Chairs on the grass at a winery in San Luis Obispo and Edna Valley beyond.
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5 Best San Luis Obispo Wineries To Visit In California’s Edna Valley

Visiting the San Luis Obispo wineries in Edna Valley is a great time, sampling delicious wines that are crisp and delightful to the palate. The Edna Valley wineries can be found between volcanic rolling hills and the nearby Pacific Ocean making it a unique wine tasting destination.

There might not be as many wineries in San Luis Obispo as in other wine regions of California but that doesn’t mean you should overlook them.

A cute sign that says tasting room leading to one of the best San Luis Obispo wineries in California.

Even if you are from California, you may not be familiar with the SLO wineries and the top wines they produce. But don’t worry, use this guide to discover the best wineries in Edna Valley in planning your next wine tasting getaway!

Note: San Luis Obispo is commonly referred to by the letters SLO.

Where Is San Luis Obispo’s Edna Valley?

For those that have never visited San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo is located on California’s Central Coast minutes away from the Pacific Ocean.

If you are looking at a map, San Luis Obispo is pretty much in the middle between Los Angeles and San Francisco making it a great weekend escape.

San Luis Obispo is surrounded by several fun areas to explore such as Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, and Morro Bay.

Standing between two rows of grapes growing on the vines at one of the best Edna Valley wineries in California.

Edna Valley is located in San Luis Obispo at the southern part of SLO bordering Arroyo Grande.

There are approximately 20 wineries in Edna Valley covering 22,000 acres of farms and vineyards.

Tip: For those that want to do additional wine tasting after experiencing Edna Valley, explore 9 Best Wineries in Paso Robles, California!

How To Get To San Luis Obispo

As previously mentioned, you can either drive from Los Angeles or San Francisco taking a scenic road trip to San Luis Obispo.

Or if you would like to fly directly into San Luis Obispo, the airport is:

San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP)

But if you are looking for the best flight deals and options, consider flying into LA or SF.

The best airports to fly into are:

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Red grapes growing among grape leaves on a vine at a vineyard in San Luis Obispo's Edna Valley.

Once you land, get your rental car and be on your way! You do need a rental car if you don’t have your own to get to San Luis Obispo and see the surrounding area. Drive times are roughly:

Paso Robles – 30 minutes or 28 miles

San Diego – 5.5 hours or 314 miles (5 if coming from North County SD).

Los Angeles – 3.0 to 3.5 hours or 200 miles

San Jose – 3.0 hours or 188 miles

San Francisco – 3.0 to 3.5 hours or 220 miles

Check The Best Rates And Book Your Car Rental Car Today!

Where To Stay In San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo has a very cute downtown area that is the perfect place to stay and use as your base to explore the nearby Edna Valley wineries.

The top places to stay in San Luis Obispo are:

Hotel Cerro – in downtown SLO

Hotel San Luis Obispo – in downtown SLO

Granada Hotel & Bistro – in downtown SLO

San Luis Creek Lodge – a short walk from downtown SLO

Madonna Inn – a few minutes from downtown with each room having an over-the-top themed décor.

A stunning view of Edna Valley and vineyards through the large window at a tasting room at Edna Valley Vineyard.

What Types Of Edna Valley Wines Can I Try?

Each wine region is known for specializing in specific grape varietals and wine tasting in San Luis Obispo is no different.

Due to its close proximity to the ocean (5.0-miles), Enda Valley is the coolest wine region in California.

The cool sea breeze makes it the ideal climate for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals.

Looking out over a vineyard with Islay Hill in the background in Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo.

Although you are most likely to sip Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, you may also try Riesling, Viognier, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah wines too.

The soil in Edna Valley is volcanic mixed with clay, shale, and sand from the nearby coast.

Winemaking in this region has been done since the 1800s by the local Franciscans of Mission San Luis Obispo.

The vineyards you know today started planting in the 1970s with tasting rooms in Edna Valley opening up in the 1990s.

Red grapes tucked between grape leaves on a vine in SLO.

On top of serving excellent wines, each Edna Valley winery listed has an idyllic setting with the perfect ambiance for a relaxing day of wine tasting!

And for those that want to make their passion for wine into a career, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has three majors centered on the wine industry. If only they had had these majors when I went there…

Note: As you visit the various SLO wineries, keep your eye out for Islay Hill. Islay Hill is the last volcanic hill or cone in the chain of Nine Sisters starting in Morro Bay.

San Luis Obispo Wine Tours

San Luis Obispo Winery Tour – Prefer not driving as you taste your way through the best wineries in Edna Valley? You can pick which wineries you wish to visit with transportation!

Central Coast Tour – If you want to try a little wine tasting in combination with seeing other top attractions in the area, book this customized tour!

Close up view of one row of grape vines in Edna Valley, CA.

Map Of San Luis Obispo Wineries

Trip map created with Wanderlog, an itinerary planner on iOS and Android

Best SLO Wineries To Visit In Edna Valley

1. Tolosa Winery

In 1988, Robin Baggett, Bob Schiebelhut, and Jim Efird founded Tolosa Winery with their knowledge of the area and a passion for making good wine.

For those that are familiar with wineries in Napa, Robin and his wife Michelle Baggett opened Alpha Omega in 2006. It is an exceptional winery that is worth a stop!

Tolosa Vineyards has been serving exceptional wines to the public since 1998 and is known for its superb Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The front sign and entrance to Tolosa Winery in Edna Valley, California.

The beautiful stone columns and wood arch walking into Tolosa Winery.

I personally don’t like Chardonnay but Tolosa has converted me. I was pleasantly shocked to enjoy their Chardonnay’s with my favorite, the Pure Chardonnay.

Until this tasting, I had never understood why I don’t like most Chardonnay and learned that the Pure Chardonnay is fermented and aged in a stainless steel tank.

The lovely wine tasting patio at Tolosa Winery.

Sipping the delicious Pure Chardonnay with a water feature on the patio at Tolosa Vineyard in San Luis Obispo.

Most Chardonnay’s you will try are aged in oak barrels. The Pure Chardonnay in contrast truly tastes pure with a crisp and smooth finish that is perfect on a hot day.

Tolosa has a variety of Pinot Noir wines to try with the 1772 series a popular choice. 1772 series of wines refers to the year that the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded.

Walking through the outdoor tasting area with pretty trees, tables and chairs.

Rows of grapes growing at Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo's Edna Valley.

Of the Pinot Noir wines, I recommend trying the 1772 Stone Lion Pinot Noir and the Gunsalus Pinot Noir.

Although they have an indoor tasting room, opt for the beautiful outdoor tasting patio with rows of grapes in the distance for an idyllic setting.

Note: The tasting fee is waived if you join the wine club.

Hours: Open daily from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Reservations are required in advance.

2. Edna Valley Vineyard

Recognized as one of the top San Luis Obispo wineries and one of the most established in the valley.

Edna Valley Vineyards was founded by vineyard developer Jack Niven who started growing grapes in 1980. Since then, Edna Valley Vineyard was sold to Gallo in 2011.

The beautiful and spacious indoor tasting room at Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, California.

Sampling a Pinot Noir looking out at the pretty Edna Valley outside.

The tasting room has a stunning view of the vineyard and Edna Valley through its large windows that span the entire side of the building. It really is a breathtaking view to sip incredible wines!

If the weather is nice, opt to take your wine outside and kick back in one of the chairs on the grass with the same epic views.

The outdoor patio with couches, tables and umbrellas at Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, California.

A solo chair with a small side table on the grass looking out over the valley at Edna Valley Vineyard.

The wine options will focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but you may taste a Sauvignon Blanc, a Meritage, or a delicious red blend.

The Chardonnay is quite good with hints of peach and apple adding to its crisp flavor. The Chardonnay grape was the first varietal planted and their focus from the start.

Looking out at the stunning view of Edna Valley through the large windows at the Edna Valley Vineyard tasting room.

Lounge chairs on the front lawn looking out at the breathtaking view of Edna Valley at Edna Valley Vineyard in SLO.

As I am partial to red wines, my favorites are the Winemaker Series Pinot Noir, the Reserve Pinot Noir, and the Winemaker Series Meritage. All excellent wines!

Notes: There are cheese and charcuterie boards for purchase but subject to availability. If you join the wine club, your tasting is waived.

Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Reservations are required in advance.

3. Biddle Ranch Vineyard

Biddle Ranch Vineyard is one of the newest wineries on this list opening its doors in 2012.

The tasting room is set in a luxury white barn house that makes for a great photo backdrop with rows of grapes beyond.

The outdoor patio is very inviting with comfy chairs and tables beneath olive trees that sway whimsically in the breeze.

The front entrance to the tasting room and fountain in front at Biddle Ranch Vineyard in San Luis Obispo. CA.

Tasting a Pinot Noir sitting under the olive trees at Biddle Ranch Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Sitting out at the outdoor patio tasting room with couches, chairs, tables, and olive trees at Biddle Ranch in SLO.

For those that enjoy a chilled white wine, sample a Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay although I preferred the Chardonnay for its fruity aromas and great taste.

Coming in the summer of 2022, Biddle Ranch will be introducing a Rosé to the mix!

The top reds to sip are Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Evviva, and Akubra. Akubra is a red blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, and Merlot that is quite pleasing.

A delicious cheese and charcuterie box with local ingredients from SLO and California.

View of the charming luxury white barn house tasting room from the outdoor patio at Biddle Ranch Vineyard in Edna Valley, CA.

Looking down between two rows of vines growing at Biddle Ranch.

A close up view of yellow colored grapes growing on the vine at Biddle Ranch in SLO.

The name Akubra is Australian for “cattlemen’s hat” and pays homage to Australia where winemaker Ryan Deovlet learned his craft before coming back to California.

And if you are planning a party or wedding at Biddle Ranch or just wish to stay at a winery, there is a rustic yet modern Vineyard House that sleeps 12!

Notes: Tasting fee waived with a purchase of 2 bottles. You can buy a delicious cheese and charcuterie box sourced with local cheeses, meats, nuts, and more (subject to availability).

Hours: Open Thursday – Monday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Reservations are required and can be made on the Open Table app.

4. Baileyana Vineyard

Visiting Baileyana Vineyard feels like you have stepped back in time as the tasting room is in a historic 1909 schoolhouse.

Known as Independence Schoolhouse, this quaint tasting room has a cheery vibe with its bright yellow exterior on a slight hill that allows for excellent views.

On a nice day, grab a chair on one of the patios and take in Islay Hill and the valley of Edna Valley.

A pretty pale orange pumpkin on top of a wine barrel that has Baileyana etched into it.

Chairs on the lawn to sit and enjoy wine and the views of Edna Valley from Baileyana in San Luis Obispo, CA.

The cute and historic yellow schoolhouse that is now the tasting room for Baileyana Vineyard in Edna Valley, CA.

Baileyana got its name from the Acacia Baileyana trees that can be found along the Central Coast of California.

This charming winery has been making wines in Edna Valley for over 35 years and is known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

You will have the opportunity to try a larger assortment of wines not only from Baileyana but from their sister wineries, Tangent, True Myth, and Zocker.

A close up view of the Baileyana logo on a glass with red wine in it.

Holding a glass of Pinot Noir with a wine barrel and Islay Hill in the background at Baileyana Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, California.

In Baileyana’s selection of wines, you can sample grape varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

From Tangent, try an Albarino or Sauvignon Blanc and from True Myth choose from a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a collection of different red blends.

I enjoyed all the wines I drank but the Albarino (white) was my favorite especially as it was on a warm day.

On weekends you might get the opportunity to listen to live music and get a bite to eat at a food truck!

Note: Tasting fee waived with a $65 purchase of wine.

Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Reservations are recommended.

5. Chamisal Vineyards

Chamisal Vineyards is located in a picturesque setting with stunning views of the vineyard and Edna Valley. And it was the first vineyard to plant grapes in the valley back in 1973.

As with all the San Luis Obispo wineries listed, Chamisal focuses on producing stellar Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.

Sitting out on the outdoor patio at Chamisal with tables, umbrellas, and wine barrels.

Wine barrels piled on top of each other forming a wall on one side of the patio at Chamisal Vineyards in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Covering 82 acres and three different soil types, Chamisal prides itself on using sustainable practices in its vineyard operations.

Although I liked both, between the Estate Chardonnay and Califa Chardonnay, I preferred the Estate Chardonnay a little more.

Each Pinot Noir is good with the Estate Pinot Noir winning my vote. I also enjoyed sipping the Cinq a Sept which is a red Grenache blend.

Two glasses of different Pinot Noir on a table at Chamisal Vineyards in Edna Valley, CA.

Looking at the rows of vines growing at Chamisal Vineyards in SLO.

Notes: The wine tasting fee is waived with a purchase of 2 bottles.

Tips: If you have a love for Rosé, head next door to Chamisal’s sister winery at Malene Wines. You can sip various Rosé from a vintage airstream trailer (seasonal)!

And if you are wine tasting in Oregon’s Willamette Valley stop in at Archery Summit. It is part of the same wine group and one of my favorites for Pinot Noir!

Hours: Open Wednesday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Thursday – Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and closed on Monday & Tuesday. Reservations are required in advance.

Tips For Wine Tasting In San Luis Obispo

  • It is recommended to make a reservation for a tasting as most wineries require it.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle to fill up and keep you hydrated all day!
  • All of these wineries are within minutes from each other in Edna Valley.
  • Some wineries offer food for sale, but if the weather is nice bring your own lunch and have a picnic at wineries that allow it.
  • Bring sunscreen as it can get sunny and hot, especially in the summer months.
  • If you are new to wine tasting ask questions! That way you can learn what wines you may enjoy the most.
  • Just in case you spill wine, opt for wearing darker-colored clothes that won’t show!
  • If you plan to visit many wineries, consider spitting out or only taking a sip. Don’t feel the need to finish a wine you don’t like. And that way you can last longer…
  • Hold your wine glass by the stem. If you hold it by the round bowl part of the glass, the warmth of your body may alter the taste.
  • Almost all the wineries don’t have mass distribution. So, if you try a wine you love, buy it!
  • Most wineries offer wine by the glass or bottle in case you don’t want to try an assortment.

Walking down a path lined with olive trees at a winery in San Luis Obispo's Edna Valley.

FAQ For Visiting SLO Wineries

What Wine Is San Luis Obispo Known For?

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the two most common varietals of wine that you will find in San Luis Obispo’s Edna Valley.

You may sample Viognier, Riesling, Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and red blend wines too.

When Is The Best Time To Visit?

Any time of the year is ideal for wine tasting in San Luis Obispo’s Edna Valley. With its location near the coast, temperatures don’t vary too much throughout the year.

But if you are looking to enjoy the outdoor patios and great weather, the spring through fall months are best.

And don’t discount the winter months as there are plenty of great days even though this is the rainier season.

Is Food Served At Any Of The Wineries?

There are no restaurants on-site for any of the wineries listed. But most sell cheese and charcuterie boards/boxes and light snacks.

Enjoy wine tasting at the best San Luis Obispo wineries!

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28 Comments

  1. Vanessa you find the best spots! Visiting a bunch of San Luis Obispo Wineries sounds like a great way to explore this beautiful region!

    After doing so many wine tours in Canada, I am slightly surprised that they only waive the fees if you buy two bottles (or one of them was if you spend $65 on wine…) I have a feeling you would be shocked by how much cheaper it is to taste wine in Canada! 😀

    1. Thanks Josy! There are so many things to do in the area on top of wine tasting so a great place to visit. I’d love to go wine tasting in Canada! And even better if the prices were cheaper too. 🙂

  2. Sounds like some great winery choices in San Luis Obispo. I’d especially love to visit Edna Valley. It looks so classy and inviting!

    1. Wine tasting in Edna Valley is a lot of fun as each winery has such beautiful grounds and ambiance! 🙂

  3. We enjoyed a visit to San Luis Obispo but missed the chance to go wine tasting when we were there. We would probably be looking to try the less popular Riesling, Grenache and Viognier wines. I like the idea of a wine tour so I don’t have to worry about driving. We will definitely plan a return visit for several days with lots of winery spots.

    1. Wine tasting is newer in San Luis Obispo compared to other wine regions in CA so it is a fun addition to visiting the Central Coast area. I agree, Viognier and Grenache are excellent wines to try. Having someone else drive is always nice so that you don’t have to worry about what you can or can’t drink. 🙂

  4. Wine lover here! So I really appreciate this article and all the information that you gathered. I would probably stay longer and visit them all, so I could choose my personal favorite!

    1. Yay to wine lovers! I’m glad you found it helpful on visiting the different wineries in San Luis Obispo. I hope you get the chance to try them one day. 🙂

  5. These wineries look awesome! My husband went to school in Santa Barbara so he used to visit SLO often, but I’ve still yet to visit. I’ll have to keep these wineries in mind the next time we visit! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. How cool! When I went to Cal Poly we would go down to Santa Barbara sometimes. Another cool college town. Yes, definitely add these to your list when you visit San Luis Obispo next time! 🙂

  6. San Luis Obispo looks like a great place to taste wines, and it’s not the usual local too – like Napa and Paso Robles. You have some beautiful photos on here too. This is my type of trip!

    1. Thanks Erin! Yes, wine tasting in SLO is definitely less known but is still an awesome experience with great wines. I’m glad you enjoyed reading about the different wineries and hope you get the chance to visit! 🙂

  7. San Luis Obispo wineries in Edna Valley looks and sounds like the perfect getaway! I love this area…so beautiful! Greatly appreciate the comprehensive guide.

    1. Thanks Karen! Edna Valley is a very pretty area with great wineries to choose from. The Central Coast has a lot of things to see and do which makes it a great destination. 🙂

  8. We recently visited Napa and had a great time. We have been dreaming of moving to Cali and buying a vineyard. Great post that has me dreaming even more as this area is a bit more approachable price wise than Napa.

    1. That would be so exciting to own a vineyard! Yes, I’d imagine the prices would be lower than Napa. The wine country in San Luis Obispo is definitely a lovely area to enjoy. 🙂

  9. Must admit that I hadn’t heard of the San Luis Obispo wine region in California. However, seeing as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are my favourite wines, I know that I must visit one day. I think we’d do a wine tour so we could both taste all the diffferent wines!

    1. Compared to the other California wine regions it is much smaller and under the radar but has some great wines! Yes, you would enjoy wine tasting in Edna Valley if you like an excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir! 🙂

  10. What a great area to visit a few wineries! I would love to do a tour here one day and sample the different wines available.

    1. I hope you get the chance to visit San Luis Obispo and try the wines there one day! 🙂

  11. This is a part of California that I’ve not spent any time in. I’ve read some of your other posts about these parts as well, and really need to get over there sometime – especially if there are wine tours!

    1. The Central Coast is such a beautiful area of California and has tons of fun activities, especially anything outdoors. I hope you get the chance to sip these great wines one day! 🙂

    1. They are such beautiful wineries with fantastic wines and great Pinot Noir choices that you would enjoy! 🙂

  12. Chamisal Vineyards would probably my choice, but looks like there are plenty more vineyards to explore in the area. I had never heard of San Luis Obispo, but I probably should’ve visited when I was living nearby in LA for a little while a long time ago.

    1. Chamisal Vineyards is beautiful and a great choice! The wineries in San Luis Obispo are fairly new in the last 10-20 years so they might not have been around when you lived there. Will be a great treat to come back for a visit and see how the area has changed! 🙂

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