Arroyo Grande Valley AVA
A gem nestled in the Arroyo Grande Valley of San Luis Obispo County, Talley Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery crafting expressive, award-winning wines from the South Central Coast.
A family owned and operated estate nestled in the Arroyo Grande Valley on California's South Central Coast, Talley Vineyards produces highly regarded Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from its six unique vineyard sites in Coastal San Luis Obispo County. For three generations, the Talley family has farmed this region, a tradition that began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started by growing premium quality vegetables. In 1986, Oliver's son, Don Talley, established Talley Vineyards, and today, Brian Talley, Don's son, has taken the reigns of the family business. It is the Talleys' ongoing mission to craft distinctive, estate-bottled wines that reflect the special character of the land they farm, as well as to uphold the family's agricultural legacy. Together, they have built a truly special, sustainability-minded estate that we are happy to introduce to our Pinot Noir Wine Club members.
It was Don Talley who first recognized the potential of growing wine grapes on his family's Arroyo Grande property. He witnessed the winegrowing success in the neighboring Edna Valley, and he became convinced of the potential for growing high-quality wine grapes on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms. In 1982, he planted a small test plot on the west hillside of the Rincon Vineyard, and his predictions were proven right. Four years later, Don and his wife Rosemary, founded Talley Vineyards, with the vision to produce wines with the same reputation for quality as their vegetables. The inaugural vintage of 450 cases was produced in a vegetable cooler at Talley Farms.
The winery saw immediate success and production has continued to increase year after year. In 1991, a new winery was built at the foot of Rincon Vineyard, and that same year, Don and Rosemary's son Brian became General Manager of the business. Brian now serves as President of Talley Vineyards and Talley Farms and is recognized as a leader in the local wine industry. He was co-founder of the World of Pinot Noir and past President of the San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association; he has been recognized by both Robert Parker and the local wine industry as a Wine Industry Person of the Year, and most recently, he wrote a farm-to-table cookbook, Our California Table, Celebrating the Seasons with the Talley Family.
Talley also operates a beautiful tasting room, located in the heart of the family's working farm, adjacent to Rincon Vineyard, and the family winery. Its casual and welcoming atmosphere provides the perfect environment to enjoy their award-winning wines.
Map of the area
Eric Johnson - Winemaker
Winemaker Eric Johnson was raised on a family farm in Los Banos, California, and he is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he studied Wine and Viticulture and Agricultural Business Management. He joined Talley Vineyards in 2007 to work in the Tasting Room, became a harvest intern later that year, and served as Enologist until 2010, when he became Winemaker.
Given Eric's background in farming, he has a unique understanding of the role that the land plays in determining wine quality. "I believe that the world's greatest wines are defined by place, as opposed to winemaking manipulation," he has stated. In addition, Eric has a great work ethic and passion for excellence.
Eric is very active in the local wine scene and serves on the Board of Directors for the World of Pinot Noir and is a member of the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Advisory Council. He has also traveled to France, Italy, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile to explore wine regions or work harvests.