The Best Wineries in San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo wine country is what Napa might have been like before it went mainstream: pre-pretension and busloads of tourists. The SLO winemaking region is home to two distinct appellations: the Arroyo Grande Valley and the Edna Valley -- the latter of which happens to be the coolest appellation in all of California.

What sets SLO wine country apart from Paso Robles, Santa Barbara and Napa is its proximity to the ocean. In fact, no winery in San Luis Obispo is more than 5 miles from the coast. The marine layer burns off at the same time every day, and afternoons bring cool, briny ocean breezes. Grapes, especially pinot noir, thrive in this type of climate.

Wines produced here are pretty darn delicious. Whites are fragrant and full-bodied, reds are energetic and fruit-forward, and both feature that vibrant minerality synonymous with wines produced here. The gorgeous beachfront tasting rooms, rolling hills and unfettered hospitality don’t hurt either.

There are definitely some SLO wineries worth seeking out. Here are our recommendations for the five best wineries in San Luis Obispo.

Laetitia Vineyard & Winery

453 Laetitia Vineyard Dr

Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

(805) 481-1772

Reservations: Required for groups of 8 or more

The only thing better than Laetitia Vineyard’s ocean views is the wine. Their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are well-liked, although the vineyard initially earned its reputation thanks to its sparkling wines. VP of Production and Sparkling Winemaker Dave Hickey is trained in Méthode Champenoise winemaking by French traditionalists and uses Coquard grape presses -- the only two of their kind in North America.

Laetitia is one of the first SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice) vineyards by the Central Coast Vineyard Team. The vineyard makes significant efforts to practice sustainability, adhering to

environmentally safe, economically sustainable farming methods, and reusing compost and water. They even let their resident herd of goats loose in the vineyards instead of using herbicides.

Uncork a bottle and post up in their picnic area. Play a few rounds of bocce ball. Or, if you can, follow the walking trails for Insta-worthy ocean views.


Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards

1947 See Canyon Rd

San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

(805) 595-9700

Reservations: Not required

This vineyard boasts acres of vines… and apples! Standard SLO wines like Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are to be expected, but Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards also offers cider and apple wine too.

Kelsey is a family-run operation. Tasting staff is approachable, and the wines aren’t stuffy, so you’ll feel welcome and be able to enjoy yourself, no matter your level of wine tasting expertise. After your tasting, stroll along the grounds adjacent to See Canyon Creek. Keep an eye out for the peacocks who call the vineyard home.

Saturdays and Sundays at Kelsey typically call for live music and food.


Saucelito Canyon Tasting Room

3080 Biddle Ranch Rd

San Luis Obispo, CA 92401

(805) 543-2111

Reservations: Not required

Saucelito Canyon Vineyard’s tasting room may not be near the actual vineyard -- that’s in the Arroyo Grande Valley -- but they’ve got a pretty great set up and some pretty great wine, so it’s worth a stop.

The family-run operation’s claim to fame is dry-farmed, old-vine Zinfandel, planted in 1880. Their aptly-named flagship 1880 Zinfandel goes against the grain of typical California Zins: it’s lighter, more floral and boasts a sparkling minerality.

Saucelito Canyon’s tasting room is in the picturesque Edna Valley. Enjoy your wine tasting with cheese outside on the patio or lawn.


Sinor-Lavallee Wines

550 1st St

Avila Beach, CA 93424

(805) 459-9595

Reservations: Not required

Sinor-Lavallee is known for their mineral-driven pinot gris and full-bodied pinot noir that offers a fruit-forward palate with notes of black pepper, spice and rich earth. Their bright, open tasting room is just a block from the ocean in downtown Avila Beach.

Or, if you’d prefer a wine tasting experience, consider visiting Sinor-Lavallee’s Bassi Vineyard, their estate vineyard positioned just 1.2 miles from the Pacific. Wine tastings at Bassi Vineyard are by appointment only.


Tolosa Estate Wines

4910 Edna Rd

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 782-0500

Reservations: Required for groups of 6 or more with 2 weeks notice

Vintner Robin Baggett had dreams of owning a cattle ranch when he moved here 40 years ago, but once he realized the Valley’s potential, he decided to pursue winemaking instead. Today, Tolosa Estate Wines creates some of the best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in the Edna Valley.

Tolosa’s vineyard, Edna Ranch, boasts six growing regions and more than 60 different soil types, each lending itself to distinctive, remarkable wines. This is the kind of stuff only nature can create.