Page 26 - SLO Visitors Guide Summer/Fall 2020
P. 26

Avila Beach
It’s the taste that really counts at Sinor-LaVallee Winery
 How does one graduate from working at his father’s auto wrecking yard in Visalia to a wine- maker on the Central Coast? That’s the question put to Mike Sinor of Sinor-LaVallee Winery of Avila Beach.
“I thought I would become a high school shop teacher,” Sinor ex- plained, “and was on that road at Cal Poly when I took a job at an Edna Valley winery.” The idea to work in
a winery came from needing money for school and the suggestion from
a friend. “I didn’t know anything about wine,” said Sinor. After work- ing at six different wineries and tasting the results of his first harvest in 1993, his path changed to award- winning winemaker. Sinor’s 20-year old son, Tomas, following in his father’s footsteps, is working on his second vintage at Laetitia Winery.
Mike Sinor
Sinor apprenticed
at Byron Winery in
the Santa Maria Valley
beginning in 1994 and
became Assistant Wine-
maker. Marrying his
college sweetheart, Cheri
LaVallee, in 1996 in
Burgundy, the couple honeymooned in the South of France. In 2013 they decided to purchase the Bassi Estate
Vineyard near Avila Beach.
The first tasks, before planting their
own rooted Grenache vines and Syrah from a friend’s vineyard, was pulling out diseased Merlot vines and let the ground fallow for three years.
The vineyard is blessed by sea breezes and marine type
Sinor suggests visitors read about region, choose three wineries and focus on a single varietal. Focus on the wine of your choice, learn all you can about it and don’t be put off by the sales pitches.
   Family Fun for Everyone
Visit the farm animals Local produce
Baked goodies
Gift shop
Deli & sweet shop and so much more...
Open Every Day 9am - 6pm
                                                                 560 Avila Beach Dr, SLO • (805) 595-2816
   soil consisting primarily of sandstone. Located on hilly terrain, some blocks are terraced hillsides while others are con- toured on rounded sides. The hills slope from 15-to 50-percent with primarily loamy sand. Sandstone
is hard vine roots cannot penetrate it but this makes the plants struggle a bit and produce fruit with natural intensity and vivid site expression.
“When done
well the wine
speaks of
place,” Sinor
said.“It’s how
it tastes to you
that counts.”
— Mike Sinor
Wine clubs are excellent ways to become familiar with wine. Join the Sinor- LaVallee Wine Club, enjoy exclusive savings on wine purchases, complimentary tast- ings and members- only events.
Enjoy and pur- chase Sinor-LaVallee wines at their tasting room at 550 1st Street, in Avila Beach. To support staff and
  The vineyard today consists of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Albarino, all varietals that produce well in the cool, foggy climate. Sinor farms organically and biodynamically, in his words, “organic with biodynamic inputs.” The theory is that what is great for wine is good for the land, the environment and keeps everything in balance. “When done well the wine speaks of place,” Sinor said. “It’s how it tastes to you that counts.”
For the best wine tasting experience,
patron health, tastings are held outdoors. Up to 12 people can be accommodated for tasting. The tasting room is open from noon- 6:00 p.m. daily. No reservations needed.
Sinor-LaVallee wines can also be purchased at SLO Wine and Beer in San Luis Obispo.
For information about wine tasting, the wine club or the wines, visit: or call 805) 459-9565.
– Ruth Ann Angus
 26 SUMMER / FALL 2020

   24   25   26   27   28