Anson and I finally got a chance to see for ourselves over this past Thanksgiving weekend, and we can't wait to go back.Wild Horse. Being at the south end of the appellation, we stopped there on our way.
Drytown Cellars in Gold Country (where we learned that Amador County is pronounced "Am-a-door," not "Ahh-ma-door"), we asked them how to pronounce the name of the county we were in--Paso Robles. Our deliberations in the car on the way were answered when we were told it really is "Pass-o Ro-bulls," not "Pah-so Ro-bless."
Wild Horse has a beautiful property which lends itself to perusing the garden with a glass of wine, checking out wine-making antiques, and taking in the expansive view.Hansen Winery was an entertaining experience, so we headed over there. I can't get enough of the sun, skies and trees this time of year.
This morning a farmer's market/craft market was set up in the town square and that's not something I can ever pass up. We picked up these homemade caramels from Sugar and Spoon Caramels...Legacy Olive Company...
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Now it was time to hit the wine trail! Paso Robles is really easy to navigate, all you need to do is take the 101 for about 4 hours north of Los Angeles, then get off on Highway 46. From there you can go either east or west and run across dozens of wineries either way. It's nice to have a map of Paso Robles to get a lay of the land and find the outlying wineries as well. The area is not nearly as vast as Napa and Sonoma, so you can easily span the entire appellation in one day.
We started out at Villicana Winery because our intended destination was not open yet, but it turned out to be a really great visit because they not only have a delicious Syrah, but they are distilling spirits as well.
Le Cuvier, a delightful and eccentric winery perched at the top of a hill. This winery is definitely worth stopping in for a tasting, as they pair each wine with a little cheese, tapenade or other tasty bite that is created specifically for that wine.
One of our favorite parts of visiting wine country in the fall (see my post from last Thanksgiving in Napa and Sonoma) is the electric colors that carry over to the vines.
We made a u-turn as we drove by Niner Wine Estates, we had to stop in honor of Anson's football team. But we found that the owner's last name was Niner, and the winery was not an ode to the San Francisco 49ers. That's Heart Hill, overlooking the tasting room and winery. The top photo in the post is an adjacent hill from the same property.
We picked up and headed to our last winery, Opolo Vineyards, which was loud, crowded, and tacky, but in a good way.
I loved all of their fruity, easy, reasonably priced wines and the everyone-is-family atmosphere. And I was glad to see a Minnesota boy was half of the ownership!