Central Coast Wines

Issues & Ideas: Wildfire smoke on wine grapes, downtown vitality and SLO's first cannabis store

Sep 17, 2020

California voters will decide this fall on a dozen ballot measures, including one measure that would exempt gig companies from a law that makes it harder to classify workers as contractors. A black box theater in Santa Barbara that was almost exclusively a rental venue before the pandemic is now producing its own shows. We’ll hear from a Central Coast grape grower, who talks about the possible effects of smoke particles on wine grapes. The cities of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara are responding to COVID-19 and imagining new ways for the respective downtowns to operate as spaces for people to live, work, and play. Finally, we’ll hear from the owner of San Luis Obispo's first cannabis retail store. 

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with grape grower Vic Roberts, owner of Victor Hugo Winery in Templeton, about the effects of smoke particles from recent Central Coast fires on grapes. Roberts shares industry recommendations to mitigate effects of smoke and ash on grapes.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer talks with wine producer Vic Roberts, owner of Victor Hugo Winery in Templeton, about transformations in the wine industry in response to COVID-19.

Thomas Wilmer

Central Coast winemaker and grower Mike Sinor started working as a cellar-rat while attending Cal Poly State University back in the early 1990s. Today Sinor and his wife Cheri grow organic grapes on the old Bassi Ranch Vineyard near Avila Beach, and operate their Sinor-LaVallee tasting room in uptown Avila, located a block from the beach. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a visit with Sinor at his processing facility.

The historic adobe at Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande Valley
Tom Wilmer

Brian Talley’s grandfather started farming in the Arroyo Grande Valley back in 1948. It was Brian’s dad who planted grapes in the early 1980s and eventually started producing wine as well, and as they say, the rest is history. 

Qupé Vineyards

When winemaker Bob Lindquist started Qupé Vineyards 35 years ago, there were only four California wineries producing Syrah. Today there are more than 75 wineries in Santa Barbara County alone producing Syrah. Join Lindquist as he shares his passion as a winemaker and discover why the California Central Coast’s cool coastal climate is ideally suited for producing award-winning Rhone-style wines.  

"One of the things that Champagne did wrong when they started putting out their marketing," says Jenna Congdon, the manager of The Station wine bar in San Luis Obispo, "is that they really put it out there as a special occasion wine."

This is a presentation given by Jean-Pierre Wolff on "Sustainable Viticulture" as part of the Science After Dark series of the Central Coast STEM Collaborative, recorded on April 8, 2015 at the Luis Wine Bar in San Luis Obispo, California.

Jason Lopez

Winemakers come from all walks of life. Some are almond farmers who made the switch to grapes because it paid more. Some are artists, drawing on their creative talents to craft wine. And then there are scientists. 

Cal Poly graduate, Sean Christopher Weir visits with correspondent, Tom Wilmer about his book, The Mad Crush—A Memoir of Mythic Vines and Improbable Winemaking.