El Lugar Wines
Central Coast AVA
Exclusively crafting small-lot, single vineyard Pinot Noirs
Small lot, vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs, defined by their place of origin - that’s what El Lugar (the place in Spanish) is all about. The micro winery is situated in the heart of California’s Central Coast, in San Luis Obispo wine country and produces just under 500 cases per year. Owners Coby Parker-Garcia and his wife, Katie Noonan, share a combined passion for Pinot Noir and enjoy sharing their expressive, site-driven wines with fellow Pinot enthusiasts.
Coby Parker-Garcia, a San Luis Obispo native, grew up working in his family’s garden and realized his love for agriculture. After graduating high school and traveling to Europe and South America, he knew the wine industry was his true calling and attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo to earn a degree in Agribusiness Marketing with a minor in Wine and Viticulture. In addition to working on the campus vineyard and learning the ins and outs of growing grapes, Coby took an internship at a local winery where his love for winemaking and passion for wine grew even deeper. Upon graduation in 2002, Coby took an assistant winemaker position at Claiborne & Churchill Winery in Edna Valley, and under the guidance of Clay Thompson, perfected his craft at producing world-class Pinot Noir from the Central Coast. Coby became the head winemaker for Claiborne & Churchill in 2007.
Coby had dreamt of one day creating his own winery label that exclusively focused on high quality Pinot Noir from well known vineyards and AVA’s in California. In 2013, he and his wife Katie took a leap of faith and made that dream come true by producing their first vintage of two vineyard designate Pinot Noirs (one of which is this month’s Pinot Noir Club feature). With exceptional feedback on those inaugural releases, El Lugar has grown to include small lot Pinot Noirs from the Russian River Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Edna Valley.
Coby’s wife, Katie, brings industry experience to El Lugar as well, having spent ten years in the marketing and direct to consumer side of the business. The couple met through working at neighboring wineries and instantly bonded over their passion for Pinot Noir. Having grown up in Sonoma County, Katie introduced Coby to the incredible Pinot Noirs made along the Russian River. Katie also currently runs a successful floral business called Noonan’s Wine Country Designs.
It is wineries like El Lugar that excite us about the future of California’s wine industry - wineries that are built on passion, artisan winemaking, and a dedication to showcasing the vineyard, the place where the magic truly happens. Cheers to this up-and-coming, shining star winery that we are proud to feature.
Coby Parker-Garcia - Winemaker
Coby Parker-Garcia has been making wines on California’s Central Coast since 2000 and his passion has always been centered around Pinot Noir. The varietal is one of the most challenging and rewarding to work with, and it is Coby’s mission to produce Pinot Noir wines that are authentic, showcasing the vineyard - the place - as much as possible.
In addition to making wines for his own winery, El Lugar, Coby is also the head winemaker for Claiborne & Churchill and serves on the Board of Director’s for the World of Pinot Noir. His wines are made from top vineyards and appellations in California, often representing specific sections of a vineyard or specific Pinot Noir clones.