We have been enjoying our trip so far. However, we really haven’t purchased that much wine. We brought out 4 empty shippers plus we purchased a new product to ship another case home ( more on that in a later blog post) and most of that is sadly empty at the moment.
The Santa Barbara county and San Luis Obispo wine regions have some stellar wineries and exceptional wines, but in all honesty, their style is not what we prefer. Today we head an hour north of SLO and will be tasting in our favorite area, Paso Robles. We love the wines from this region. That’s why we chose to create our wines here. The temperature is significantly warmer. There is no coastal fog influence in Paso. Paso Robles is considered “above the grade”. I will never forget our first visit to this area. We left our hotel in Paso and the temperature was 97 degrees. We headed “down the grade” to go kayak in Morro Bay. Morrow Bay is below the grade. When we reached the bottom of the grade, the temperature was 56 degrees. (And it’s only about an hour drive). That’s some major coastal and topographical influence.
Honestly, personally I could do without the high temperatures of Paso, but I love what it does for the grapes and consequently the wine. I am very hopeful that we will be filling up some of those empty spaces in the shippers today.
As I was finishing up the blog yesterday, I realized that I have only been taking pictures of the insides of the wineries. I have been discussing the outside picnic areas, but not showing them in pictures. So today I will start taking pictures of these outside areas also.
Tasting fee: $10 they are open daily 10-4:30. This is a new tasting room. It use to be smaller and more rustic. Now, as you can see in the pictures it is large and modern. They finished the remodel in August. We found out that Fiji Water took over this facility. Outside they have planted some trees that will provide shade as they grow. There is a lot of space along the side and back to sit and enjoy their wine. They also have a large room in back where they host tasting events. We purchased two 2011 Justification (59% cab Franc 41% Merlot)
Tasting fee: $10 waived with a bottle purchase. Tasting room is open daily 10-5. They have tours at 10:30 and 2 pm daily. If you do the tour, which lasts about 40 minutes you receive a complimentary tasting at the end. There are four separate tasting bars. Outside is beautifully landscaped and has plenty of seating with umbrellas. They have reusable canteens of water for their customers to enjoy. Just return the empties. The parking has some young trees so shade will eventually be available. We made no purchases.
Tasting fee: $10. We came here under the recommendation of an employee at Justin. They have been open for three months. They are open Thursday – Monday 11-5. We were greeted by two winery dogs. The black and white dog is Louie and the brown guy is Roy. Roy will play ball with you all day. Louie will lay at your feet. Damian is the winemaker and his wife, Amanda, was pouring for us. The parking is a bit below the tasting room and has some large trees, so if you back in there may be some shade depending on the time of day. As you come around to the winery the tasting room is on your left and the seating area is behind. They are going to change the parking lot and entrance area in the next few months. It is a small tasting room but very modern and beautiful. We purchased two 2012 Albariño, one 2012 Cabernet Franc, one 2012 Syrah and two 2012 Forty-two.
Tasting fee: $10 waived with a wine purchase. As you pull up to this winery, you will notice all the trees. These are walnut trees. The walnuts here are fantastic. They often have walnuts out for tasting, so if they don’t, go ahead and ask. Unfortunately, they informed us that this year’s crop was a little smaller, and they were already sold out. They are open daily 10-5. There really isn’t any shade heard but if you go around the side you can position yourself under a tree. There are farm animals back there too. There are picnic benches under a gazebo in front. The tasting area is relatively small but there is one additional table you can stand at and taste. We did not make any purchases.
Just doesn’t get much more beautiful than here at Daou. They charge a $20 tasting fee that is waived with a purchase. They now have a culinary menu available Thursday – Monday 12-4pm and by reservation Tuesday and Wednesday.(48 hour notice needed) The tasting room is open daily 11-5. Additionally, they hold events on their patio and library several times a year. You climb up a road to get to the winery and it is a beautiful sight, but once again no shade. We purchased one 2011 Reserve Seventeen Forty (still have one in our cellar) and two 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
They share a building with Villicana. There is no sign on the main road for Alta Colina, so look for Villicana’s sign. Upon arrival Alta Colina is up the stairs to the left of the building (by the tables). There is a $10 tasting fee that is waived with a two bottle purchase. The tasting room is small, but manageable. They are open Thursday-Sunday 11-5. They recently broke ground for a new winery just west up the road. They hope to be in by November 2014. We made no purchases.
This is a storefront winery. These people know how to have fun. We had a blast last year, and this year we entered to a raucous ping pong tournament, music and just a great vibe. It is Russels’s bday and they know how to celebrate. There is a $10 tasting fee that is waived with purchase. They are open Thursday-Sunday 11-4. Parking is in the street or behind the winery. We purchased two 2012 Nuts & Bolts.
There is a $10 tasting fee. They offer a series of events throughout the month. Every Saturday and Sunday from 12-3 there is a food and wine pairing, plus from June 4- September 24 they participate in Winedown Wednesday (just for two examples). You can join their newsletter (www.calcareous.com) to keep informed of all of their events. There is no shade to be found in this parking lot. The views here are beautiful and you can enjoy them as you sip a wine purchased by the glass. We purchased two 2013 Lily Blanc and two 2010 Cabernet Sauvignin York Mtn.
Another day of winetasting has ended, but we aren’t quite ready to head back to SLO. We can not be in the area without heading to our favorite craft brewery, Barrel House Brewing. We will then head back to SLO and hit the phenomenal farmers market. Life is pretty darn good.