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Talley Vineyards

Arroyo Grande Valley AVA

talleyvineyards.com

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.


While Talley Vineyards has been around more than three decades, its approach to farming and terroir has not appreciably changed since its inception back in 1986.

Co-owner Brian Talley (with his wife, Johnine) phrased it thusly. “My grandfather, Oliver Talley, started out as a vegetable farmer back in 1948 and we are still into that type of farming today. Along the way, our family transitioned into the vineyard business and that became the basis for Talley Vineyards.”

Interestingly, Brian Talley’s own story about wine bears repeating.

As a student at UC Berkeley where he majored in History and Natural Resource Economics, Brian managed a job at a local wine shop where he was exposed to the world of fine wines.

“I was bitten quite badly by the wine bug,” he recalled. “The world of wine became an amazing adventure for me. Happily, it was also the time when my family was transitioning into the grape-growing business, so for me, it all came together. Both my father and grandfather were successful farmers, so from the time I was little, it seemed natural for me to follow in their footsteps.”

The first offerings of Talley Vineyards made their debut in 1986, a grand total of only 700 cases. The company, which only produces estate wines, will produce around 15,000 cases this year, a level that Brian Talley calls “my sweet spot.”

For Talley, who became President of Talley Vineyards in 1991, the future is all about terroir, or place that refers directly to his prized vineyards.

Again, Brian Talley is quite candid about his affinity for the area where he was born and the place where they farmed successfully for many decades.

“As I learned more about the wine business and the farming aspect of the industry, I became of the conclusion that the San Luis Obispo Coastal Region is definitely capable of producing world-class grapes. Then it’s up to us to turn those grapes into world-class wines. From the awards and high scores we have already received, I feel it’s safe to say we are on the right road.”

Talley Vineyards admits to being more Burgundian in style in its approach to winemaking. Its Pinot Noirs, for instance, tend to be on the delicate side like their French counterparts, rather than the fruit-laden and oak heavy versions some wineries favor. The Chardonnays are also Burgundian in nature with a true emphasis on citrus flavors and exceptional noses that parlay into excellent crispness and true food pairing.

The Talley Vineyards label is also a tribute to its surroundings with an adobe house built in the 1860’s that signals the company’s intent and commitment to what’s really special about the San Luis Obispo growing region. The winery is currently in the process of changing its labeling to reflect the large number of olive trees on the properties it owns.

Along the way, Brian Talley has been involved in numerous civic and organizational goals. He was a leader in the effort to establish the recently approved San Luis Obispo Coast AVA, a boon to growers in that part of the Central Coast. He’s also been a Wine Industry Person of the Year on two occasions and is the author of a farm-to-table cookbook called Our California Table that celebrates the seasons with the Talley Family.

Winemaking chores at Talley Vineyards are in the hands of Eric Johnson, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate who formerly worked for Bianchi Winery before becoming winemaker in 2010. He has embraced the Burgundian winemaking philosophy of Burgundian vigneron Frederic Mugnier who stated, “I always achieve more when I do less.”

Brian Talley is also quite proud of the fact that his daughters, Elizabeth, 25, and Olivia, 24, have worked in various capacities at the winery. Elizabeth will take a masters course at a university in Florence, Italy in the near future to increase her knowledge of Italian wine and winemaking.

It is a delight to feature a wine from such an established winery as Talley Vineyards for our Platinum Wine Club members. It is a fact that many wineries at this level and reputation have insufficient inventories as to be available to offer their wines to outside interests such as wine clubs.

Talley Vineyards is the epitome of a winery operation that does things right and follows a specific route in reaching its goals. It is with great pleasure that we offer this great wine from Arroyo Grande’s Talley Vineyards. It will make a great addition to your cellar and offer a true insight into Burgundian-style California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


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Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

Picture of Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

I am pleased to share our 2018 Talley Vineyards Rosemary’s Vineyard Chardonnay. Talley Vineyards has produced distinctive and acclaimed estate grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reflecting the cool climate and diverse soils of the San Luis Obispo Coast region since 1986 when the company was founded by my parents, Don and Rosemary Talley.

Rosemary’s Vineyard is the coolest site that we farm, located just 6 1/2 miles from the ocean, which is visible from the top of the vineyard. My mother lives in an adobe house right in the middle of her namesake vineyard, and this is where I grew up. The cool climate of the site, coupled with the distinctive shaly loam soils, yields Chardonnay with deeply concentrated citrus flavors and refreshing acidity.

The backbone of the Rosemary’s Vineyard Chardonnay is a section that my father planted back in 1988, which is now the oldest block of Chardonnay that we farm. Over the years, the Rosemary’s Vineyard Chardonnay has come to be recognized as one of the most acclaimed in California. In 2006, the 2002 Rosemary’s Chardonnay was judged to be the best California Chardonnay in the Judgment of Paris 30th Anniversary Tasting that was held in Napa and London. The 2018 version of the wine continues this legacy of excellence.

I hope you enjoy this distinctive expression of the cool climate of the San Luis Obispo Coast region just as much as I enjoyed producing it.

Sincerely,

Brian Talley
Talley Vineyards


Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

Picture of Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

I am pleased to share our 2018 Talley Vineyards Stone Corral Vineyard Pinot Noir. Talley Vineyards has produced distinctive and acclaimed estate grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reflecting the cool climate and diverse soils of the San Luis Obispo Coast region since 1986 when the company was founded by my parents, Don and Rosemary Talley.

Located just 4 miles from the ocean in the Edna Valley region, the vineyard has distinctive sandy soils that distinguish it from the calcareous clay and shale soils of our Arroyo Grande Valley Vineyards. The 28-acre vineyard was planted entirely to Pinot Noir in 2001. The wine produced from the Stone Corral Vineyard tends to be softer and more fruit forward than our Arroyo Grande Valley bottlings.

Stone Corral is a unique cooperative vineyard that we own, farm and share with two other local wineries: Stephen Ross and Kynsi. Over the past 15 years, the three wines (Talley, Stephen Ross, and Kynsi) produced from the vineyard have come to be recognized as some of the very best Pinot Noirs produced in the Edna Valley Viticultural Area.

I hope you enjoy this distinctive expression of the cool climate of the San Luis Obispo Coast region just as much as I enjoyed producing it.

Sincerely,

Brian Talley
Talley Vineyards


Eric Johnson - Winemaker

Picture of 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.