6 Best Wineries of Central Coast California (Location, Reviews)

Have you ever thought about taking a trip down to the Golden State? Well, if you have, one of the most fun things you could do is go wine-tasting. If you’re already a wine connoisseur or enthusiast, this might be just that new experience you need. Wines are one of the fine things of life, and everyone (lover of wine or not) needs to try them out.

If you’ve been longing for this trip without knowing the exact location, there we are right here for your rescue. This article will be reviewing one of the most historical winemaking regions in the history of the USA: The Central Coast American region. All the way from Monterrey to Santa Barbara, we’ll be taking you through the best wineries in all of Central Coast American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Here’s our guide to the crème de la crème of Central Coast Wineries (in no particular order).

Top Wineries of Central Coast California

Bianchi Winery

Bianchi Winery
Coastal Wine Trail

Sitting on a spacious 40-acre expanse of land in Paso Robles, Bianchi Winery and Tasting Room offer exclusive wines, an outdoor BBQ, and a full kitchen. If you’re a visitor who needs a place to stay, Bianchi also offers accommodation in the vineyard house. Apart from the wine-tasting itself, they also offer tours of their facility, explaining the various aspects of the winemaking process.

Let’s dive into a little bit of history. The Bianchi Winery started with Joseph Bianchi in 1974. He invested in a vineyard located on the banks of the San Joaquin River. Bianchi’s wines won many awards for using advanced farming and production technologies for his winemaking processes. His own son, Glenn, built on his father’s legacy, acquiring the 40-acre property where the winery is currently located.

Bianchi Winery vineyard
Coastal Wine Trail

Now, three decades later from the time of Joseph, Beau has picked up the torch laid on by his father and grandfather. He has stepped up the hospitality and winemaking experience a notch, making the Bianchi winery a world-class spot for wine tasting. The winery is popular for making from the more popular wines (Pinot, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot, etc.) to some more exclusive wines (Primitivo and Cabernet Franc). The cavernous yet modern-looking tasting rooms serve these wines. If you cannot make it to their facility physically, you can always find their varietals all across the country.

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Sanford and Benedict Winery

Sanford and Benedict Vineyard
Coastal Wine Trail

Sandford and Benedict Winery was one of the first founding vineyards in the Santa Barbara region. They’ve always maintained their premier status ever since. With over 40 years of winemaking experience, this vineyard is home to some of the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the world. They are also a popular specialist in hand-crafted, estate-bottled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Apart from these popular wines, they also offer a variation of world-class wines squeezed from the finest of grapes grown in their historic estate. They also offer a facility tour, educating visitors on the various vines in Santa Barbara county. If you need a picnic spot overlooking scenic vineyard views, then Sanford and Benedict Winery is also a great choice.

Sanford and Benedict Vineyard 2
Coastal Wine Trail

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Ancient Peaks Winery

Ancient Peaks Winery
Coastal Wine Trail

Located just 14 miles away from the Pacific Ocean at the foot of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the vineyard soil of this winery consists of a fossilized seabed. The soil was lifted to the ground surface some 10 million years ago. This soil is the secret to their array of grape flavors. This is because the soil has different varieties, hence, providing different grape flavors.

On Saturdays, the Ancient Peaks winery staff show visitors around the facility, educating them on the different soils and the noteworthy practices used to sustain the soil. Apart from these, the visitors also get to taste their limited-edition Pearl Collection reserve wines. After tasting their delicious wines, you also get to try your hand at artisan cheeses and select fine meats. If you’re the one who loves that surge of adrenaline, you can also try their zip line canopy tours. You’ll get a quite expansive view of the scenic vineyards at the height of 125 feet.

The Ancient Peak tasting room
Coastal Wine Trail

Located just one mile from Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County, the winery is quite accessible to visitors.

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Justin Vineyards and Winery

Justin Winery Winery
Coastal Wine Trail

The Justin Vineyards and Winery are self-named after its owner, Justin Baldwin, who purchased 160 acres of land in the Paso Robles region. His goal was to make world-class Bordeaux-style wine varietals. Sixteen years after the establishment of this winery, Winespectator ranked one of Red Blends from the stables of Justin’s winery as the 6th best in the world. This was a great achievement, considering the list compiled 100 different wines.

They can make such world-class red blends thanks to the petrified limestone soil obtained from generations of sea deposits on their lands. The end result is a mix of big and bold-tasting red wines.

Justin Winery's vineyards
Coastal Wine Trail

Justin winery is widely acclaimed for putting the Paso Robles region on the global map of wine-producing regions. The reasons for these claims are not hard to find. The Justin Winery was the first winery to offer luxury overnight rooms, a tasting room, and an award-winning restaurant. At Justin wineries, you get that five-star hotel feel mixed with a more rural landscape view. If you’re a wine lover planning a weekend getaway, Justin Vineyards and Winery might just be the perfect spot for you.

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Qupé Wineries

Qupe Winery
Coastal Wine Trail

The name Qupé is the Chumash word for poppy. The founder of the Qupé wineries, Bob Lindquist, started the winery back in 1982 with the vision of planting Rhone varieties in the Californian region. He was one of the first winemakers to plant the Syrah grapes. His first vineyard was the Sawyer Lindquist vineyard which is biodynamically enhanced. Located in the Enda Valley AVA, this vineyard has received both the Stellar Organic and Demeter Biodynamic certifications.

Now, they have two other vineyards: the and Ibarra-Young vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley AVA and the Bien Nacido Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley AVA. They now use a wide variety of grapes, including the Grenache, Pinot Noir, Marsanne, and a few others. The interesting thing about the Qupé wines is that they have three labels each for their head winemakers: one for Bob, one for his wife, Louisa, and the last for his son, Ethan. The labels are named Qupé, Verdad, and Ethan, respectively.

The Bien Nacido vineyard
Coastal Wine Trail

In terms of their tasting room, they moved into another about six years ago, which has quite a better ambiance than the former. Also, the winery is now under new management with Vintage Wine Estates (who are owners of quite a few Central Coast wineries). If you want a tasting from one of the best to ever get into the wine business, then the Qupé winery is a good choice.

Contact Details:

  • Address: 205 Concourse Blvd., Santa Rosa, California, USA
  • Phone contact: +1 805 457-5657
  • Website: https://www.qupe.com/

Demetria Estate

Demetria Estate Winery
Coastal Wine Trail

If you plan to visit a winery that gives that home-away-from-home feel, then Demetria Estate is a great pick. Demetria Estate is a family-owned winery that makes quite artistically crafted wines. The winery is located on a biodynamically enhanced expanse of 40 acres. They collect different Rhone grape varieties for their wines. These include Syrah, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc, and a couple of others.

At Demetria, their wines are not just for wine enthusiasts but casual wine lovers as well. For those who are inseparable from their pets, they also allow pets at Demetria (provided your pet is well behaved and leashed). The hills surrounding the tasting room also give extra ambiance, giving off a very relaxed vibe to visitors.

Demetria's vineyards
Coastal Wine Trail

While their facility is quite nice, finding your way there seems to be quite a daunting task though. The road is quite winding, and the asphalt is poorly maintained. However, if you do find your way down there, it’s an adventure that promises to be worth the while.

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Conclusion

Wine tasting is one adventure that invites the delight and euphoria of having to sample different tastes. It even goes better when you can have a nice meal to go along with that glass of wine. The region of Central Coast California provides some of the best wineries where you can taste to your heart’s fill at moderate prices. Check out the different places we recommended to get some of the best wine tastes in the region.

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