As the sun sets on the Central Coast, imagine sitting out on a patio that looks over beautiful San Luis Obispo hills and vineyards. As you relax with a glass of good wine, it’s time for a well-deserved break. Wine tasting at Wolff Vineyards, a family owned winery south of San Luis Obispo, is a nice place to stop along your journey into Edna Valley wines.
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Our winery reviews are designed to give you the information you need to learn about the winery, how to get there, and what to do once you make it down.
What to Know
Originally planted in 1976 with 55 acres of Chardonnay grapes by Andy MacGregor, one of the pioneers in the Edna Valley wine industry, Dr. Jean-Pierre and Elke Wolff acquired the vineyard in 1999 and began creating Wolff Vineyards.
Wolff Vineyards is a family run winery that focuses on the cool climate varietals that grow well just a couple miles off the coast in our local Edna Valley AVA region. In addition to Dr. and Elke Wolff, son Clint manages the tasting room and winery events, and son Mark is assistant winemaker.
We first met Dr. Wolff in 2017 at the annual Roll Out the Barrels event. Held in June on the patio of the San Luis Obispo mission and hosted by the SLO Coast Wine association, the event gathers winemakers from around the region to share their wines and knowledge.
Dr. Wolff was giving a talk about how the cool climate affects grape growing and winemaking, and his approach to bring out the best characteristics. We really enjoyed his passion and knowledge of the area’s unique terroir, weather, and grapes.
One of Dr. Wolff’s quotes from that presentation puts it in context:
“Two elements from this proximity affect the grapes here: temperature — also known as degree days — and marine fog. This combination means that Edna Valley can see one to two additional weeks of fruit hanging time than the Paso Robles area, making the Enda Valley AVA similar to Burgundy, France.”
This is expressed in the wines they create at Wolff Vineyards, and combine great wines with the warm touches and amazing views they have at their tasting room, it makes for a super enjoyable wine tasting outing. We’ve been back to Wolff Vineyards several times, and enjoy the wines even more than the last time.
How to Go
Wolff Vineyards is located on the eastern edge of the fertile Edna Valley, just south of San Luis Obispo on Orcutt Road. This is one of our favorite roads to drive, with beautiful views of the hills and vineyards on a two-lane road that rises and falls gently through the fields of both grapes and produce. We take this road into San Luis Obispo for swimming weekly and it’s a nice, enjoyable ride.
If you are coming from San Luis Obispo, the entrance to the winery is located on your left just a bit past the intersection of Biddle Ranch Road. Look for their carved wooden sign, and take a sharp turn to cross a small bridge. Drive past the vines a bit further up a quiet lane you’ll see the winery up the hill along with the parking lot.
Parking is somewhat limited and you may need to head back down the hill and park along the road leading up to the winery. But this is good exercise and the chance to get close to nature and burn some calories prior to wine tasting.
What to Do
Wine tasting, whether from the patio and outdoor seating area or inside the tasting room, is available daily from 11:00 to 5:00. Clint Wolff and other staff in the tasting room make for a fun and educational tasting, as they share more about the history and the vineyards.
Outside are several tables for large and small groups. And the large windows in the tasting room means you won’t miss out on the view.
On Friday nights during the summer (through late September), their Sunset in the Vineyard events start at 5:30. There’s music, food from a local restaurant or food truck, great views, and a relaxing evening enjoying a glass or bottle of Wolff Vineyards wines.
The shady outdoor seating area is also great for private parties and special events.
Teroldego is a cool-climate grape related to Syrah, and found primarily in the Tyrolean area of northern Italy. It often has great dark berry and wood aroma and tastes, with soft tannin and balanced acidity.
What to Try
We like all the wines at Wolff Vineyards, but we’re partial to a few. The dry Riesling is very good and their Pinot Noir excellent. If they have Teroldego, it’s a must-try. It sells out quickly, so get a glass of this fun-to-say and wonderful-to-drink rare Italian Tyrolean varietal. It’s inky dark red, but with lower tannins and acidity than you might think, making for a lovely drinking red wine. Their Red Wolff blend is really nice, with good balance and structure no matter what blend the vintage contains.
If you want to get away to a very pretty place in 805 Wine Country with great wines, friendly people, and easy access, let the call of Wolff Vineyards lure you in.
Let us know what you think. Cheers!