Magazine article Sunset

SLO Food and Wine Tours

Magazine article Sunset

SLO Food and Wine Tours

Article excerpt

Taste your way through San Luis Obispo County

SUMMERTIME, AND THE LIVIN' is SLO in San Luis Obispo--as in SLO coffee, SLO ice cream, SLO olive oil, even SLO beer. But SLO in San Luis Obispo, about midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, doesn't mean dull or dawdling. Rather, this proud diminutive distinguishes a cornucopia of locally produced products: herb-flavored oils, spicy condiments, tangy sourdough bread, heady wines.

With this year's harvest in full swing, now is a good time to sample the area's offerings. San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau has put together three self-guided motor tours--each taking about half a day to complete--during which you can sample and buy the county's food and wine bounty.

Pick up tour brochures at the bureau's office, at 1041 Chorro Street, Suite E, in San Luis Obispo; or call (800) 634-1414 to request a map by mail. The bureau also can give you lodging information.

CUSTOMIZING A TOUR

The tour maps are a great starting point, but we found it most useful to pick and choose from all three tours to make up our own itinerary.

Here are several stops chosen from the nearly 50 included in the three tours, plus a couple of our favorites you won't find on the maps. Some wineries have formal tours; others focus primarily on tastings (hours are generally 10 to 5 daily). Several charge $2 for tasting, but the fee can usually be applied to a purchase. Area code is 805.

Harford Pier at Port San Luis Harbor, about 10 miles southwest of San Luis Obispo in Avila Beach. Stop by before 11 A.M. and you might catch fishermen off-loading rock cod, halibut, crab, and other seafood bound for restaurants and markets from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Pick your own fresh fish (or try the shark jerky) at the pierside market.

SLO Brewing Co., 1119 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo; 543-1843. …

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