San Luis Obispo

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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San Luis Obispo, wine-producing county in the central coast ava of california midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Many of California’s coastal counties demonstrate why the American AVA system, its embryonic answer to France’s appellation contrôlée, tries to avoid political boundaries in the shaping of vineyard districts. San Luis Obispo county does so more vigorously than most. A boiling summer sun beats down on the high, sheltered plain that is the Paso Robles AVA while fogs hang over a narrow, cool coastal shelf holding the Edna Valley AVA near San Luis Obispo city. The two AVAs are fewer than 20 miles/32 km apart, and well within the same county. A third AVA, Arroyo Grande, runs from the coast back up into the mountains, thus capturing examples of both extremes within its boundaries.