Tag Archives: wine tasting

Enjoy Great Wine on a Road Trip to Paso Robles

Enjoy great wine and beautiful vistas on a scenic California road trip to Paso Robles. The hilly inland Paso Robles terroir offers superb and tasty full-bodied reds, because of its hotter, drier climate and riverbeds. Paso Robles is a three hour drive north from Los Angeles or a 3 hour drive south of San Francisco.

Opolo Vineyards Paso Robles
Opolo Vineyards Paso Robles

On your first day, take a drive east along Highway 46 to Opolo Vineyards at 7110 Vineyard Drive. Owners Rick Quinn and Dave Nichols have produced Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Muscat Canelli on 280 acres of vineyards since 1999. Our favorite out of many great bottles? Opolo’s fantastic tempranillo. Pair it with one of their tasty gourmet pizzas for a memorable lunch.

Brecon Estate Winery, Paso Robles
Brecon Estate Winery Paso Robles

Just a few minutes away, drop into the Brecon Estate winery at 7450 Vineyard Drive. We love their 2017 Forty Two –a red Rhone blend that scored 93 points from Wine Enthusiast. This was their first screw cap red wine, but, as they say, “the romance is in the glass, not in the cork.”

Pasolvio, Paso Robles
Pasolvio, Paso Robles

Another few minutes further along at number 8530, stop by Pasolivo for a different tasting experience – a taste of palate-cleansing olive oils. Pasolivio offers personal one on one tutoring sessions and lots of great recipes.

Where to Eat in Paso Robles

Road-trippers will appreciate dinner at Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles, thanks to a menu of local fresh ingredients used in the imaginative and colorful dishes. The emphasis here is on organic, regionally-produced food: poultry, fish, grass-fed beef, lamb and exotic meats. Nearby farmers provide all the fruits and vegetables, and breads are baked locally.

Eberle Winery Paso Robles
Eberle Winery Paso Robles

On the next day, visit pet-friendly Eberle Winery, 3810 E Highway 46,  for a tasting and cave tour. For a one of a kind experience, book a private tasting in the underground caves,  one of the most unique aspects of Eberle Winery.

Underground Cave at Eberle Winery, Paso Robles
Underground Cave at Eberle Winery, Paso Robles

In the 1990s, American Wine Legend Gary Eberle expanded underground, building the first wine caves in Paso Robles. Gary still greets guests daily with complimentary wine tastings, public tours of the production facility and the 16,000 square feet of underground caves.

Cass Winery, Paso Robles
Cass Winery, Paso Robles

From here, a 20-minute drive southeast takes you to Cass Winery at 7350 Linne Road. In addition to wine tasting, the on-site café offers lunch – try the succulent Benny Burger. The knowledgeable staff have great suggestions for wine pairings with lunch.

At Cass Winery, guests have the option of staying on site. Choose between The Geneseo Inn, a contemporary boutique hotel created from shipping containers or the Guesthouse, a three bedroom ranch house.

Where to Stay in Paso Robles

Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles
Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles

Start your Central California road trip with a stay at the 4.5-star Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles, where U.S. 101 meets Highway 46. It’s a perfect base for exploring many great Paso Robles wineries all connected by scenic road trips.

Terrace at Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles
Terrace at Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles

The excellent onsite Cello Ristorante is available for all-day dining. The resort also offers an upscale tasting room, spa services, steam room and an outdoor pool in peaceful surroundings of lush gardens and vineyards.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel by the Sea, or simply Carmel, is California’s perennial favorite  travel destination. Formerly an artist’s colony –there seems to be more art galleries than people, tiny Carmel, population 4000, has worked hard to keep their village lifestyle.

The one-square-mile village of Carmel has no big-box stores nor chain restaurants. Don’t worry about paying to park your car – there are no parking meters and no street lights – great for star-gazing.

Monterey Cypress at Carmel Beach
Monterey Cypress at Carmel Beach photo credit: John Cameron

Carmel’s city founders favored a central post office instead of door- to-door delivery thus no addresses. Carmel street signs, carved vertically on short wooden poles, are easy to miss.

Court of the Fountains
Court of the Fountains photo credit: John Cameron

The ubiquitous Dutch doors, favored by almost all business owners, really enhance the friendly small-town feel.

Famous citizens include Clint Eastwood, a former mayor of Carmel from 1986-1988. Dirty Harry Callahan made it safe to eat ice cream once again on Carmel’s public streets. The late Doris Day was part owner of the dog- friendly Cypress Inn. Hollywood movie posters of Doris Day adorn Terry’s Bar – an homage to her son.

Rated the #1 dog-friendly town in America, you can bring your pets to restaurants, bars, the beach, even wine-tasting rooms.

Where to Stay

Hofsas House Carmel by the Sea
Hofsas House Carmel photo credit: John Cameron

Family-owned and run for three generations, the pet-friendly Hofsas House Hotel is very popular with travel-savvy Europeans. Get practical daily trip advice from the helpful concierge with a large continental breakfast featuring pastries from a local bakery.

Hofsas House Mural by Maxine Albro
Hofsas House Mural photo credit: John Cameron

The first thing guests might notice is the Bavarian themed mural opposite the Hofsas House welcome office. Donna Hofsas commissioned artist Maxine Albro to paint the mural in 1957.

Hofsas House Guest Room
Hofsas House Guest Room photo credit: John Cameron

The Hofsas House has 38 well-designed and comfortable guest rooms with Dutch doors in every room and featuring amenities like a fireplace.

Hofsas House balcony
Hofsas House balcony photo credit: Sherel Purcell

A small heated pool and a dry sauna that’s always warm and a communal rooftop deck for good views over Pebble Beach are special touches found at Hofsas House.

Hofsas House has the only poolside meeting facility in Carmel with classroom seating for up to 24.

The Hofsas House has partnerships with four different golf courses in the area. If you don’t want to pay the big bucks to golf Pebble Beach or Spanish Bay, the back nine at Pacific Grove Golf Links  has great water views. As the starter in the pro shop said,” It’s the same ocean for 300 bucks less. “

Things to do

Taste the wines of the Monterey and Carmel Valley all within walking distance of downtown.

Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room
Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room photo credit: Sherel Purcell

Schied Vineyards at San Carlos & 7th Avenue in Carmel offers complimentary small bites to pair with featured wines and new releases on the second Tuesday of every month.

Just down Ocean Avenue at the Carmel Road Tasting Room, sample their flight of Pinot Noirs.

Carmel Road Tasting Room
Carmel Road Tasting Room photo credit: Sherel Purcell

Actor Drew Barrymore works with winemaker Kris Kato to produce a great rose for her signature collection, Barrymore Wines. Both Scheid and Carmel Road offer wine clubs – get a taste of Carmel sent right to your doorstep.

Wine Enthusiast named Carmel one of the top ten wine tasting destinations in the world.

Carmel is the perfect base for exploring the beautiful California coast. Steinbeck’s Cannery Row in historic Monterey is 30 minutes to the north while Point Lobos is just 15 minutes to the south. Big Sur is an hour’s drive south on scenic US 1 .

Lone Cypress photo credit: John Cameron
Lone Cypress photo credit: John Cameron

Take scenic 17-mile drive for a great introduction to the relentless beauty of the northern California coast. Tip: take your receipt for the ten-dollar entrance fee with you and have it credited to your lunch at The Bench at the Pebble Beach Lodge, overlooking beautiful Pebble Beach’s iconic 18th green.