The Talley family owns six unique vineyards comprising 174 acres in Coastal San Luis Obispo County: The Rincon Vineyard, Rosemary's Vineyard, Monte Sereno Vineyard, and Las Ventanas Vineyard are located in the Arroyo Grande Valley, while Oliver's Vineyard and Stone Corral Vineyard are located in the neighboring Edna Valley.
The Arroyo Grande Valley
The Arroyo Grande Valley is a federally approved American Viticultural Area (AVA) in recognition of the valley's distinctive climate and soil characteristics. Oriented predominantly northeast-southwest, this coastal valley is considered one of the most temperate viticultural areas in the world. These ideal conditions result in a long and mild growing season, with bud break typically occurring in mid-February, flowering in early May and harvest in September. Still widely planted to vegetables on the valley floor, winegrowing in the valley dates to the 1880s, when Zinfandel was planted in the warmer, eastern part of the valley. The modern era began in the 1980s with plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the hillsides of the western end of the valley, closer to the ocean. There are just over 800 acres of wine grapes in the Arroyo Grande Valley, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay predominant.
Located seven miles northeast of the Pacific Ocean, the Rincon Vineyard is the home vineyard where Don Talley planted the first vines of Talley Vineyards in 1982 and where the winery is located. Consisting of two southerly facing hillsides rising from the floor of the Arroyo Grande Valley, Rincon Vineyard soils are shallow and composed of several types, the most predominant of which is Diablo Clay, a dark calcareous clay that limits vine vigor. This soil type, coupled with the steepness of the hills, results in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir yields averaging less than three tons per acre and produces wines with distinct mineral aromas and flavors.
The Rincon Vineyard is the largest of the Talley family's vineyards, consisting of 74 acres: 39 acres of Pinot Noir, 27 acres of Chardonnay, and 2 acres of Syrah. The oldest vines in the Rincon Vineyard grow on their own roots, are low in vigor, and yield small quantities of fruit with great concentration and complexity. Parts of the Rincon Vineyard are currently fallow and will be redeveloped in coming years.
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, just six miles to the southwest, and surrounding the home of the Talley Vineyards' co-founder Rosemary Talley, Rosemary's Vineyardis the coolest vineyard site farmed by the Talley family. The combination of the cool climate and Lopez Very Shaly Loam soil type produces exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with bright flavors, firm structure, and refreshing energy. Over the years Rosemary’s Vineyard has produced Talley Vineyards’ most highly acclaimed wines. Yields average less than three tons per acre. With original plantings dating to 1987, the 29-acre vineyard is planted to 17 acres of Pinot Noir and 12 acres of Chardonnay.
Monte Sereno Vineyard
The tiny Monte Sereno Vineyard, the Talley family’s smallest, was planted in 2006 about one mile southwest of the winery, adjacent to a steep bluff that rises from the floor of the Arroyo Grande Valley. The alluvial soils of this vineyard are called Mocho Sandy Clay Loam, and the Monte Sereno Vineyard consists of 3 acres planted entirely to Chardonnay, which tends to be softer and more tropical in style than the bottlings from the Rincon or Rosemary’s Vineyard sites.
Las Ventanas Vineyard
The newest vineyard in the Arroyo Grande Valley is planted along Lopez Drive, less than a half-mile south of the Rincon Vineyard. The 4-acre vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and the soils are the same as the Monte Sereno Vineyard: Mocho Sandy Clay Loam. The vines thrive in this deep alluvial soil, and yields are higher than in the other vineyard sites. The softer-styled wines from this site contribute to the Estate and Bishop’s Peak wines.
The Edna Valley
The Edna Valley is a federally approved AVA that runs from the edge of San Luis Obispo southeast, where it adjoins the Arroyo Grande Valley. Winegrowing began in the Edna Valley in the 1970s, and there are nearly 3,000 acres producing, with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir most widely planted. Weather conditions are more extreme than in the Arroyo Grande Valley, with colder temperatures in the winter, higher winds in the spring and warmer days in the late summer. Soils are diverse and range from heavy calcareous clays on the valley floor to thin sandstone, sandy clay loams on the hillsides and almost pure sand in the southwestern part of the valley, adjacent to Corbett Canyon Road.
Oliver's Vineyard, named in honor of Talley Farms founder Oliver Talley, is a 36-acre vineyard planted predominantly to Chardonnay. The first section of the vineyard was planted exclusively to Chardonnay in 1991. The newer section was planted in 2006 and includes small quantities of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The predominant soil type is Marimel Sandy Clay Loam, a calcareous sandy clay loam. The vines are moderately vigorous, and yields average about three tons per acre in the original section, and four tons per acre in the newer planting.
Stone Corral Vineyard
Brian Talley’s vision to establish a cooperative vineyard was realized when he planted the Stone Corral Vineyard with local winemakers Stephen Ross Dooley and Don Othman in 2001. Each vintage results in the production of three distinct Stone Corral Vineyard bottlings from Talley Vineyards, Stephen Ross Wine Cellars, and the Kynsi Winery. These are often the most highly regarded Pinot Noirs produced in the Edna Valley.
The 28-acre vineyard, located in the southwestern part of the Edna Valley, just four miles from the ocean, is planted entirely to Pinot Noir. The sandy soils of the site produce elegant wines with plush texture and dark color. The vineyard gets its name from the Corral de Piedra (Stone Corral in Spanish), the name of the original Spanish land grant that covered much of the Edna Valley, including this vineyard site.