Only five miles off the Pacific Coast, expertly managed vineyards of the Edna Valley AVA thrive. Located south of the city of San Luis Obispo and north of the town of Arroyo Grande, the Edna Valley is bounded by Lake Lopez to the south and Islay Hill to the north. Running east to west and bounded to the west, the valley is both sheltered and shadowed by the Santa Lucia Mountains. Grown in uplifted, sedimentary terrain, formerly part of the ocean floor, soils consist of chalk, loam, clay and dark humus. The subsoil is made of calcareous materials deposited by ancient sea-life, resembling the subsoil of some of Burgundy’s most famous vineyards. These vineyards are blanketed by soft morning ocean mist, and then nurtured by midday sun; a number of significant hills create different microclimates. With these optimal growing conditions of moderate climate and an extremely long growing season, winemakers craft wines of great distinction of California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and also, Syrah, Viognier and Roussanne. Here, in this historic land of sacramental grapes, the roots of winemaking date back to the late 18th century when Spanish missionaries originally planted grapes in the Edna Valley. Albeit, the Edna Valley Renaissance only began about 40 years ago when Paragon and Chamisal Vintners planted new vineyards of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the early 1970s. The success of these early plantings garnered worldwide recognition marking the Edna Valley as a notable wine-growing region for Burgundian varietals, and in 1982, the U.S. Government made Edna Valley an official AVA. Today, Edna Valley vintners have grown in both production and recognition; however, the region remains unadulterated, maintaining its intimate nature. Home to fewer than three dozen wineries, you will enjoy a friendly atmosphere, where you very well may end up chatting with the winemaker over a glass of wine. From Pismo Beach, you can meander down rural Price Canyon Road through the Edna Valley, taking in rich farmland and vibrant vineyards against a backdrop of oak-studded verdant hills and stroll through lush rows of grapes. Swirl, sip and savor exquisitely handcrafted wines of the noble Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and other cherished varieties. With wine tasting rooms open year round, a pleasurable, unpretentious experience is guaranteed. Most of Edna Valley wineries are small boutique operations, often family-owned and operated.