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Exceptional vines make award-winning grapes from Central Coast’s cool climate maritime terrior

The Santa Lucia mountain range delineates the boundary of the California Central Coast’s maritime influenced grape growing region. Head a couple miles inland from the ridge tops of the Santa Lucia’s and you’ll suddenly find yourself far from the cooling influences of the summertime fog, and cooling ocean breezes.

The SLO Wine Country Association represents approximately 30 coastal growers and producers who specialize in cool climate varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But there’s an ever-growing lexicon of varietals with roots in Spain, Portugal and southern France such as Albarino, and Tempranillo.

The Central Coast’s worldwide reputation as a premier wine-producing region includes obscure coastal pockets, from Cambria in the north all the way down to northern Santa Barbara County.

The largest plantings, along with some of the best-known wineries, grace the Edna and Arroyo Grande Valleys.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer joins Heather Muran, Executive Director of San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association. He’ll also visit with the winemaker at Claiborne & Churchill located in Edna Valley and then we’ll stop in at Leticia Winery and Vineyard crowning the coastal hills near Arroyo Grande for a visit with sparkling wine producer David Hickey.