Why We’ve Got Edna Valley on Our Radar for 2020

Let’s start with the wine.

One of the best-kept secrets of California wine lover is nowhere near Napa or Sonoma. Just south of San Luis Obispo and inland from the coastal community of Pismo Beach, Edna Valley boasts a small but robust wine scene that’s known for its delicious Chardonnays and pinot noirs.

But according to the SF Chronicle, there’s much more to savor than these regional favorites.

“Be on the lookout for savory Rhones—Viognier and Syrah superstar John Alban grows and makes his wine in a private facility here—as well as a growing number of aromatic white wines, from Riesling and Albarino to Gewurztraminer and Gruner Veltliner.”

Here are a couple winery highlights to add to your itinerary:

Claiborne & Churchill

“Though Claiborne & Churchill makes excellent Pinot Noir, the real reason most come to this tasting room is for the Alsatian-style Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. That’s what founder Claiborne Thompson started making in the 1980s when he ditched academia to become a winemaker. It’s a great change of pace, and you taste either alongside the barrel room or in shade on the patio.”

Niven Family

“The Niven family is Edna Valley’s pioneer, having planted the Paragon Vineyard in 1973. Their second property, Edna Valley Vineyard, was planted in 1981, but sold to Gallo in 2011. Today, the Nivens make wine under the Baileyana, True Myth, Tangent, Trenza and Zocker labels, much of which can be tasted at their old schoolhouse tasting room that overlooks their vineyards. Play a game of bocce while sipping on a Zocker Gruner Veltliner or Tangent Albarino.”

Get more tips here.

Images courtesy of Claiborne & Churchill and the Niven Family.

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