Costa de Oro Winery
Ron Burk and Bob Espinola, of Costo de Oro Winery’s parent company Gold Coast Farms, began farming in Santa Maria, in 1978. Eventually, they discovered a spot on the property upon which the soil was too poor for produce. They decided to try growing wine grapes on that spot instead. In 1989, the first cuttings were planted. Today, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay cover its 30 acres.
The vineyard’s grapes first were sold to other local wineries. In 1994, the first Costa de Oro wines were produced and bottled. By 2002, the winery was producing 2,500 cases annually. Since then, the production is 6,500 cases. The vineyard also continues to sell grapes to other winemakers. In 2006, the tasting room was opened on the location of Gold Coast Farms’ original highway strawberry stand. Visitors still may purchase strawberries.
The Costa de Oro Wine Tasting Room and Marketplace boasts itself as “the most unique tasting room on the Central Coast.” It is situated in Santa Maria, just off of Highway 101, and offers magnificent views of the mountains and valleys. It also hosts Friday night wine tastings that feature live music and cheese to pair with the wines. The wines include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Rose, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2008 Estate Pinot Noir has won several gold medals from the Orange County Wine Society competition, the Pinot Noir Shootout and San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition. The 2008 Dijon Selection Pinot Noir has won gold medals and accolades.