Tag Archives: California

Bianchi Winery, Paso Robles, California

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No newcomer to the party, Glenn Bianchi and his father Joseph ’s love affair with wine began with a vineyard and winery in the Central Valley of California in 1974. Their desire to create a boutique winery with an emphasis on premium varietals led them to Paso Robles. Impressed with Paso Robles natural beauty and reputation for wines with finesse and complexity, they purchased 40 acres of vineyards on Branch Road in January of 2000.

Bianchi Winery Paso Robles
Bianchi Winery Paso Robles

The Paso Robles terroir is best suited to red varietals. The winery’s sloping vineyards feature Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah and Merlot vines. These varietals make up their  Heritage Selection. The Italian red varietal Refosco is only available at the Winery Tasting Room.

Bianchi also has produced a great line of four whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Moscato. All are made with grapes sourced from cool marine-influenced Santa Barbara and Monterey County vineyards. Their crisp Chardonnay follows the current trend, moving away from the buttery notes by splitting fermentation between stainless steel tanks and oak barrels.

Bianchi Winery Tasting Room
Bianchi Winery Tasting Room

Bianchi is a member of the Wineries of Paso Robles 46 East. Their Wine Club offers members 30% off any purchases on the day of sign up. With the purchase of a case of wine,  Club Members can earn a complimentary one night stay at the adjacent Vineyard House.

The Vineyard House at Bianchi Winery

Bianchi Vineyard House
Bianchi Vineyard House

The perfect spot for a wine country getaway, the Vineyard House is a 3 bedroom/2 bath house which can sleep up to three couples. The large house features a wood-burning fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, a wine fridge, outdoor BBQ and ensuite laundry.

Bianchi Vineyard House front patio
Bianchi Vineyard House front patio

Guests can sit on the peaceful front patio overlooking the waterfall fed pond or the large back patio, enjoying the sun setting over the vineyard with a glass of wine. City dwellers beware – the silence of the peaceful countryside is deafening.

 

Golf Half Moon Bay California

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Halfway between San Francisco and Silicon Valley lies the beach town of Half Moon Bay, about a 45 minute drive from San Francisco on 280 south. But if you’re not in a hurry, drive down the coast- hugging Highway One, with postcard views of the Pacific.

Half Moon Bay California beach
Half Moon Bay beach

Lush vegetation and redwood trees thrive year round in the temperate northern California weather. A temperate climate means year round golf, the holy grail for golfers from northern climes, and some of the best golf in the Bay area can be found in Half Moon Bay.

Half Moon Bay Golf Links features two championship 18 hole courses, The Old Course and The Ocean Course. The clubhouse and pro shop for both courses is located at The Ritz Carlton. But bring your A game because there is no driving range to find it. A notable lack for a high-end property.

The Old Course, designed by Francis Duane and Arnold Palmer in 1973, and later redesigned by Arthur Hills in 1999, is a parkland-style course lined by cypress trees. Only holes 17, a 157 yard par three, and 18 border the ocean.

The Old Course Hole 18 tee box
The Old Course Hole 18 tee box

My favorite hole on the Old Course is the 384 yard par four 18th. Standing on the tee box overlooking the blue Pacific, a drive downhill that finds the center of the fairway will give you an uphill approach shot into a green surrounded by guests of the Ritz Carlton, enjoying the fire pits and ocean views.

 

Where to eat:

Resembling a Cape Cod cottage that’s been there forever, Sam’s Chowder House opened for business in the fall of 2006. Even though the breeze coming off the ocean is cool, the sunny back deck overlooking the Pacific is the perfect choice. Try their Cioppino, a fish stew created by Italian immigrants to San Francisco. Traditionally Dungeness crab, clams, squid, mussels, shrimp are all combined in a delicious tomato broth served with hearty sourdough bread.

Where to stay:

Half Moon Bay Inn
Half Moon Bay Inn

The Half Moon Bay Inn on Main Street is a pet friendly boutique hotel with 12 unique rooms, each styled with their own charm. At check-in, enjoy a glass of wine with the owners, two former flight attendants who know a thing or two about travel, and can give you plenty of tips for the Half Moon Bay area.