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SLO Coast Wines’ Roll Out the Barrels Celebration Is Back — Refreshed and Reinvented for 2021

The longtime regional wine experience returns after a Covid hiatus, offering its first-ever auction of rare bottles and a series of new, exclusive experiences at the wineries.
 
The SLO Coast Wine Collective’s annual Roll Out The Barrels celebration, which has drawn thousands of wine lovers to San Luis Obispo’s wine country since 1990, returns this year with an all-new format: A series of exclusive events held at member wineries throughout the Central Coast, and for the first time, an auction of rare bottles curated by the winemakers. 
 
All of the events and the auction will take place June 24 through June 28.
 
As the region emerges from the 2020 Covid-19 shutdown, the SLO Coast Wine Collective is committed to restarting its popular yearly event, but in a way that is safe and comfortable for participants and winemakers. “Roll Out the Barrels is the perfect opportunity to taste new wines and say hello to our winemakers as Covid restrictions loosen up,” says Stephen Ross Dooley, President of the group’s Board of Directors. “We’re excited about being open again and seeing the people who’ve enjoyed our wines all these years.”
 
Roll Out the Barrels 2021 will offer unprecedented opportunities for wine lovers throughout the long weekend: Most events will be limited to 10 to 25 participants, allowing plenty of individual interaction with winemakers — and giving winemakers the chance to pour wines made in limited quantities and older bottles pulled from deep in their cellars. 
 
Among the wineries offering tasting flights of older vintages are Laetitia, Baileyana Wines, Edna Valley Vineyard, and Absolution Cellars. Other wineries will extend their hours into twilight, with tastings and tours that immerse you in the beauty of Edna Valley as the sun goes down. Sinor-LaVallee in Avila Beach will be featuring freshly shucked Pacific Gold oysters from Morro Bay Oyster Co, and at Center of Effort Winery, attendees will be guided through every step of the winemaking process — from grape to glass — while sipping current releases in the newly renovated facility.
 
Because attendance is limited and available by reservation only, we strongly suggest checking out the event list on the SLO Coast Wine Collective website at https://bit.ly/2TaC5Dp to secure reservations as soon as possible.
 
For the first time in history, Roll Out the Barrels will include an auction of exclusive wine lots curated by our members. And you don’t have to attend an event to bid: Anyone can take home our stellar selections of vintage Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Albariño, Grenache, Zinfandel, and more. Among the lots: large format bottles from Tolosa Winery, Biddle Ranch Winery, and Stephen Ross Wine Cellars; vertical collections from Talley Vineyards and Timbre Winery; mixed assortments from Croma Vera Wines, Absolution Cellars, Autry Cellars, and Saucelito Canyon Vineyard; plus some surprising bottles and limited releases. 
 
To view the lots and place bids, go to https://bit.ly/3hKXhKy. The auction site goes live 9 a.m. June 24 and closes at noon June 28.
 
Previously Roll Out the Barrels centered on a grand tasting in downtown San Luis Obispo featuring all of the wineries pouring their latest releases. This year, the SLO Collective emphasizes the one-on-one relationship wine lovers have with the wineries. Says Kathleen Naughton, the Executive Director of SLO Coast Wines: “We are ecstatic about the return of the event. We’ve put safety at the top of our list by shifting all of our events to the individual tasting rooms — with the happy result of everyone having a better chance to connect.” 
  
This year’s event also arrives as the region is on the verge of a new AVA (American Viticultural Area) designation, a coveted classification awarded by the Federal government that recognizes the distinct character of a region’s wines. It will put wines grown and made on the Central Coast in the company of AVA designates such as Napa Valley, Sonoma Coast, and Sta. Rita Hills.
 
 “The SLO Coast is gaining great momentum as a wine region due in large part to the influence of the many incredible things to offer in San Luis Obispo,” Dooley says. “We’ve missed so much since the start of COVID and we urge all attendees to also explore the restaurants, shops, and galleries in the area when they’re visiting the wineries. We do hope you'll come, enjoy the wines, stay and explore and fall in love with the SLO Coast.”
 
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About The SLO Coast Wine Collective: SLO Coast Wine Collective is where the coast meets the vines. Our 30 wineries are in San Luis Obispo County on California’s Central Coast, encompassing vineyards and wineries along a 60 mile-long, 15 mile-wide stretch of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. This is the coolest-climate winegrowing region in California and has long been the source of some of the state’s most respected Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. It has recently won renown for its production of aromatic grape varieties such as Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, and Grenache. Website: https://slocoastwine.com/