SLO Coast Wine

Cool-Climate Syrah on the SLO Coast

Syrah is a big-red-wine-lover’s best friend, with its versatility and bold peppery and spicy flavors. This red wine variety is from the Rhône wine region in Southern France, where it is grown along the long Rhône river valley. The Rhône valley is generally divided into northern and the southern growing regions, which have very different growing conditions, producing 2 distinct styles of Syrah. Northern Rhône has a cooler climate and produces elegant wines with floral, spice and deep peppery tones. The Southern region grows many red grapes, including Syrah that has darker berry flavors , which are also used for Rhône red blends.

Here on the San Luis Obispo Coast, our climate and terroir resembles that of the Northern Rhône, and our Syrah producers focus on achieving complexity and balanced acidity along with the aromatics and spiciness mentioned above. We have 16 wineries with lovely cool-climate Syrahs–read below for the details listed from south to north!


Southern Charm Arroyo Grande

Cool Climate Syrah on the San Luis Obispo Coast

Talley 2021 Syrah. Talley Vineyards Syrah is a dense and elegant wine grown in the calcareous clay soils of the Rincon Vineyard. The 2020 vintage captures the distinct cool-climate characteristics reminiscent of the northern Rhône region with notes of juicy blackberry, mocha and peppercorn.

Timbre 2019 The Hook Syrah. Velvety purple, inky crimson. beautifully dark the color and shades of syrah tends to draw you in immediately. We get wild blackberry, blueberry, rhubarb pie, and a hint of vanilla.


Edna Valley Back Roads

Baileyana 2020 Estate Syrah. This cool climate Syrah from a single vineyard in the Edna Valley is bright and fresh, beginning with aromas of juicy blueberry, savory blackberry and white pepper on the nose. This is a medium bodied wine with wonderful finesse showcasing integrated flavors of vanilla and cinnamon while letting the bright blueberry and plum notes shine through. The chalky tannins are complemented by new French oak, which offers a toasty undertone that runs throughout.

Baileyana 2019 S-BAR Syrah Reserve. Incredibly smooth with a perfect balance of fruit and acidity. This bottling represents only a small fraction of our total Syrah production and is especially limited.

Kynsi 2020 Syrah Edna Valley. Aromas of fresh ollalieberries, purple flowers and dried herbs with deep, mouth-coating flavors of boysenberry jam, black pepper and cassis. It is a deep, inky Syrah that showcases the qualities of cool growing Syrah well.

Kynsi 2020 Syrah Kalanna. The original project of Othman daughters Kala and Anna, the first vintage was produced in 2003 and was met with high acclaim. It offers scents of wild berries, espresso powder and anise with concentrated flavors of blackberry and Mexican chocolate.

Wolff 2021 Syrah. Our estate produced Syrah exhibits the Edna Valley grown ocean marine influence taste profile of a Northern Rhone style cool-climate Syrah. Flavors of stewed red berries, black cherry and ripe plum layered with spice and white pepper. Refined tannins provide a full bodied finish with toasty nuances.


Edna Valley Core of the Coast

Biddle Ranch 2020 Syrah. Classic cool-climate Syrah aromatics offer dark tones of black olive, wild blueberry, and espresso. Beautiful fruit tones of dark cherry, blackberry, and candied violet fill the palate with an irresistible juiciness, bringing length and tension to the wine.

Claiborne & Churchill 2022 Syrah, Edna Valley, 93 points, Wine Enthusiast. Crafted from locally grown grapes form the northern end of the Edna Valley, this wine captures the classic characteristics of a cool-climate Syrah. Following continued drought conditions, early bud break and a cool and windy spring, the warmer summer months in 2022 allowed us to hand harvest this Syrah in mid-October. Following fermentation, the wine aged in well seasoned French oak barrels for 10 months before bottling.


Avila Beach

Sinor-LaVallee 2016 Syrah White-Label, Bassi Vineyard. The White Label is reserved for ultra-limited wines that exhibit a leaner expression of Bassi Vineyard. We select clones, blocks, yeasts and barrels that cultivate structure, yielding wines with lower alcohol and higher acidity. These wines are all about litheness and clean site expression.

Sinor-LaVallee 2018 Syrah Estate, Bassi Vineyard. The Estate wines come exclusively from Bassi Vineyard. Because the vineyard falls outside of any recognized AVA, these wines are designated with a San Luis Obispo County appellation. But make no mistake—these are limited-production estate bottlings that speak vividly of a single vineyard.

Sinor-LaVallee 2019 Syrah Whole Cluster, Bassi Vineyard. The Estate wines come exclusively from Bassi Vineyard. Because the vineyard falls outside of any recognized AVA, these wines are designated with a San Luis Obispo County appellation. But make no mistake—these are limited-production estate bottlings that speak vividly of a single vineyard.


Urban Trail San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly 2021 Syrah. Notes of chocolate and truffle hit the nose, but upon swirling the glass, aromas shift to dried prunes, savory allspice and black pepper. Drink now if looking for a hearty and spicy wine or wait a few months to allow full integration of nose and palate.

Rhônedonnée 2020 Night Ride (2021 coming soon). A beautiful deep dark purple color fills the glass enticing the eyes with a color that would make any Cornas producer happy.  On the nose the bouquet is filled with dark berries, blackberry, briny olive tapenade, cured meat, soy sauce, hint of earthy minerality, bay leaf, pepper and adequate amount of oak. On the palate tart blackberries dominate the front palate and are graciously complimented by big grippy tannins in the mid palate. Wine finishes lovely, balanced with juicy acidity and tannins that linger in the mouth. 


Points North Trail

Niner 2020 Reserve Syrah, Jespersen Ranch. This is only the third time in our history that we’ve made a Jespersen Ranch Reserve Syrah (2014, 2019, 2020). We hand-harvested the small, dark clusters and destemmed them. We fermented the juice in small stainless steel tanks, foot-stomped for gentle extraction and transferred only the free-run juice into French oak barrels for aging. The wine aged for 20 months before we selected the 15 most expressive barrels for this Reserve bottling. This wine is a stunning representation of cool-climate Syrah with inky color, dark fruit flavors and elegant tannins. A truly special bottle that will age for a decade plus (if you can manage to save some).

Stolo 2021 Creekside Estate Syrah. Vineyard was planted in 2008: 4.2 Acres of Alban Syrah on 101-14 rootstock, spacing 7’x4’ dry farmed. Situated 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Creekside Estate Vineyard is primarily illuvial clay loam soils adjacent to the Santa Rosa Creek floodplain at 140ft. above sea level. 100% whole cluster.

Stolo 2021 Hillside Reserve Syrah. Vineyard was planted in 1998: 2.7 Acres of Cote Rotie clone Syrah on 5BB rootstock, spacing 10’x3’ dry farmed. The Hillside Reserve Vineyard sits atop an ancient sea mount of Monterey Shale limestone and thin top soils. Ocean views from the top of the vineyard illustrate why cool foggy nights compliment the soils to produce well structured wine grapes. Dry farmed original vines, undisturbed for 30 years, have deep root structure, thin canopies, and resilient vine stock. 100% whole cluster.