California's Central Coast Wines

Hosted by



William Ausmus toasts California wines in his book, Wines and Wineries of California's Central Coast: A Complete Guide from Monterey to Santa Barbara. If you're interested in learning more -- or are just looking for pleasant diversion, Ausmus recommends several day-trip itineraries to Central Coast wineries:

Monterey County
In the morning:
1. Bernardus - Wonderful inn in Carmel Valley by the winery; excellent whites and reds
2. Ventana - Doug Meador got it right and made the region famous for white wines
3. Joullian - Beautiful setting for a winery; fine tasting list
In the afternoon:
1. Chalone - Set amongst the gorgeous Pinnacle mountains; outstanding Pinot Noir
2. Hahn Estates - In the Santa Lucia mountains; diverse list
3. Marilyn Remark - On the River Road and features artisan wines
San Luis Obispo County
In the morning:
1. Eberle - Beautifuly winery, caves for touring and excellent wine list
2. Vina Robles - Brand new facility and fine wines from up-and-coming young winemaker
3. Robert Hall - Splendid hospitality room and caves for touring; fine list of reds and whites
In the afternoon:
1. Midnight Cellars - Fine values throughout the list from top winemaker
2. Grey Wolf - Hundred-year-old farmhouse and excellent wines from young winemaker
3. AJB - Italian styled wines and fine values
Santa Barbara County
 In the morning:
1. Hartly-Ostini Hitching Post - Sideways was filmed here; wonderful Pinot Noir
2. Presidio - In the Danish style town of Solvang; excellent list
3. Longoria - In the wine town of Los Olivos; another excellent list of reds and whites
In the afternoon:
1. Brander - great tasting room in the Burgundian style; love the white wines here
2. Epiphany - in Los Olivos; winemaker is Fess Parker's son Eli)
3. Tensley - in Los Olivos; young winemaker produces some of the best Syrah around