The wineries along the central California coast produce fabulous wines for a few different reasons. To start with, grapes, a finicky fruit that won’t grow just anywhere, thrive in the pleasant weather. Both mild summers and winters mean a longer growing season, which means more flavorful grapes. This mild weather, coupled with complex soil diversity create a perfect growing area for juicy grapes bursting with flavor. In short, those juicy grapes produce critically acclaimed, award winning wines.
Consider visiting these 5 wineries to sample the extraordinary flavor!
5 Amazing Central Coast Wineries
1. Sunstone Winery
Sunstone winery credits the area’s mild winters and cool evenings for their intensely flavored grapes. Situated deep in central California, in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley, Sunstone invites guests to enjoy sample wines on their Provençal French courtyards or in their stone barrel-aging caves. Either way, Sunstone is voted Santa Ynez’s best winery, according to Yelp, Santa Barbara Independent and more.
2. Tablas Creek Winery
Tablas Creek features delicious Rhone-style wines grown in limestone-rich soil. In fact, these wines are so delicious that Forbes Magazine named Tablas Creek Winery one of the 4 essential wineries to tour in central California. The founders imported vineyard cuttings from various areas of France to be replanted in their California vineyard. After passing an intense 3 year quarantine, the cuttings were deemed free of disease and ready for planting at Tablas Creek.
The folks at Tablas Creek go the extra mile to ensure earth friendly, sustainable farming practices. For example, sheep and alpaca herds help build healthy soils for the certified biodynamic vineyards. In addition, the grapes are hand-harvested and fermented using only native yeast. All of this results in critically acclaimed wines. Visit the tasting room and judge for yourself. Take a tour of the grapevine nursery and organic vineyard.
3. Fess Parker Winery
You may remember Fess Parker for his 1960’s portrayal of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, but Fess had other ambitions. He dreamed of purchasing a few acres to run cattle, plant a vineyard and run a small winery to pass on to his family. That dream became a reality when Fess Parker Winery was born. Fess and his family grew grapes on a vineyard in Los Olivos on their Foxen Canyon Ranch. They planted riesling grapes which flourished in the foggy Sta. Rita Hills climate.
Presently, the winery crew practices Fess Parker’s same standard of care today. The winery practices sustainable agriculture coupled with conservation of natural resources all they way through the wine-making process.
Call for wine tastings and reservations at the Fess Parker Wine Inn & Spa.
4. Firestone Winery
Santa Barbara’s first estate winery is located in central California near Los Olivos’s Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. Firestone Winery produce flavorful grapes in many varieties, partly due to the surrounding mountain’s east-to-west orientation. This shields the vineyards from harsh conditions and extends the growing season. All of this, combined with low mineral soil, work together to produce grapes that pop with flavor.
The winery’s tasting room, enclosed patio and beautiful picnic grounds make it a popular spot to visit. Additionally, Firestone invites club members to their Wine Club Lower Terrace Experience. Reservations required!
5. Broadside Winery
The founders of Broadside Winery approach making wines with the intent of showcasing the vine’s personality. Located in Paso Robles, Broadside highlights the propensity of Santa Ynez’s climate and soil to grow grapes that burst with flavor. You can tour the winery and taste the complexity of the wine.
As I mentioned before, grapes refuse to grow in many parts of the world. Hot temperatures cause premature ripening, ruining fruit and thwarting full development. On the other hand, frost damages young buds, potentially threatening their primary shoots. A perfect set of conditions must be met for grapes to grow and develop to their full potential. Central California offers those conditions. So, move over, France. California wines are a smash hit with critics and wine lovers everywhere – and for the price, they’re unbeatable.
So, what are you waiting for? Take a trip to the state’s central coast, and enjoy fabulous California wines.