San Luis Obispo wine grape harvest is in full swing

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

SLO Coast wine update

In the wake of a wet winter, cool spring and mild summer, the harvest is finally on across the San Luis Obispo Coast wine region on California’s Central Coast.

“Bud break, bloom, and veraison were several weeks later than average due to the cool, wet spring,” said Nicole Bertotti Pope, winemaker at Stolo Vineyards, which began its 2019 harvest with estate hillside Pinot Noir on September 10. “If the fall weather remains mild to allow for a long, even ripening, I expect the 2019 wines to be similar to 2018—really high quality and well balanced, with great complexity at lower alcohol levels.”

Added Marbue Marke, winemaker at Oceano Wines, “Relative to the historical record, I would say we were late from a set and verasion standpoint, and moderate climatically. I expect balanced and well-developed wines, with good flavor development at lower brix levels and nice natural acidity.”

Meanwhile, the harvest at Oceano Wines began on September 11 with Chardonnay from Spanish Springs Vineyard.

“The Chardonnay set pretty perfectly, so there was minimal work as it was naturally balanced,” Marke said.

Over at Tolosa Winery, the 2019 harvest will be officially christened with a “Blessing of The Grapes” on September 19 at 1 p.m. The blessing will take place on the tasting room patio overlooking the winery’s estate vineyards, and will be led by Father Kelly of Mission de Tolosa San Luis Obispo.

The tone for the remainder of the harvest season will continue to be set by the coming fall weather patterns.

“With the mild season, and no indications that this will change, we expect flavor and color to build slowly and allow us to pick at the perfect moment, albeit perhaps a little later than usual,” said Kamee Knutson, winemaker at Edna Valley Vineyards. “Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc will hold their acidity, making bright and vibrant wines. Pinot Noir should build color, flavor and true phenolic ripeness by the time we start picking it.”

On the San Luis Obispo (SLO) Coast, the Pacific Ocean shapes our culture, our terrain and our wines. Here, where our vineyards reside just five miles from the water on average, the prevailing marine conditions are among the most pronounced of any wine region in California and beyond. Our ocean-cooled environment fosters unifying qualities that are native to the wines of SLO Coast. For details and wine tasting information, visit


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