When venturing to the Edna Valley wine region from downtown San Luis Obispo, a mere four miles into the trip stands the entrance to Tolosa Winery. The drive to the tasting room is surrounded by Tolosa’s estate “Winery Vineyard” and attractive landscaping. With ample parking and a modern, yet inviting, entrance, there is no wonder Tolosa is one of the most popular wineries in the Edna Valley. Standing at the bar feels spacious and comfortable; however, Tolosa is known for its accommodating outdoor patio. Guests are welcome to picnic and enjoy wines by the flight or glass outside. The space offers plenty of shade and breathtaking views of vineyards and the rolling hills of Edna Valley.
Tolosa Winery prides itself on being “sustainable,” “solar” and “estate”; all three are clearly identifiable and have a noticeable affect on the wines. All five of Tolosa’s estate vineyards are “SIP Certified” – which refers to vineyard practices which follow specific guidelines set by the Central Coast Vineyard Team in order to promote vineyards and wineries which act sustainably in all aspects of grape farming. Sun Power high efficiency solar panels were installed in 2009. The solar panels power 90-95% of all energy the winery uses. Tolosa’s website notes that the amount of emissions displaced by using solar power is equivalent to, “removing 2600 cars from California’s roads.” While all five are located within the Edna Valley, Tolosa’s estate vineyards have varying soil types and microclimates. Each vineyard produces grapes which vary in variety or clonal selection. This enables the production of the highest quality fruit possible, farmed to the winemaker’s preference.
Tolosa offers two different flights of wine – the “House Flight” and the “Limited Release Flight.” Each flight includes distinctive wines which change regularly. The “House Flight” is poured daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the “Limited Release Flight” is poured Thursday through Sunday. All wines on both flights are available by the glass and bottle. Discounts apply for wine club members and for purchases of 6 or 12 bottles of wine. The newly released 2009 Pinot Noir, presented on the “House Flight,” is an elegant and complex estate wine at an everyday price. “1772” refers to the year Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, Tolosa’s namesake, was founded. The wines which are designated “1772” are barrel selections from each vintage. The 2008 “1772” Pinot Noir is currently offered on the “Limited Release Flight” and is incredibly well balanced and layered.
A “must-do” experience in the Edna Valley region is to participate in Tolosa’s wine and cheese pairing. The pairings are available every weekend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, and held in the exclusive Heritage Room. The menu changes every week and includes two white wines and two red wines, each of which is paired with a sample of cheese from Vivant Fine Cheese. Reservations are not required for individuals or groups of seven or less. Be advised that on a busy day, the cheese may run out and Tolosa recommends guests, if planning to visit in the later afternoon, to call to confirm the cheese and wine flight is still available. Tolosa also offers interesting tours of the property as well as occasional barrel sampling. Visit their website, www.TolosaWinery.com for more information and every Wednesday for the following weekend’s cheese selection!