SLO Pinot Noir
In the Edna and Arroyo Grande valleys, Pinot Noir has flourished since 1973. Several of the vineyards in the area are less than five miles from the ocean. In the mornings, a thick layer of fog lays directly over the Pinot Noir vines. In the afternoon, the mist dissipates and the sun shines brightly on the clusters during the growing season. This is ideal climate for the Burgundian variety because it ensures moderate temperatures resulting in a long growing season. The grape will not over-ripen, making the wine too sweet, but will stay on the vine for a several months and develop complex flavors.
Weather is not the only environmental factor in making the SLO Pinots delicious. The geology in the area boasts at least four different types of soil such as calcareous, sandy loam, volcanic and shale. In several of the vineyards in the area, it is not difficult to find fossils of sea scallops, large chunks of limestone, and a variety of volcanic and plutonic rocks. This assortment of dirt allows for proper water drainage, adds nutrients to the vines and promotes beneficial microorganisms all which assist the development of the perfect Pinot Noir harvest.
Once the grapes are picked, de-stemmed, pumped over, punched down and finally moved to barrels, the juice becomes what we know as Pinot Noir. After aging for several months in the barrels, and then a bit of time in the bottle, we are finally able to taste the wine. While winemakers’ decisions can greatly affect the final outcome of the wine, SLO Pinot has several attributes that differ from Pinot grown in other regions around California and the rest of the world. Pinot Noir from the Edna and Arroyo Grande valleys is usually fruit forward with a finish that is distinctively spicy or herbaceous and in between there is often a generous mid palate.
These wines are often quite elegant when enjoyed on their own; however, Pinot Noir is lovely when paired with the proper fare. Varying degrees of light bodied to heavier bodied wines will dictate the types of food to pair your Pinot Noir with. A lighter bodied Pinot is charming accompaniment to grilled salmon or roasted chicken. Medium bodied Pinot, known for being extremely versatile, is quite delicious with pork, duck and charcuterie. Finally, heavier bodied Pinot Noir can be perfectly suited for wild mushroom dishes, lamb and certain cuts of beef.
There is no shortage of fabulous SLO Pinot Noir and it is available to taste daily at the wineries in the Edna and Arroyo Grande valleys.