Winery Spotlight: Talley Vineyards

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Talley Vineyards Arroyo Grande California

If the Rincon Adobe’s walls could talk, they’d tell stories of families, farming, and community

Kara points the way to Talley Vineyards.

.

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.

Wine tasting with a view and a splash of education — all part of the fall season Harvest Tours at Talley Vineyards. Contact Talley Vineyards to reserve your insider tour of the winery, generally held late September through early October.

The historic Rincon Adobe anchors Talley Vineyards and the valley’s long traditional of agriculture. (Photo courtesy Talley Vineyards.)

Valley of History  
When I called Talley Vineyards to inquire about a tour, Lindsey Bateman, Sales and Marketing Assistant, asked just one question: when can you come visit? With that can-do attitude, we booked a tour for a sunny December Saturday morning. She suggested we do a tour followed by a wine tasting to get the full flavor of the winery.
As you drive up the lane to Talley Vineyards, which lies east of Arroyo Grande on the winding road to Lopez Lake, you see a handsome two-story red adobe building with a wraparound porch.

Nice enough, you think, but it’s just an old building. Right?

Wrong.

This is the Rincon Adobe — a dwelling that anchors not only Talley Vineyards but the history of the valley and the land that has helped feed generations of families. It’s no wonder that Talley Vineyards chose this image to represent its estate wines, and the continuing focus on family, farming, and community commitment that Oliver Talley began back in 1948.

Temo Cadena, Tasting Room Lead Attendant, begins the tour and mobile tasting by sharing Talley Vineyards’ sense of place.

As we walk into the bright, open tasting room with huge windows that frame the west Rincon vineyard and vegetable fields, we meet Temo Cadena, Tasting Room Lead Attendant. Temo will be our tour guide and tasting assistant today.

Temo shares that Talley Vineyards’ focus is primarily on chardonnay and pinot noir. “These grapes like cooler maritime weather and thrive in this climate. We also grow small quantities of reisling, sauvignon blanc, and syrah. For our Bishop’s Peak label, we combine our own grapes with other varietals sourced locally in SLO county.”

He pours the first of the five wines on the list — 2014 Edna Valley Chardonnay — and explains that this was produced from the 36-acre vineyard in Edna Valley named Oliver’s Vineyard, after patriarch Oliver Talley who began farming Talley Farms in 1948.

Temo shares that Talley follows Burgundian winemaking methods, so this chadonnay is aged 10 months in French oak barrels. We also learn the difference in the two labels. The Talley Vineyards label presents estate grown chardonnay and pinot noir produced entirely from its six vineyards in the Arroyo Grande Valley and Edna Valley. Bishop’s Peak Wines are handcrafted by Talley Vineyards to capture the unique diversity of the greater Central Coast region using fruit from local growers who share Talley Vineyards’ passion for quality.

Our operations are guided by a family farming history committed to quality and long-term sustainability.
The vineyards are carefully tended with methods that work in harmony with nature. Grapes are hand-harvested and the fruit is gently processed in small lots. In the cellar, we use traditional Burgundian methods including native yeast fermentations and extended aging in specially selected French oak barrels. The result is expressive and complex wines that best reflect their vineyard origins.

In addition, Talley Vineyards produces Mano Tinta, in collaboration with others, to support The Fund for Vineyard and Farm Workers, an endowment that benefits farm workers in San Luis Obispo County. The current offering is 2013 Mano Tinta Sauvignon Blanc, and all profits from the sale of Mano Tinta go the fund.

A huge former fountain, now filled with succulents to reduce water use, is the focal point of the outdoor seating area.

We ask Temo about his background, and learn that he is a recent Cal Poly grad with a degree in Wine and Viticulture, and he’s been with Talley Vineyards in the tasting room for a couple years prior to graduation. The Talley family’s roots of nearly 70 years of farming as a stewardship of the land applies to the vineyards as well, and it appeals to Temo’s appreciation and knowledge of how the land affects the grapes and the eventual wine that’s produced from them. He’s looking forward to continuing to share Talley Vineyards wines with visitors, as well as learn more about every aspect of wine production and operations.

With that, he excuses himself and returns with two clipboards.

“The rest of your tasting will be experienced while touring the terroir of Talley VIneyards,” he says. We collect our things and head to the red heart of the winery: Rincon Adobe.

The Rincon Adobe was the original tasting room for Talley Vineyards. Now it holds member tastings and special events — and a bottle of the winery’s first vintage in 1987.

Back to the Past
Stepping inside the thick walls built with hand-formed and sun-dried adobe bricks, the air is cool and you can feel this place has stories. Good stories. Family dinners and celebrations, and early morning breakfasts before the day’s harvest begins.

Walking past the elegant front room to the tasting area, he shares that Rincon means “corner” in Spanish. “This was the corner of the massive 16,955 acre Rancho Santa Manuela Land Grant, settled by Francisco Ziba Branch and his wife Manuela in 1837.”

While the Talley Vineyards label has changed over the years, its tribute to the Rincon Adobe has remained.

Branch’s son Ramon built the adobe in 1863, and he grew corn, wheat, beans, and barley on the fertile land surrounding the home. Oliver Talley then bought the land in 1948 and started the Talley Farms vegetable farming operation, adding land over time. Talley Farms is today a thriving sustainable farm selling both to commercial buyers as well as consumers, through its Fresh Harvest CSA program.

“The adobe was restored in 1988 to serve as Talley Vineyard’s first tasting room, and until that time it was the oldest continuously inhabited dwelling in the county,” shares Temo. “The new tasting room was built in 2002, so now the adobe is used for wine club member events and other special occasions.”

Get Thee to the Vines

Our next stop takes us up a hill to the vineyard, where a few grapes cling to the vines after the harvest. According to Brian Talley, Owner and Winegrower, the 2016 harvest, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of Talley Vineyards, might just be the best yet.

Talley Vineyards is SIP certified and uses other organic and sustainable practices.

As we stop at the edge of the vineyard overlooking the valley, Temo points out the VSP – vertical shoot positioning – method used to train the vines. “This block has a typical modern spacing between vines and rows, which increases efficiency both in harvesting and land use. You can tell older blocks because the vines are planted further apart and there is more space between the rows.”

This year’s green growth of cover crop between the rows is mostly oats and bell beans, with some blocks planted with barley. “Cover crops discourage weeds, improve the soil, and control erosion,” he shares.

Talley Vineyards is SIP (Sustainability in Practice) certified, as evidenced by the drip irrigation system that applies water to the base of the vines.

“We harvest all grapes at night, often starting after midnight,” he said. “The grapes are firmer then and stand up better to transport.”

The vines will be pruned in a few weeks when they are dormant, and the vineyard will tuck in for the winter and await next year’s fruit.

The Talley family owns six unique vineyards comprising 190 acres in Coastal San Luis Obispo County. Rincon Vineyard (95 acres), Rosemary’s Vineyard (27 acres), Monte Sereno Vineyard (three acres), and Las Ventanas Vineyard (four acres) are located in the Arroyo Grande Valley AVA. Oliver’s Vineyard (41 acres) and Stone Corral Vineyard (28 acres) are located in the neighboring Edna Valley AVA.

The bottling line brings wine from barrel to bottle in about a minute.

The Winery – Where the Magic Happens

We make our way back down the hill to the building which holds the large fermenters and the bottling machine. Temo pours our next tasting — 2014 Talley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir — as he explains about the fermentation process, which takes two to three weeks.

“Cap management — breaking up the cap of skins and stems that rise to the top and slow the fermentation process — is done by hand with the smaller containers using punch downs, and with air-powered pump overs in the bigger fermenters.”

Talley Vineyards bottles its own wine, and we stand in the middle of the now-quiet bottling line. “When we’re at full production, the bottling machine turns out 44 bottles a minute,” said Temo, “from filling the bottle, corking, capping, and labeling.”

If that’s not impressive enough, a new bottling machine is due to arrive in January, which will crank out 60 bottles a minute.

Three thousand barrels tend to their precious contents.

The Barrel Room – Resting before Greatness

Our next stop is the barrel room. As we stand beneath the stacks of 3,000 barrels, each holding 55 to 60 gallons – or about 25 cases of wine – Temo pours the next wine on our tasting: 2014 Bishop’s Peak Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s good. Lighter and softer than most Cabernets.

Talley Vineyards uses medium toast French oak barrels, both American and French, for about three years to add flavor. “After that, the barrel is considered ‘seasoned’ and become neutral, and at that point the barrel can be retired or sold.”

Temo pours Andrew the 2014 Bishop’s Peak Cabernet Sauvignon.

For the bigger red wines, aging takes 13 to 18 months; whites age an average of nine to 10 months. Chardonnay in stainless steel barrels is aged for about five months.

Back to the Tasting Room

The late fall sun thaws the chill of the barrel room as we walk back to the tasting room. There Temo pours our last wine on the list: 2013 Bishop’s Peak Elevation. This Bordeaux style blend of Paso Robles-sourced Cab Franc, Malbec, and Petite Verdot is balanced, fruity, with notes of olallieberrry.

We ask Temo’s favorite Talley Vineyards wines. Without hesitation, he shares, “For red, it’s the Cabernet. My favorite white is the late harvest Sauvignon Blanc.”

He adds, “It’s perfect over coconut ice cream.”

Talley Vineyards’ growler program offers three rotating wines to choose from for the 2.5 bottle growler capacity.

Talley Vineyards sells bottles of wine, of course, but it also sells growlers. Behind the tasting room counter, the wine tap offers three rotating wines that fill the growler with the equivalent of 2.5 bottles of wine.

“We top the growler with argon before we cap it, so it will keep unopened about two weeks,” said Temo. “They’re great for parties or weekends with house guests – or any time you can finish the wine in two or three days.”
Today’s tap options are a riesling, a pinot noir, and an Argentinian-style blend.

Temo pours another couple wines off list, and we revisit Elevation before buying a glass to enjoy in the comfortable lounge chairs bordering the peaceful outdoor area. A group of girlfriends play a quiet game of beanbag toss. As we look across the soft grass and towering former fountain now filled with succulents, we recognize the barrel room, cleverly designed to look like a bunkhouse.

Earlier, Temo had mentioned Tunes at Talley – live music on the lawn on alternating summer Sunday afternoons. We can picture it. And we’ll be back to experience it firsthand, perhaps with a cool glass of Talley Vineyards estate chardonnay.

The Flavor Team thanks Lindsey, Temo, and Alicia, and the entire Talley Vineyards team, for sharing the family spirit and community in a high-flavored experience.

Have you been to Talley Vineyards? What’s your favorite wine under the Talley or Bishop’s Peak labels? Burgundian or Bordeaux fan? Let us know!
engage@gr8flavors.com

 

________________________________________
Talley Vineyards
www.talleyvineyards.com
3031 Lopez Drive
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
805-489-0446
Tasting room open daily 10:30am – 4:30pm
Winery tours of various lengths are available for a nominal charge and by reservation.

Leave a Reply

About Great Flavors
Central Coast

Our mission: to help you create your own unique journey of exploration on the Central Coast
Our guiding light: to build the Central Coast’s most comprehensive online travel magazine and resource guide
Our passion: to foster and encourage a vibrant community of others who believe in living a life filled with great flavors

Recent Posts

Follow Us

📸 Instagram

10

0

🔥🍣 Add a little fire and fun for those special occasions. ⠀ Fun with friends at Yanagi Sushi in Pismo ⠀ ...⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pismobeach #habachi #japanesefood #slocounty #centralcoast

23

4

🍨 Can't think of a better way to start the week off! ⠀ What's your flavor?⠀ ⠀ 🐘 Animal style from @nitecreamery SLO⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ...⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #slo #sanluisobispo #icecream#nitroicecream #machaicecream ⠀ #foodpic #dinner #lunch #foodlover #foodblogger #dessert #healthyfood#foodies #chef #foodblog #nomnom#fresh #foodie #foodlover #tasty

26

1

Nothing better than a nice walk on Pismo Beach. Here is a view at the end of the day right under the Pismo Pier. 🏄‍♂️🌞🌊☺⠀ ...⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pismobeach #california #beach #summer #ocean #roadtrip #westcoast #beachvibes #beachin #sandcloud #savethefishies #805 #california⠀ #Highway1 #visitslo #calpolyslo #sanluisobispo #beautifuldestinations #california #centralcoast #calpoly #californiacoast #happy #beachtowns #summertravel #instatravel #calitravel #travelgram #california #surfing

21

1

Cider-flavored education with a backdrop of fun, music, and food. 🍎 That’s what the fourth annual Central Coast Cider Festival was all about. 🍻 Here’s a look at the CCCF 2019 edition, held August 10-11 in Atascadero. Cheers! ⠀ ... 🍏🍎🍏🍎🍏🍎🍏 Feature in in Bio . . . . . . . #cider #hardcider #glutenfree #atascadero #centralcoast #localcider #ciderbrunch

22

1

🍎 Arkansas Black or Gravenstein? 🍏 Just like with wine made from single varietal grapes, using single varietal apples leads to distinctive ciders. At today’s @ccciderfestival Brunch Seminar, cider afficionados got to taste the difference between different apples as well as the same apple from different orchards and from the approach of different cidermakers. Thanks to Neil Collins with @bristolsciderhouse , Morgan Murphy with @twobroadscider , Connor Meznarich with @jeanmariecidery , and Jake Lukehart-Smith with @gopherglenapples for sharing insights — and it’s evident how much these cidermakers are enjoying blazing the cider trail in California. And thanks to Darlene Hays with @cidercraftmag for emceeing.

19

0

☮ Love Child, 👦 Mama's Boy, 🍏 Sunday Brunch, 🐝 Bee Hoppy are some of Jean Marie Cidery's fun and delicious creations. Find out more about the past, present, and future of these two in preparation for the upcoming Central Coast Cider festival this weekend.⠀ 📰 Feature article link in BIO (don't worry, be hoppy 🐝)⠀ ⠀ 📷 Taken at last years tap take over event. (Left to Right) Neil Collins and Weston Hartley from @bristolsciderhouse, Connor Meznarich from @jeanmariecidery

20

0

Two Broads Ciderworks is making a name as a fresh and innovative hard cider producer in San Luis Obispo. In preparation for the Central Coast Cider Festival (coming up August 10), come hear what the past, present and future hold for this up-and-coming brand.⠀ 📰 Feature article link in BIO (An apple a day...)⠀ ⠀ 🍻 Get to taste the ciders behind @twobroadscider as well as a number of other cider makers at the @ccciderfestivalthis weekend 8/10. See you there.

16

0

When Raven and Jake Lukehart-Smith took on the farming responsibilities for @gopherglenapples eight years ago, they wanted to find more ways to share the delicious apples from their farm. As they began exploring ideas, they realized it’s quite rare for a hard cider maker to also grow their own apples and press the juice on site. They were already making hand-pressed cider—fresh, raw, and fruitful, with nothing added or taken away.... ⠀ Lucky for all of us, they took the natural next step: making hard apple cider, with quality results. Come along as we stroll through the orchard and meet the integral people who make it possible and witness the journey of Gopher Glen's apples from branch to the bottle. ⠀ 📰 Feature link in BIO (watch out for any gopher holes!)⠀ ⠀ 🍏 Want to try Gopher Glen cider, come this weekend to @ccciderfestival(be sure to say hi to us as well!)

19

2

Love hard cider? Creativity? Artistry? Then come along for a tour of @bristolsciderhouse and learn how the six steps of cider making transform the humble apple into creative and inspired hard ciders just waiting for us to try. ⠀ 🍏 feature link in BIO ⠀ 🍻 Taste Bristols cider and more at the @ccciderfestival this weekend⠀ ⠀ ...⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #hardcider #glutenfree #cider #atascadero #centralcoast #slo #sanluisobispo

34

2

Love craft hard cider, great local food and music, all in one place? Then join us at the 4th annual Central Coast Cider Festival coming up this weekend! 🍏 This year’s event, on Saturday evening, August 10, has some exciting additions and changes. 👉 15 quality cider producers (many based in SLO County) 👉 catering by seven local restaurants 🎶 The Tipsy Gypsies provides evening’s entertainment 🍎 InCider option for the chance to meet cider makers, taste exclusive ciders, and enjoy paired cheeses. 🍏Sunday catered Cider Brunch Seminar about single varietal apples 🎉 Who’s in? See you there!

40

0

Jean Marie Cidery started with a post-workout conversation between friends. With the Central Coast Cider Festival coming up August 10, come taste the results of that initial idea and learn more about what the past, present and future hold for this innovative brand. 🍻Feature Article Link in BIO ... . . . . . . . @ccciderfestival @jeanmariecidery #cider #hardcider #craftcider #apple #ciderevents #cidertasting #hops #atascadero #sanluisobispo #centralcoast #glutenfree

22

3

Wow first day of the Central Coast Renaissance festival was a lot of fun. So many things to see as usual and the new show was a blast as well. Hope everyone gets a chance to make it out this year. #what is your favorite memory so far? (Ps. Like the little straw sword we found?) ... #ccrf2019 #centralcoastrenaissancefestival #slo #sanluisobispo #lagunalake