May is a wonderful time to visit SLO County. With our beautiful weather and many fun events, there isn’t a better month to experience all that our region has to offer. Some of our favorite local food and drink events just so happen to take place during this month. Be sure to check out our top 5 and get your tickets soon!
1. International Chardonnay Symposium – May 12th through May 14th in Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo’s wine region.
The International Chardonnay Symposium brings top Chardonnay producers from around the world to our region for an in-depth exploration of the world’s favorite grape and its impact on viticulture, tastemakers and the market. This event goes beyond the usual tasting experience and brings you a truly immersive and educational weekend. The 2016 line-up will feature a grand wine tasting, seminars & panel sessions, winemaker dinners and plenty of opportunities to talk Chardonnay with industry leaders, tastemakers and fellow enthusiasts. Some highlights open to the public include a seminar on French Chardonnay held at Sycamore Mineral Springs on Friday, a blind tasting skills seminar held at The Cliffs Resort and the Grand Tasting featuring more than 80 wineries held at Greengate Ranch and Vineyard on Saturday. More information at http://thechardonnaysymposium.com/.
2. Central Coast Cider Festival – May 7th in Atascadero
Over the past few years, the Central Coast has distinguished itself as a leading producer of hard cider in California. This burgeoning industry has taken root in our towns with many local cider producers popping up. What a better way to taste each of these crisp varieties than at the Central Coast Cider Festival which will be held at the Atascadero Pavilion on the Lake. The festival will feature 20 plus craft cider producers including local favorites Bristols Cider, See Canyon Hard Cider, and Reef Points. In addition to cider tasting, there will be a traditional pig roast dinner, and live music. More information at http://www.centralcoastciderfestival.com/
3. Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival – May 28th and May 29th
Always on Memorial Weekend, Sunset magazine called this event one of the best festivals in California for the Memorial holiday. Held in the old-fashioned village of Arroyo Grande, it features the Strawberry Stampede 5K & 10K races, a carnival for the kids, scrumptious strawberry treats of all kinds, arts and crafts booths, and classic Central Coast small town hospitality. If you are traveling here with the kids on Memorial weekend, make this one of your stops for a true taste of our region. More information: http://www.arroyograndevillage.org/strawberry_fest.shtml
4. California Festival of Beers – May 28th in San Luis Obispo
If craft beer tasting is more your thing, then the 30th Annual California Festival of Beers has you covered. This quintessential SLO County event started humbly in the back parking lot of a local pub and has grown considerably over the years. This year’s event will be held at Madonna Meadows and will feature many local and international breweries as well as food, games, and live music. This event also benefits Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. More information: http://www.californiafestivalofbeers.com/
5. Apple Farm Backyard Winemaker Dinner – May 27th
For nearly four years, the Apple Farm has teamed up with local wineries to present a unique San Luis Obispo Wine Country dining experience at their Backyard Winemaker Dinners. In May, they are proud to present a five course meal of local cuisines paired expertly with wines from Claiborne and Churchill of San Luis Obispo. Executive Chef Patrick Dawson, along with winemaker Coby Parker-Garcia will be on hand to guide you through each course. The dinner is held on the beautiful garden patio at the Apple Farm Restaurant and will also feature live acoustic music. Seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your seats soon. More information: http://www.applefarm.com/dining