Wine

So many great Central Coast wines, so little time. What a beautiful conundrum.

We invite you to join us in the quest to try them all and learn with us along the way.

We provide unpretentious tools for learning more about wine without the intimidation factor, from enjoying your first trip to a tasting room to exploring the ins and out of wine clubs and which one fit your needs best, and learning more about the making-process and the people who make it all possible.

And all written from our perspective as continuing students in the world of enology (we passed our Intro Level Sommelier test in 2017) and our desire to share the wonders of wine with you.

Our articles explore wine through different lenses. Tasting Notes are brief impressions from visits to tasting rooms. Winery Spotlight stories go more in-depth with the process and the people. Winemaker Focus articles introduce you the winemakers, their journeys, and their passion for creating wine. And all written from our perspective as continuing students in the world of enology and our desire to share the wonders of wine with you.

Wine Special Features:

Resources & Guides

  • (Coming Soon) The Great Flavors Central Coast Wine Trail  Map
  • (Coming Soon) The Great Flavors Central Coast Wine Guide

Videos

Articles & Reviews

  • Wine Safari 2018 – Wine Tasting Gone Wild (with Animals)

    Feature Video: Wine Safari 2018 What happens when you mix beautiful animals from Conservation Ambassadors’ Zoo to You program with the scenic and friendly Paso Robles 46 West Wineries, add some wine tasting, and bunch of fun, like-minded people from the Central Coast? The Wine Safari, that’s what! Over the weekend of March 3-4, 16 […]

  • Winemaker Focus: Mary Bradley (ila and Gra Wines)

    Feature Video: Winemaker Mary Bradley With practiced eyes, Mary Bradley scans the clusters of Zinfandel grapes as they toddle down the sorting table. She plucks those that don’t match the quality she’s looking for—grape size, ripeness, ratio of fruit to stem—and tosses them aside into a waiting bucket. Seemingly random and nonchalant to our untrained […]

  • Saucelito Canyon Vineyard Tasting Notes (Edna Valley AVA)

    The Flavor Team visited Saucelito Canyon Vineyard in the Edna Valley AVA a couple times over the past few months, and we have a lot to share. The bonus for you? More wines to explore from the wine-tasting lists for 2017 and 2018, and a sneak peak of their newest vintages—the 2015 wines were just […]

  • El Lugar – The Place for Perfect Pinot in SLO

    Winemaker Coby Parker-Garcia focuses solely on Pinot Noir at El Lugar (which means “the place” in Spanish). Tucked into a commercial area on Fiero Lane in SLO, the jewel box of a tasting room is open by appointment, and they open for tastings various weekends during the year. The minute you walk through the door, […]

  • Autry Cellars: Orchestrating Wine from Bin to Bottle

    Feature Video Have you ever opened yourself up to a new experience, unsure of how it might turn out but willing to look past first impressions, to allow the more significant aspects to surface? This is the fun that awaits you with a visit to Autry Cellars. If a jet flies overhead on approach to […]

  • Wine Wednesday: Focus on SLO (v1.0)

    So many good places to enjoy wine in SLO, so little time. Here’s help narrowing the choices with some you may not have tried yet, plus one of our Flavorites. Refugio Ranch Tucked away in an industrial area of SLO near Tank Farm Road and Broad Street at 696 Clarion Ct., Refugio Ranch showcases the […]

  • Quiz Time: Animal Magnetism (wonderful winery animals of the Central Coast)

    With so many great wineries along the Central Coast, you know it can be hard to pick which one to visit.  Instead of the usual criteria—AVA, area, grape, style, membership—how about creating your next wine-tasting itinerary based on the four-legged welcomers at several wineries? Here are a few of our favorite winery personalities. Test your […]

  • Tasting Notes: HammerSky Vineyards (Paso Robles AVA)

    Over the weekend, the Flavor Team took a trip up to Paso Robles to try some new wines.  As we continue our studies of wines around the world (we share a bit of our European Wine Class experience at Cal Poly in this article), we are learning more about Bordeaux, France. Bordeaux is famous for […]

  • Winery Wanderings: Balistreri Vineyards [Denver, Colorado]

    The Flavor Team seeks out wine-related experiences whenever we travel. Winery Wanderings shares our adventures to wineries beyond the California Central Coast. Tucked away in an unpretentious North Denver neighborhood lies a little gem: Balistreri Vineyards.  Surrounded by industrial properties, the oasis built by the Balistreri family starting in the 1900s includes its winery, tasting […]

  • Barrels in the Plaza brings wine, education, food, and fun to SLO Wine Country

       Where else can you try wines from nearly 30 Central Coast wineries, enjoy specially paired small plates from almost two dozen of the top SLO restaurants and caterers, learn about winemaking from two masters, and experience a delightful evening at the historic Mission in downtown San Luis Obispo? Roll Out the Barrels: Building on Strong […]

  • 4×2 Passport to SLO Wine Country: wine tasting and more on the Central Coast

    Wine tasting = fun, yes? So, what’s even more fun than wine tasting? How about wine tasting + special tours, food, events, open houses, games, and festivities = two great flavor-filled days! Passport to Exploration Feature Video On the Friday and Saturday following Barrels in the Plaza 2017, the 4×2 Passport to SLO Wine Country […]

  • Roll Out the Barrels 2017: Three SLO Days of Celebrating Summer and Central California Coastal Wines

    Like a good vintage wine, the SLO Wine Country Association’s annual “Roll Out the Barrels” festival has aged well and continues to improve with time. While we think of the vibrant Central Coast wine region and its ever-increasing reach and recognition as always being so, there was a time before AVAs and before the quality […]

  • Quick Tour: Tolosa Winery [it’s all about the experience]

    There’s more new at Tolosa Winery than this year’s vintages. This Edna Valley AVA winery has its eye on an even higher level of quality in every aspect of the operation. A few months ago, the Flavor Team had the opportunity to attend our first World of Pinot Noir event and the Edna Valley Collective […]

  • Good Chemistry: Monterey Wine Company (High Touch + High Tech)

    Blending  client focus, high tech, and high touch to create great wines Feature Video “My name is Rohit.” He pauses, carefully placing three wine glasses in front of him on the Formica-topped table. “And I am a wine chemist.” With these six words, we know we are in the right place. And where, exactly, is that? […]

  • SpringFest: Wolff Vineyards and Beda’s Biergarten pair great German food and Edna Valley wine*

    *including the elusive Teroldego On April 2, Wolff Vineyards and Beda’s Biergarten paired up for pairings of a deliciously different sort at SpringFest 2017. Held at the lovely Wolff Vineyards, perched on the side of a hill with an unobstructed view of the Edna Valley, the event drew a good crowd. From young couples to […]

  • Photo Essay: Talley Vineyards Spring Fling — March 26, 2017

    It’s the coastal breeze that encourages Talley Vineyards’ Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to express their character as they transition from vine to bottle, and that same breeze welcomed participants lucky enough to find themselves at the Spring Fling, held March 26 at Talley Vineyards. Dotted with tables holding flights of Talley Vineyards wines and signature […]

  • Winemaker Focus: Stephen Ross Dooley | Stephen Ross Wine Cellars

    Feature Video: Winemaker Stephen Ross Dooley It’s a long way from Mankato, Minnesota, to the Central Coast of California, but Stephen Ross Dooley harnessed the tailwinds of passion and heeded the pull of the grapes. Here’s what happens when the whisper of a passion becomes the clear voice of a life aligned with purpose. “Turning […]

  • Around the World with Pinot Noir: Experiencing the Edna Valley Collective Dinner at WOPN, March 3, 2017

    The singular event that drew us to our first WOPN, like Monarch butterflies seeking the eucalyptus groves south of Pismo, was the Edna Valley Collective Dinner: six courses, masterfully created by Brian Collins, chef at Ember in Arroyo Grande, to pair perfectly with Pinot Noir wines from six Edna Valley AVA wineries: Claiborne & Churchill, […]

  • Tasting Notes: Tablas Creek Vineyard

    Winery: Tablas Creek Vineyard, www.tablascreek.com Tasting Date: November 19, 2016; December 31, 2016 Wine AVA: Paso Robles Varietals: Rhone. Reds: Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache, and Counoise. Whites: Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Picpoul. Great Flavors Winery Spotlight story: Tablas Creek Vineyard The complexity and depth of Tablas Creek wines is readily apparent. However, it is very […]

  • Wine and Animals – 46 West Wine Safari, February 12, 2017

    I saw a “Wine Safari” poster on Instagram late Saturday last week and I was instantly interested. I thought, “who does not like wine and animals,” right? As the last day of the event was the next day, I emailed the 46 West Wineries event host and asked how to get tickets and what animals were […]

  • Tasting Notes: Biddle Ranch Vineyard

    A recent tasting at the new beautiful tasting room for the Biddle Ranch Vineyard included six wines — three whites and three reds — starting with Sauvingon Blanc 2014 and finishing with Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. Winery: Biddle Ranch Vineyard, www.biddleranch.com Tasting Date: December 18, 2016 Wine AVA: Edna Valley Varietals:  Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pinot  Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah. […]

  • SLO Restaurant Month and Go Local Wine Deals: Just the Ticket to Flavor-up January Doldrums

    I love staying at home and eating the same old dinners and drinking cheap bottles of gift wine. Said no one ever. Is the post-holiday January hum-drum getting you down? Can’t wait for longer days and warmer weather? Here’s just the thing to get back to the sunny side: food, wine, specials, and celebrating our […]

  • Winery Spotlight: Talley Vineyards

    If the Rincon Adobe’s walls could talk, they’d tell stories of families, farming, and community . Winery: Talley Vineyards Wine AVA: Arroyo Grande, Edna Valley Varietals: Reds: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot. Whites: Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc.   Valley of History   When I called Talley Vineyards to inquire […]

  • Winery Spotlight: Tablas Creek Vineyard

    Featured Video: Winery Spotlight – Tablas Creek Vineyard What do the Rhone region of France and the western edges of Paso Robles have in common? Quite a lot, it turns out. Winery: Tablas Creek Vineyard Wine AVA: Paso Robles Varietals: Rhone (Reds: Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache, and Counoise. Whites: Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Picpoul.) […]