The Central Coast Tasting Experience
In a previous Kramer Buzz blog post we explored the many ways in which San Luis Obispo County is an ideal location for your Destination Wedding – the beautiful landscapes, amazing food, and diverse culture make the Central Coast a great place to relax and enjoy yourself, and it just so happens to be home to some of the most unique tasting experiences California has to offer.
With over 250 wineries and dozens of craft breweries and Cideries to choose from, planning a tour may feel a bit daunting, but we are here to tell you it doesn’t have to be! When planning your tour, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Whats your taste? Do you like award-winning wines, handcrafted beers, or traditional ciders? – whatever your taste, the Central Coast has something for everyone’s palette.
- If wine is your thing, you are in the right place; to the North is Paso Robles which is famous for its warm weather AVA (American Viticulture Area) and the top-notch Syrah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon it produces on its expanding vineyards. South in San Luis Obispo and Edna Valley, the cooler climate wineries are widely dispersed and are popular for their rich Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Whether you’re new to the wine scene or a knowledgeable connoisseur, you’ll find something you love.
Check out some local wineries here
- Breweries specializing in craft beers have thrived on the Central Coast; downtown San Luis Obispo’s beer scene is hoppin’ – pun intended. Dating back decades, a focus on small-batch brews has made the Central Coast a pioneer of the West Coast style IPA, as well as niche beers such as Gose, Sours, and Mead. There is a special quality here in that everything created is very unique. Local breweries, wineries, and distilleries often team up with one another to create once in a lifetime collaborations.
- Cideries are yet another unique offering of the Central Coast; this is a newer trend that has taken off in San Luis Obispo County, making use of the many fruit orchards scattered around the area. Ciders come in a diverse range of flavors but are most commonly known for their sweet taste and apple aroma.
The great part about planning a Central Coast tasting tour is that you don’t have to choose just one type of tasting, but can mix and match to suit your mood.
What aspects of SLO County do you want to experience?
Think about what your overall hope for the day is; the Central Coast is very diverse and no one area is exactly the same. Do you want to explore the fun-filled college town of San Luis Obispo, breathe in the ocean air on the coast, or experience the rolling hills of wine country?
- If you’re all about new and exciting, then the lively-college town of San Luis Obispo may be the perfect place for you to begin your tour. The city is bursting with breweries, pubs, and tasting rooms to explore and there will be no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a spot for lunch.
- Or maybe its the coastal charm that appeals to you, in which case you can enjoy a scenic drive down the historic highway 1 stopping in beach towns such as Morro Bay, Cayucos, and Cambria to enjoy wine, beer, and cider tastings as well as the opportunity to enjoy authentic, locally sourced seafood.
- Its no secret that San Luis Obispo County is wine country; if you’re interested in exploring the rich history of viticulture on the Central Coast, you may want to tour the countryside where you can enjoy expansive views of rolling hills and vineyards. Many wineries and tasting rooms have an onsite deli or grill, but if such amenities are not available, it may be the perfect opportunity to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the view.
So whether you want to take it easy as you take in the remarkable beauty the Central Coast has to offer or delve into the history and unique processes’ of each establishment you visit. There are options to suit any agenda but its important to pinpoint what kind of experience you want to have before embarking on your tour.
How do you want to get around? San Luis Obispo County has lots of different options when it comes to professional transportation and many of them specialize in tasting tours. Whether you are a hardcore planner and just need someone to take you where you want to go on your time schedule, or want to sit back and let someone else do all the planning for you, SLO county has options for you.
- SLO Safe Ride is one of San Luis Obispo County’s leading transportation services. They are professional, punctual, and knowledgeable about the area and work in collaboration with many local tasting facilities, making them a great resource throughout your tour. They provide everything from limousines to shuttles to luxury buses and can accommodate groups of all sizes.
- Hop On Beer Tour is a great option if you’re looking for a laid-back experience with a knowledgeable beer connoisseur. Their buses are 15- or 20-passenger pubs-on-wheels, perfect for turning up the music and having a lively ride between stops. They offer custom tours as well as their preplanned Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo tours which visit some of the most popular spots in the region.
- 101 Wine Tours specializes in wine tours throughout the Central Coast in their comfortable Mercedes Vans. Their knowledgeable tour guides can plan a tour perfectly tailored to the tastes and preferences of any group. Whether you prefer large estate wineries or small boutique tasting facilities, 101 Wine Tours will be able to create the perfect tour for you.
Regardless of which option you choose, with a little bit of planning – or finding the right people to plan for you – you are sure to have an unforgettable time cruising around the Central Coast getting a taste of all it has to offer!