A San Luis Obispo County winery is in the running for a major accolade: Chamisal Vineyards announced Sept. 15 it has been nominated for Wine Enthusiast’s prestigious 2023 “American Winery of the Year” award.
The award is part of the magazine’s annual Wine Star Awards, which honor individuals and companies making outstanding contributions to the wine and alcohol beverage world, according to a news release.
Chamisal is one of five U.S. wineries in the running for the title this year, and is the only Central Coast business to be nominated.
The other nominees include: Barboursville Vineyards in Barboursville, Virginia; Black Stallion Estate Winery in Napa; Ramey Wine Cellars in Healdsburg; and Ravines Wine Cellars in Geneva, New York.
According to Wine Enthusiast, Chamisal “was the first commercial vineyard in what would become the Edna Valley AVA in the Central Coast of California.”
“The winery has a long history of producing pinot noir and chardonnay from one of the true, cool-climate growing regions of the West Coast,” the magazine wrote in its nomination. “It introduced a crisp, unoaked chardonnay during a period when oaky whites were all the rage, and it has remained true to its distinctive style over the course of 50 years in business.”
The Edna Valley vineyard was one of the first in the regional to become certified as “sustainable in practice” or “SIP,” according to the release, and has “gone beyond requirements to improve soil health and biodiversity by using biodynamic and regenerative farming methods.”
This includes establishing a community vegetable garden on behalf of the San Luis Obispo Food Bank and becoming the first local winery to install a Miyawaki forest by planting 45 species of native oak and shrubs to capture and store carbon alongside its vineyard, according to the release.
The winery also currently generates roughly a quarter of its electrical power from solar panels and is part of the International Wineries for Climate Action, according to the release.
Chamisal head winemaker Brianne Engles said it was “an honor” to be nominated for the prestigious Wine Enthusiast award, especially considering this year marks the winery’s 50-year anniversary.
“This recognition further compels us to continue pioneering environmentally conscious methods to produce exceptional wines inspired by the coastal charm of San Luis Obispo,” she said in the release.
The winery will celebrate its nomination with special pours and events at its tasting room at 7525 Orcutt Road in San Luis Obispo. For pricing, reservations and additional information, visit chamisalvineyards.com.