by Maridith May
THERE’S A LOT of tension in San Luis Obispo County’s Edna Valley: not in terms of anger or politics, but instead in the exceptional traits of the 2017 Tolosa Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs that result from Fred Delivert’s handiwork. Thanks to Edna Valley’s climate—the coolest not only in California’s Central Coast, but the entire state—and its long growing season, the new Tolosa winemaker has everything he needs to uplift the prowess of these Burgundian varieties.
San Luis Obispo County Plays It Cool
By Josh Raynolds
January 17, 2019
The greater San Luis Obispo County winegrowing region is best known for the mostly brawny, high-octane Rhône-variety-based wines of its famous AVA, Paso Robles, but the elegant and energetic wines from its cool, Pacific Ocean–influenced vineyards are increasingly making their case in the market as well.
While Paso Robles has been garnering plenty of trade and consumer attention in recent years, the wines of greater San Luis Obispo County have been steadily gaining in quality while also slowly emerging from the shadow of their more famous neighbor to the north. Less than a decade ago, the region was home to just a handful of well-known producers, but that has changed. The sheer number of high-quality wineries and the wines they produce means that the area necessitates and, most importantly, deserves its own coverage.
Established Edna Valley Estate Gets Winemaking Overhaul
Jean Hoefliger has made a reputation for making Cabernet Sauvignon wines at Alpha Omega in Napa Valley but his first winemaking experience was with Pinot Noir. A native of Switzerland, Hoefliger had initially pursued law in college but dropped out when he said it became clear he didn't have either the interest or the passion to be an attorney. Because he had neglected his law studies by playing cards and drinking wine, Hoefliger said, he went to work for his godfather, who owned a winery. Read more
Vintner Robin Baggett Unveils Alpha Omega Collective
New Umbrella Brand Strengthens Connection Between Three Wineries and Propels Future Growth
RUTHERFORD, Calif. (March 5, 2018) – Vintner Robin Baggett, managing partner of Alpha Omega winery in Napa Valley and Tolosa winery in San Luis Obispo, and his vintner wife Michelle, today unveiled the Alpha Omega Collective, a new umbrella brand for those two enterprises and their Spanish winery, Perinet. This newly-formed group marks an exciting milestone for the Baggetts and strengthens the connection between all three brands while propelling future growth. Read More
New Estate Manager and Assistant Winemaker
Michael Giese and Nicole Morris Join Prominent Edna Valley Winery
San Luis Obispo, Calif. (Aug. 20, 2018) – Tolosa, a family-owned, luxury winery in San Luis Obispo, Calif., proudly welcomes Michael Giese as its new Estate Manager and Nicole Morris as assistant winemaker. Read More
Case Studies On Growing DtC Wine Sales
Three wineries on California's Central Coast on boosting direct-to-consumer sales
When it comes to improving the tasting room experience, how much is enough to lift the bottom line? According to three Central Coast executives who’ve led their teams to increased direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, the answer lies in implementing calculated changes, some large and some small, both internally to staff and externally to the guest. Read More
Move over, Paso. SLO County Has a New Top Wine Destination
By Sally Buffalo
October 03, 2018
Looking over lush grapevines from a shady winery patio, SLO Wine Country Association executive director Heather Muran described a recent visit from an internationally regarded wine critic.
It was Josh Raynolds’ first-ever visit to San Luis Obispo’s wine country for his first-ever comprehensive tasting of the region’s wines for Vinous. When he was done, Muran said, he vowed to come again next year and every one after.
“Why haven’t I discovered this before?” Raynolds exclaimed. READ MORE
Top 10 Wine Getaways of 2018
From the palatial digs of Hearst Castle in the north to the soft sands of Pismo Beach on the southern end, the coastline of San Luis Obispo County has been a vacationer’s paradise for more than a century. Beachcombing, surfing, hiking, cycling and kayaking present endless outdoor opportunities for all ages. And thanks to the thriving wine countries of Edna Valley and Paso Robles, which sit slightly inland, the college town of San Luis Obispo is now home to culinary gold. Add the quaint villages of Arroyo Grande, Avila Beach, Cayucos and Cambria, and it’s no wonder why so many tourists wind up locals. —Matt Kettmann
2017 Robert Parker
September 29, 2017
Scores from the Wine Advocate on our 2016 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Edna Valley.
Storybook Wine Country
September 17, 2017
Castles, enchanting vines and misty mountains enhance San Luis Obispo's charm
Booze-induced illusions, or the most awesome wine escape ever?
Free-range zebras, elephant seals, peacocks. Hilltop castles from world-wondrous to weird. Glittering ocean waves, dramatic cliffs and mist-shrouded mountains. READ MORE
Tolosa Winery ups its game with French-born Napa winemaker
August 15, 2017
Edna Valley’s Tolosa Winery is welcoming a French-born winemaker with extensive experience around Sonoma and Napa Valley.
Frederic Delivert’s hiring follows a series of multimillion dollar improvements aimed at elevating Tolosa — and the Edna Valley overall — into the upper tier of the wine world since Robin Baggett took the reins two years ago. Read More
Tolosa Winery co-owner buys key stake in another winery, this time in Spain
August 9, 2017
Robin Baggett, who co-owns Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo and Alpha Omega winery in Napa Valley, has bought a significant interest in a third vineyard and winery — Perinet Winery, southwest of Barcelona, Spain.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Perinet is a 133-acre estate vineyard terraced high into the mountains, in a region known for producing powerful red wines.
Tolosa Winery Announces New Winemaker
July 18, 2017
San Luis Obispo, Calif. (July 18, 2017) – Tolosa, a privately-owned winery in San Luis Obispo, Calif., proudly welcomes Frederic Delivert as its new winemaker on July 24, 2017. Born and educated in France, Delivert brings extensive experience in Napa Valley to Edna Valley, where Tolosa recently underwent a multi-million renovation to elevate its wine, vineyards, production facilities and guest experiences under vintner Robin Baggett. Read More
Tolosa Winery [it’s all about the experience]
July 14, 2017
There’s more new at Tolosa Winery than this year’s vintages. This Edna Valley AVA winery has its eye on an even higher level of quality in every aspect of the operation.
A few months ago, the Flavor Team had the opportunity to attend our first World of Pinot Noir event and the Edna Valley Collective Dinner. The interesting people at our table made for great conversations about wine, winemaking, hobbies, and all things Central Coast. Among our fellow diners were Stephen and Paula Dooley with Stephen Ross Vineyards (learn more about the Stephen Ross Winery: Winemaker Focus: Stephen Ross Dooley), and Darren Worley, Director of Sales at Tolosa Winery. Read More
Ag's Best and Brightest
July 14, 2017
Who's Who in Agriculture & Viticulture proudly continues an eight-year tradition as the region's most comprehensive guide to the movers and shakers in these vitally important industries.
Honoring June McIvor, General Manager, Tolosa Winery read more
San Luis Obispo's Tolosa Wines Imbue a Tangible Sense of Place
June 2, 2017
Those who consider the Napa Valley to be the heart and soul of California wine country are partially on point. The area is no doubt fertile, producing some of the best wines – and best known labels - in the world.
A California wine country pilgrimage absolutely must include Napa, but to focus solely on this renowned region would be a mistake. If one is to truly experience today’s California wine country, one must venture south, to the central coast’s producers, whose Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are helping to set the state’s gold standard. One such producer is San Luis Obispo’s Tolosa, whose mission it is to create world-class versions of the two varietals. Read More
From the Vine: The Tolosa redux in Edna Valley
Kathy Marcks Hardesty
April 24, 2017
On Sept. 10, 1998, a bright, sunny fall day in Edna Valley at Tolosa, a semitruck loaded with 140 tons of freshly harvested muscat grapes pulled into the brand-new winery across from the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. That muscat was the first to be crushed at Tolosa, but it wasn’t their wine. The grapes were purchased by the Martin Brothers Winery (later Martin-Weyrich partners/owners) in Paso Robles. Martin winemaker Craig Reed gave me permission to write about it. They were among Tolosa’s custom crush customers.
It was exciting because it’s a rare occurrence. Few wineries invite the media when there could be potential problems operating for the first time. I felt fortunate to be there for the exclusive experience, READ MORE
Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa: A Gem on California’s Central Coast
April 13, 2017
Pismo Beach is the perfect place for an overnight stay on the epic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway. California’s central coast is filled with boutique wineries, Hearst Castle, world-class golf, wildlife sanctuaries, historic missions and antique shops. Located between San Francisco and Los Angeles in San Luis Obispo County, the Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa is an ideal home base for day touring, and a wonderful place to retreat to each night. The hotel sits on a 40-foot-high bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by expansive lawns, never ending views and wonderful surf spots. READ MORE
Getting to Know California's Best Unsung Wine Regions
April 11, 2017
Although it only takes about a half hour to drive from end to end, the 15-mile span of the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys reveals all that should be championed and much of what remains challenging for California’s lesser-known wine regions.
The valleys, just miles from the chilly Pacific Ocean in southern San Luis Obispo County, are dramatically pockmarked with steep volcanic peaks of jaw-dropping beauty. They’re full of wildly varying soils, and are home to pioneering and iconoclastic vintners. READ MORE
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Winner
January 16, 2017
Wine Label Sweepstake Winner - Tolosa, 2015 Primera, Edna Valley
The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC) is the largest wine contest of solely American wines in the world.
Sixty experts from the media, education, trade, and hospitality industries come together each year to judge the best wine this country has to offer.
Submissions streamed in from across the country. Everything from small boutique wineries to large-scale suppliers are represented in this year's selection.
The Top Ten Tasting Wines of 2016
December 26, 2016
This past year was a fascinating one for a wine industry that has never been one to rest on its past successes. Great chefs have flocked to San Diego and brought with them menu formats that include great wines.
The urban winery format has multiplied in our large communities where one brand is served, made from grapes brought in from the best vineyards in the state. The wines of Baja Mexico are finally showing what they are made of (I have one in my Top 10).
The list also includes two from Italy, one from Washington and six from California. An amazing six blends make up the majority of flavors, with two Pinot Noirs, one Chardonnay and one Sangiovese.
Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator. He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web. View his columns at tasteofwinetv.com and reach him at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook.
The Wine and Food of San Luis Obispo
December 11, 2016
A winery to discover is Tolosa , a large, sweeping vista vineyard just south of San Luis Obispo’s airport in the Edna Valley. Tolosa is named after the Franciscan Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, that grew wine grapes in the 18th century, and still stands today. Those Pacific coastal winds make this the coldest appellation in California and reminiscent of Burgundy in France. It is a prime environment for Pinot Noir. The Tolosa Pinot to search for is “1772,”($60.) the year the mission was built.
This 2014 release is a blend of 4 different blocks, aged 11 months in French Oak barrels. It has a rich, black cherry mouthfeel, with refined tannins.
Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator. He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web. VIEW HIS COLUMNS
Central Coast Wineries
December 5, 2016
California wines are abundant and world renown. Most people think of Napa as the “wine country” of this great state. Or maybe folks are more familiar with Paso Robles, because of the quirky film Sideways (2004). But there are a few areas of the state that have old vines, old world charm and churn out exceptional wines. One of these areas is on the Central Coast, and a stones through away from our premiere grand prize sponsor’s (Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa) coastal establishment. We are talking about San Luis Obispo. This area has lots of warm sunshine, rich growing soil, and coastal fog, which allow for a long growing season, making the wineries in this area some of the most productive in the state.
Here are a couple notable wineries that you will have to try.
Tolosa Winery – Also in the Edna Valley area. Rich and wonderful Pinot Noirs. They put out an exclusive Pinot Noir called Primera, which is made and sold in small batches. Very rare indeed! For Tolosa tasting, or tours, it’s best to contact them and make a reservation.
Taste of Wine: The natural beauty of California is along the Central Coast
December 5, 2016
I’ve tasted wines of the Central Coast for some time without much knowledge of the place where they came from and why the Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays were so good from this part of California.
This part seemed an obscure treasure and I hadn’t yet put all the pieces together with any clarity. It turns out that San Luis Obispo County is systemically the heart of the Central Coast, situated between Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties.
Tolosa’s Renaissance Elevates Edna Valley Pinot Noir to Rival World’s Finest
November 8, 2016
Tolosa, a boutique winery in Edna Valley, unveiled its multi-million dollar renovation and celebrated the elevation of its brand during its “Discover Tolosa” weekend, which drew more than 400 guests to its estate Nov. 4-6, 2016. The festivities were highlighted by a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the release of Tolosa’s new, single vineyard wines and the unveiling of its new production facilities and hospitality spaces. With its overhaul and latest offerings, Tolosa, once again, positions itself as a pioneer in the Central Coast wine community and moves forward with a renewed commitment to spare no effort in handcrafting the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay possible.
Explore SLO Wine Country, Central California’s Hidden Gem
September 27, 2016
Since San Luis Obispo was established in 1772, with the founding of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, winemaking has been part of the fabric of life in this coastal paradise. Most vineyards are within five miles from the ocean, channeling the marine influence into the grapes, from the soils to the climate, a Goldilocks moment where the clusters enjoy a long growing season. Not subjected to wild temperature swings, the grapes slowly develop, reaching a balance between acidity and concentrated aromas and flavors. This cradle gives rise to aromatic white wines and distinctive reds. Just under 5000 acres of vines populate the region, yet bring life to the economy, being the top crop, responsible for lots of jobs and visitors to SLO Wine Country.
With just under 30 wineries interpreting their plots of paradise, the region is getting noticed. Cool climate varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, reign here, but many diverse microclimates nourish almost two dozen wine varietals,