Claiborne & Churchill

Claiborne & Churchill
2649 Carpenter Canyon Rd
San Luis Obispo, CA  93401

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Tasting Room Open Daily 11-5

Insider Tips

What to Buy

’12 Dry Riesling
Orange blossom, honey, apricot, nectarine $22

’12 Dry Gewürztraminer
Baking spices, Damask rose, lychee, passion fruit $22

’10 Pinot Noir
Black cherry, red berries, dried herbs, anise, cedar $28

Special Notes

Barrel room tastings, picnic grounds, private events, spring/summer concert series, Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certified


A passion for the French province of Alsace and the desire to create delightfully different wines inspired Claiborne (Clay) Thompson and Fredericka Churchill to found their boutique winery in 1983. Fredericka and Clay met when they taught language and literature at the University of Michigan. In 1981 they left “the groves of academe” for the vineyards of California, settling in the heart of the Edna Valley along California’s Central Coast. Their inaugural vintage of 565 cases of Dry Gewürztraminer and Dry Riesling confirmed the couple’s conviction that the Edna Valley was indeed an ideal site to grow aromatic grapes.

This year the husband-and-wife team and their staff raise their glasses to toast the 30th Anniversary of Claiborne & Churchill, with a stellar portfolio of wines that has expanded in intriguing ways. It now embraces other noble grapes of Alsace, including Pinot Gris, Dry Muscat, and Pinot Blanc, as well as several hand-crafted versions of Pinot Noir, the flagship red wine. In addition, there are limited bottlings of Syrah, Chardonnay, a Sparkling Rosé, several unique blends, and a sweet little list of dessert wines, all available only in the San Luis Obispo tasting room or through the Claiborne & Churchill Wine Club. Today Claiborne & Churchill produces some 8,000 cases of wine, and boasts an Estate Vineyard of Riesling and Pinot Noir, sustainably-grown and certified. Four of their wines: Dry Riesling, Dry Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir are distributed nationwide. The family-owned winery’s staff has grown, too, including Winemaker Coby Parker-Garcia, who has been part of the C&C family for more than ten years, as well as Fredericka and Clay’s daughter, Elizabeth, who helps in marketing and sales.

Anytime during this anniversary year is a great time to visit Claiborne & Churchill, but wine tourists are encouraged to check the winery website for updates on a grand celebration and the release of the 30th Anniversary Blend, scheduled to appear in late 2013. 

For more information, please visit:

Claiborne and Churchill Winery


Tasting Room: Yes

Complimentary Tastings: No

Tastings — By Appointment Only: No

Tours: No

Tours — By Appointment Only: No

Private Tours: No

VIP & Educational Experiences: No

Exceptional Views: No

Club Member Lounge: No

Restaurant / Deli: No

Food / Wine Pairings: No

Gift Shop: No

Wedding Facilities: No

Event Facilities: No

Corp. Meetings: No

Guest House on Premises: No

Lawn Games: No

Family Friendly: No

Pet Friendly: No

Family Owned and Operated: No

Wine Cave: No

Art/Architectural Interest: No

Sustainable Practices: No



Claiborne & Churchill Vintners Layered Lobster Mac 'N' Cheese

Tender chunks of lobster are framed by a cheese sauce that is rich and creamy. The addition of flavorful mirepoix vegetables is inspired!

Claiborne & Churchill's Spicy Pumpkin Cream Soup

Healthy and creamy pumpkin soup, full of flavor and very easy to make! The combination between the sweet pumpkin and spices is just great.