Arroyo Grande Valley AVA is a 42,880-acre appellation within the Central Coast AVA. The appellation surrounds the town of Arroyo Grande, and is located southwest of San Luis Obispo. Located within four miles of the Pacific Ocean, the 16-mile long valley includes several microclimates, such a cooler lower one on the west end, where Pinot Noir is grown, and a higher, hotter microclimate inland, where Zinfandel thrives. Arroyo Grande was officially recognized as an AVA in 1990. Many grapes are grown here, including Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Tempranillo. Like most of the Central Coast, this AVA has a long tradition of farming. Most of the ever-growing number of wineries here have sprung up in the last 30 years and they tend to focus on Rhone varietals.
One of the most popular red varieties planted, it ripens late and prefers hot dry climates. It probably originated in Spain, where it is still widely grown. Grenache is best known for its use in Southern Rhone wines, including those of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.