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Central Coast Wine Regions: Arroyo Grande vs. Edna Valley

The Central Coast is home to one of the country’s most rapidly growing wine regions. While the Central Coast AVA is known for its high output of award-winning Chardonnays, two small and undiscovered wine regions in southern San Luis Obispo county stand alone in variety and quality. Just miles apart, Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande AVAs offer two distinct, yet equally remarkable wine trails. The two little-known appellations have come to be recognized for their remarkable quality and gorgeous vistas by wine experts around the world.

Both Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley wineries will be featured during the 32nd Annual Central Coast Wine Classic, August 25 through 27th.

Arroyo Grande American Viticultural Area

Arroyo Grande AVA is home to San Luis Obispo County’s southernmost wine trail. Established in 1990, this rookie wine region is home to several big hitters of the Central Coast’s up and coming wine industry.

The Arroyo Grande Valley is home to a small handful of very popular wineries, including Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, Talley Vineyards, and Phantom Rivers Winery. The unassuming Arroyo Grande Valley possesses all the features required for crafting excellent wine; owing their success not only to their talented wine makers, but also to the area’s sedimentary, volcanic soil which makes their award-winning Zinfandels, Petit Syrahs, Chardonnays, and Pinot Noirs stand apart from the myriad of accomplished California wines.

Visitors to the Arroyo Grande Valley return time after time for great wine perfectly complemented by panoramic views. Bordered by the California coast to the west and rolling coastal mountains to the east, the Arroyo Grande Valley AVA gives guests an archetypal taste of California in more ways than one. After savoring a day of sips and sights, visitors enjoy the region’s close proximity to the idyllic village of Arroyo Grande, just minutes from the wineries, where they enjoy quintessential Central Coast farm-to-table cuisine and upscale boutique shopping.

Edna Valley American Viticultural Area

Edna Valley AVA is home to a blossoming wine region established in 1982. Often referred to as the Central Coast’s best-kept secret, the Valley has begun to draw widespread attention for its unmatched quality in wines and scenery.

The little-known Edna Valley wine region has the longest growing season in California. The long season allows the grapes to mature and develop rare and interesting flavors that cannot be found anywhere else. Unique flavors are not the only thing that make Edna special, however. Edna is nestled in a valley floor between the easterly mountains of San Luis Obispo and Islay Hill, one of the area’s famous volcanic plugs. Aside from breathtaking views, the appellation’s rich soil of volcanic clay brings yet another unique layer to Edna’s trademark Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

Though relatively new, Edna Valley is home to seventeen wineries, each within a five minute drive from the next. Edna Valley is an excellent place to spend the day experiencing a seamless junction of California Wine and Central Coast lifestyle because of the dense population of wineries and adjacency to lively San Luis Obispo, where visitors can end their day enjoying a variety of fine dining options and night life activities.

Traveler’s Tip: Pack a picnic to spend the day enjoying wine country, uninterrupted!

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