The 10 Best Wineries in San Luis Obispo: A Local’s Guide

San Luis Obispo has got to be one of my favorite small towns in the United States. There’s incredible food, hiking, beaches, and wineries in San Luis Obispo! It has everything!

In fact, Edna Valley (the wine region closest to San Luis Obispo), is one of the most underrated wine regions in California.

One reason I fell in love San Luis Obispo wineries is that they are all conveniently located on a wine trail, making it incredibly easy to get from winery to winery! This layout is perfect for a day spent tasting at several wineries (just remember to be have a designated driver or take Ubers, please!)

Overall, the vibe of Edna Valley wineries is quite different than other wine regions I’ve been to. The wineries in SLO don’t have the same “clout” that wineries in St. Helena or Sonoma have (and I mean that in the best way possible).

While the wineries do range from casual to fancy, there’s a different, laid-back energy here that can even be found at the bougiest of wineries. It’s hard to put a finger on why, but hey, you should come experience it for yourself!

If you love friendly people, beautiful scenery, affordable prices, and delicious wine, then Edna Valley is the place for you!

So, let’s get into the best wineries in San Luis Obispo, to help you choose the perfect wineries for your day!

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Map of San Luis Obispo Wineries

Top 10 Wineries in San Luis Obispo

Whether you are looking to explore the beautiful vineyards in San Luis Obispo, or taste from the unique terroir, I can guarantee you will have an incredible day. Let’s dive right into the list of the top wineries in SLO!

1. Tolosa

Tolosa Winery is a high-class winery in Edna Valley. It was established in 1998, and is recognized for its focus on producing premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.

The winery takes its name from the Spanish land grant, Rancho Paso de las Tolosas, which encompassed the area where the vineyard is located.

The estate vineyard at Tolosa Winery spans over 100 acres, and it is divided into different blocks, each with its own distinct microclimate and soil composition.

In addition to their estate wines, Tolosa Winery also sources grapes from select vineyards in the Central Coast region to produce limited-production wines under their “Primera” label. These wines showcase the distinct characteristics of specific vineyard sites.

The tasting fee is $45 for 5-7 wines, which is quite high for this area but well-worth it if you are looking for a luxury tasting experience.

Psst: You can save money in San Luis Obispo County with these 20 free ideas for things to do!

2. Chamisal Vineyards

Chamisal Vineyards is the first winery that I became a wine club member at, mostly because of the insanely good wine and beautiful scenery. How could I say no to complimentary wine tastings?

The winery’s history dates back to 1973 when it was actually established as one of the first vineyards in the Edna Valley!

Chamisal Vineyards is known for its focus on estate-grown wines, meaning that the grapes used in their wines are sourced from their own vineyards (that you will be surrounded by while sipping their wine on the patio).

The tasting fee is a little higher than other tastings in the region, at $35 for 5 wines. But, I think the tasting fee is worth the price. However, if you are looking to save money while wine tasting, Chemical and Tolosa would be two wineries to skip, as there are other wineries on this list that offer a more affordable wine tasting.

3. Saucelito Canyon Vineyards

Saucelito Canyon is my all-time favorite “casual” winery. In the best way possible, wine tasting at Saucelito Canyon feels like you are tasting wine in a well-groomed backyard.

I especially love this winery for the friendly staff and excellent red blends.

The tasting is done outdoors in a nice patio setting. The tasting fee is $20 for 5 wines, making this one of the most affordable wine tastings in the area, and also one of the best!

4.. Edna Valley Vineyards

View from Edna Valley winery in San Luis Obispo

Edna Valley Vineyards is a renowned winery located in it’s namesake wine region, Edna Valley.

The vineyards of Edna Valley Vineyards are very beautiful, and you will see them if you spend a little bit of time driving around the area. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the winery’s primary focus, taking advantage of the cool, foggy mornings and sunny afternoons that contribute to the development of elegant and expressive wines.

Edna Valley Vineyards has luxurious tasting room, where you can taste the winery’s exceptional wines while taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards. The tasting fee is $25 for 5 tastings.

5. Wolff Vineyards

Wolff Vineyards is a family-owned winery located in Edna Valley. Situated just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, the vineyard benefits from the cool climate and diverse soils of the region, creating an ideal environment for growing exceptional grapes that make even better wine!

The vineyard primarily grows varietals such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Riesling.

Wolff Vineyards tasting room is in a charming farmhouse-style building, offers picturesque views of the vineyards and surrounding hills. Here, the tasting fee is $20 for 5 wines, and is waived with a 2 bottle purchase. It was one of my favorite wine tasting experiences in San Luis Obispo!

The winery also has a peaceful picnic area where you can enjoy a bottle of wine after you have finished your tasting!

6. Biddle Ranch Vineyard

Biddle Ranch is a beautiful winery nestled in the heart of the Edna Valley. This San Luis Obispo vineyard is surrounded by rolling hills making this a perfect picturesque stop to enjoy high quality wine.

The vineyards at Biddle Ranch span across 17 acres, with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir being the primary focus.

The tasting room is housed in a beautifully restored dairy barn. I love the tasting room because it has a rustic yet elegant atmosphere! The tasting fee is $30, and is waived with a 2 bottle purchase.

Biddle Ranch also offers private tours of the vineyards and winery, providing a deeper understanding of the winemaking journey! You can stroll through the vineyards to witness the winemaking process in action, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

7. Sextant Wines

Sextant Wines is one of the best wineries near San Luis Obispo.

The winery is named after a “sextant,” a navigational instrument used by sailors. This reflects the winery’s commitment to crafting wines that showcase the distinct terroir of the Central Coast located near the Pacific Ocean.

Sextant Vineyards encompasses three estate vineyards, containing varietals such as Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Chardonnay.

Sextant Vineyards has a wide range of wine tasting experiences, including guided tours of the vineyards and winery facilities. The most basic tasting includes a mixed flight of 5 wines, with a tasting fee of $25.

The winemaking philosophy at Sextant Vineyards centers around sustainable practices and minimal intervention, making this wine eco-friendly to drink!

8. Autry Cellars

Autry Cellars is a cute, boutique winery located in Edna Valley! The winemaker, Steve Autry, started this winery as a second career (working as an aerospace scientist prior) He uses his science background to perfect the taste of his wine.

This winery had the perfect casual vibe to it. Last time I visited Autry Cellars, Steve brought out the tastings in little science beakers which I thought was so cute and personable (although I am not sure if he is still doing that)

The tasting fee is $15 to taste 4 wines. They also have a Brandy tasting, that is also $15!

9. Baileyana

Baileyana is actually the first winery I ever visited, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I visited this winery on my 21st birthday, and was the first moment I truly fell in love with wine tasting.

The winery is actually the closest to San Luis Obispo, taking around 15 minutes to get there depending on where you are coming from in SLO!

This winery is almost always busy with college students and locals alike on weekends. And its no wonder why, the wine is good and the atmosphere is friendly.

The tasting fee is $25 for 6 of their preselected wines!

10. Talley Vineyards

Talley Vineyards is a gorgeous, family-owned winey located along the San Luis Obispo Coast! The estate is very modern but with “Italian villa” charm.

The focus at Talley Vineyards is on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two grape varietals that thrive in the cool-climate conditions of the valley.

The tasting fee is $30 for 5-6 of their newest release varietals, with 1 tasting fee waived with a 2 bottle purchase.

Travel Tip: I’ve seen people wear anything from long, flowy dresses to jeans and a shirt. (Personally!) I love to dress up on a winery day, so you can catch me wearing a long dress with sandals or wedges just so I can feel a little fancy!

Wrap Up of SLO Wineries

So, there we have it! The best wineries in San Luis Obispo. I hope this article was able to give some guidance on where you choose to visit. But I have to say, I don’t think you can go wrong. I haven’t had a bad experience at any of these wineries, and I hope you get to have the same experience as me!

And while you’re at it, why don’t you explore one of these other amazing, underrated wine region in the United States! What you find may surprise you. Cheers!

Have you been to any of these San Luis Obispo wineries? What did you think! Let me me know in the comments below!

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  1. Wow! I had no idea that so many wineries were in that area. We lived in So Cal until 2004 and visited some of the Santa Barbara County wineries, but didn’t get much farther north at the time. SLO is such a cool place to visit and adding these wineries to the itinerary would make it even better!

  2. California girl, here! I’m originally from California but I haven’t been to any of these awesome wineries. I love how so many of them have such a beautiful rustic feel. I absolutely loveeee wine tasting, so I’m saving this for future planning. Thanks so much!

  3. I’ve been to San Luis Obispo last 2018 on a road trip from San Francisco. I did not know these lovely wineries exist! Something to visit next time I visit my auntie who lives in SLO. Thanks for the info!

  4. I would love to go wine tasting in California and these prices seem a bit cheaper than other areas- plus the views are incredible! Totally adding to my travel wishlist!

  5. I really need to take a road trip to SLO. All of these wineries look lovely to visit. I think I would start with the Steve Autry winery – that bottle looked really good. Thanks for sharing!

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