Saturday, September 26, 2015

Beautiful Paso Robles

Such a wonderful discovery! Hills of vineyards and groves of almond, walnut and olive trees with lovely wineries interspersed throughout was our view over the past few days. The wineries and tasting rooms are every bit as beautiful as the ones in Napa as are some of the wines.

Having no recommendations, we chose to visit those listed on Tom's Foodie blog.

Summerwood was our first stop. An elegant tasting room with views of the fermentation tanks. The
wines are very good as were the chocolates labeled to pair with the wines. In addition to wine, we left with a couple bags of raspberry infused chocolate (bet they won't make it home with us.)

On to Peachy Canyon, informal with really nice wine

After lunch in downtown Paso Robles, we drove to Halter Ranch, we weren't impressed with their wines.

Last stop of the day was Tablas Creek. Another elegant tasting room with a  lovely French lady

Thursday we started the day at Eberle. We were introduced to their zinfandel by a friend in Texas several years ago. Inexpensively priced we think it is a good value.

Loved the cave tour at Eberle.

With a brick oven and a gorgeous view, we can only imagine how great the parties must be here.

To our next destination, Villa San-Juliette, we had a lovely drive on a country road lined with nut trees and vineyards. Owned by the producers of a couple of reality shows like, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, no expense was spared in creating a lovely place to taste wine and have lunch. Just as we turned in our order for pizza, in came Bob and JoAnne whom we met at the campground the previous evening. Like us, JoAnne owns a Lazy Daze (1999 vintage) and is a Presbyterian. She also shares ABN's interest in art. Bob drives a Road Trek, small class B. He shares Captain's love of Bluegrass music and is a zinfandel aficionado  They too ordered a pizza and joined us for lunch By the time the pizzas were eaten and a very nice bottle of grenache was consumed, we were friends. 

The plan was to visit one more winery, drop ABN to poke around Paso Robles while Captain did some grocery shopping. Bob and JoAnne convinced us we should visit one of their favorite wineries, Graveyard (not on our list); so glad we did as we left with two bottles of a delicious chocolate infused port. (With a case of Jodar port at home, and a new port club membership in El Dorado County, I think we have an ample supply, at least until we return maybe next year.)

Last stop of day at Tobin James Cellars, a fun place to hang out and the zinfandel is pretty fabulous.

Thank goodness shared tastings and dumping is acceptable!

By that time, ABN was no longer interested in shopping. A quick stop at the grocery and back to The Wanderer for a rest before dinner.

After dinner Bob and JoAnne joined us for a little port and zin.

Paso Robles, another must return to destination. Now that we have friends in Santa Barbara, we must add that to our list also.

So what about the wines, well time will tell. Often when we open a bottle a few months after returning home from a wine tasting trip we will say "What were we thinking?" Just as often we will say "Wow, I didn't remember how great this one tasted." Sometimes our palates are influenced by the experience, sometimes the quality improves with time and sometimes it loses some of it's character. For us, wine is an art and a mystery.

Thirty two wineries, eight cases of wine, visits with old and new friends, our souls are fed as we leave wine country.

After a stop at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley,

we have turned The Wanderer toward Aggieland. 

The intent was to post this last evening. However, we found ourselves camping in a canyon with no internet, phone service or cable connection. We did have water, electricity and dumping so all was good. 

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