Coastal Commission OKs plans for second winery near coast

Plans for a new winery — only the second in the coastal zone on the North Coast — can move ahead after the Coastal Commission on Thursday denied an appeal of county approval for the Stolo Winery on a rural road through the foothills east of Cambria.

Currently, Harmony Cellars, just off Highway 1 south of Cambria, is the only winery with onsite sales and a tasting facility in the San Luis Obispo County coastal zone, according to a Coastal Commission staff member.

Citing concerns that the commercial enterprise would change the area’s rural character, increase traffic and degrade the watershed, among other issues, Greenspace — The Cambria Land Trust, LandWatch San Luis Obispo County and Kirsten Fiscalini had appealed the county’s approval of plans for the Stolo Winery at 3770 Santa Rosa Creek Road, 1.6 miles from Main Street.

The new winery would be allowed to do tastings and sales, but won’t be permitted to host special events or large tour groups. The project would include a grape-processing/bottling facility, a small tasting room, office and related improvements. The Stolos would extensively restore the creek’s riparian corridor. All development would be at least 100 feet from the creek and habitat.

The 53.3-acre site currently has a home and barn on it. The revised, phased, agriculturally themed project calls for disassembling, moving and restoring the historic barn, clustering all structural development on the north side of the road and away from the creek.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board must also sign off on the project.

— Kathe Tanner