Paso Robles, August 2019
Many friends who love wine and those in the industry talk about visits to Napa and Sonoma wine country, but they also forget that Paso Robles is a fantastic wine region and great escape for a quick weekend getaway. We had the pleasure of recently going back to the valley and tri-cities (Paso Robles, Templeton & Atascadero) for a visit to see great friends, taste at delicious wineries and enjoy the spoils of the area.
I was recommended to visit Paix Sur Terre Wines as it was a newer producer in the area who was highlighting grapes from the famed Glenrose Vineyard in Paso. Let me tell you, I was impressed! I am still thinking of their wines; amazing flavors, a true sense of place and terroir and a winery to pay attention to in the years to come. My favorites were their 2018 Picpoul Blanc and 2018 Counoise along with their 2017 Mourvedre.
A local seafood market, Pier 46, highlighting the Central Coast Pacific Ocean's offerings, it is definitely a local favorite for picking up fish for dinner that night or a casual lunch. I decided on the grilled fish, topped by a generous amount of cabbage and pepperjack sauce on corn tortillas. This was a perfect midday stop and refueling prior to tasting more delicious wines.
Brecon Estate was next on the Vineyard Road tour. First of all this winery's setting is gorgeous. The arrival experience walking over a bridge at a creek and walking up to a modern winery set back in a grove is a true highlight. The wines were massively large, full of flavor! Not really my style in many aspects, but people were loving the selections being tasted that day. My highlights were their 2016 Cabernet Franc from the Adelaida District and The Last Sandwich White blend (Albarino and Viognier).
Additionally, we stopped into Downtown Paso Robles, where the growth of the town is fascinating. There has been a square in the middle of town which has always served as a defacto community center, and around it the amount of new restaurants, shops, hotels and more is amazing. Paso is truly growing up as a town and tourist destination over the last 10-15 years, and will continue to grow in the years to come. A restaurant to be on the lookout for, in the near future is from Julien Asseo (Stephane Asseo's son from L'Aventure) who moved back to the valley to open his new restaurant, Les Petites Canailles, which is one block from the square.
Saturday evening I had the pleasure of attending the Bella Luna Estate Winery’s Oyster and Ceviche Event, pairing their wines with local oysters and snapper from the Central Coast. This was held at the winery's courtyard on a gorgeous Summer night, with a beautiful moon setting the stage for a evening of wonderful people. The winery was pouring their current releases, which was outstanding. One of their club members decided to share a 2003 Estate Riserva with the group and on top of that the Founder and great man, Sherman Smoot brought out a few surprises from his personal cellar, including the Estate Riserva from 2002, and Fighter Pilot Red 2002 and 2003. What an absolute treat those wines were! We can't thank the family and team from Bella Luna for their hospitality and friendship, they're truly wonderful people!
Sunday morning started at the Merry Hill Coffee & Teas for a delicious Americano with beans from Slake Coffee Roasters North Beach Roast. Full bodied with great flavors. We were able to sit on their patio, take in the morning's cool temperatures and enjoy the setting of Templeton that was all around us.
Prior to leaving, there was a quick visit to Main Street in Templeton to a personal favorite, Dark Nectar Coffee Roasters for an Espresso and their Templetucky Roast which has delicious mocha and olive notes.
All told, the trip back to Paso was a quick one, but we can't wait to return! We were able to discover some new wineries, see great friends and set the table for another trip back to the valley. If you're planning on visiting Paso, be sure to reach out and we'll happily share some ideas! Cheers friends!