The Central Coast was calling to us this year. We went down to Monterey, Carmel and Cambria for our anniversary and a mini family reunion in July, and in December we visited San Luis Obispo. While down there for a wedding, we decided to take in some local sites and sips before the big day.
Our first stop was the Madonna Inn for breakfast. I’ve been driving past this place on various road trips all my life and have been dying to stop there and check it out. The inn’s Copper Cafe didn’t disappoint, as we enjoyed a large and tasty breakfast surrounded by fluffy pink cakes, copper finishes and multi-colored glassware. I was pretty much beaming from ear to ear with a permasmile, while Matt nodded along … and vetoed my pleads to bring some of those gorgeous goblets home. (Good thing you can buy them online! Along with their famous pink sugar. Muahahaha!)
We then joined up with my aunt, uncle and cousin to do some wine tasting in Paso Robles, of which you’ve already seen some sneak peeks. We are all huge fans of Paso, so it’s fun to share our favorite places. It became a jam-packed day that all started an 11 a.m. distilled spirits tasting. Oh boy.
Our first wine stop was at Alta Colina — a very small dad and daughter operation that specializes in rhone varietals. While this time they were out of my favorites, the Claudia Cuvee and Old 900 Syrah, it was still a great time and I look forward to visiting them again in July.
The next stop was Villa Creek, the two above photos, which was a very small, no frills tasting experience. No frills meaning the front door is more like a back door and you were swatting away fruit flies with a vengeance while shivering in the December cold. Alas, wine is an agriculture business after all and it’s not about your comfort, but the comfort of the wine aging in barrels. (Like how I work at a winery and my car is always filthy — but it’s not dirt, it’s terroir!) It’s a good thing we liked the wine.
Just up the windy road was Tablas Creek. It was our second time there and not only do they make delicious wine, but they excel at making you feel welcome: water bottles at the front door, a warm atmosphere and friendly staff. (Plus, they have free wireless even liked my photos on Instagram — this is a big deal for bloggers.) My favorite wine was the En Goblet, but I’ve also previously purchased the Vin de Paille Sacrérouge, a dessert wine.
It was then time for lunch where we got wood-fired pizzas on the outdoor patio at Opolo. Thank goodness for space heaters! The food was decent and hit the spot. Lunch spots are a little limited up there in the wine wilderness. Next time we’ll probably pick up sandwiches — go to The French Corner Store if you’re near downtown Cambria.
Next stop? Turley Wine Cellars. My uncle said there is a waiting list to get in their wine club — which set my expectations pretty high. Again we were greeted by a warm and cozy tasting room with friendly staff — and cheese! Their wines didn’t disappoint and we ended up going home with a bottle of Presenti Vineyard Zinfandel. I highly recommend stopping here if you’re around.
Our last stop of the day was to Kenneth Volk, another stop that we would highly recommend. Last time we were there we snagged a Viognier and I was oh-so-tempted to buy many more bottles, but alas our budget and wine storage space was up.
Thus concludes the wine tasting fun in Paso that day.