincon Vineyard is the home vineyard where Don Talley planted the first vines of Talley Vineyards in 1982 and where the winery is located. Consisting of two hillsides rising from the floor of the Arroyo Grande Valley, the clay calcareous soils of the West Rincon Vineyard yield wines with distinctive mineral and iron notes.”
We think now is a good time to be a history buff!
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3. Chamisal Vineyards: 2016 Chamisal Califa Pinot Noir
Chamisal Vineyards keeps producing excellent reds, and the 2016 Califa Pinot is no exception! With its classical Chamisal Spice, it has notes of cherry and bittersweet chocolate, contributing to a finished product that you’ll come back to over and over. One of their flagship wines in an already-rich collection, this wine is meant to be enjoyed with the things you love most: friends, family, the great outdoors—really whatever setting you want to have made more memorable by the accompaniment of greatness. If you haven’t had a chance to treat yourself to some award-winning California red, we recommend heading to down to Chamisal to have a taste. As a bonus, you can visit their sister Rosé tasting room, Malene— we’ll make a recommendation exception for the lighter stuff because we’re huge fans :)
4. Tolosa Winery: 1772 Pinot Noir
Pinot Noirs are often thought of as heavy-hitters, and the 1772 from Tolosa lives up to that reputation. The intense array of flavors provides a depth to this rich red that will leave you pining for more, and this vintage is often seasonally limited, so make sure to stock up when you pay them a visit! I’ve always thought of the 1772 as a standalone superstar—something where it can pair with any meal, but might even deserve all the attention as a glass on its own. I’ve personally shared bottles with my family for the holidays, and it’s always an impressive gift that inevitably returns some of its value to the giver. In any case, while we wanted to recommend all the incredible pinots at Tolosa (we’ll sneakily name-drop the Stone Lion), this was ultimately our pick for you to grab while you can!
The list could go on and on—Edna Valley is a hub of pinot noir production, and each of the wineries has a great take on the vintage. We hope that you try these recommendations, but more importantly, curate your own love for the varietal and can recommend some of your own to interested parties. We look to celebrate pinot noir every day possible, and this list is a great place to start. Cheers!