Monday, February 17
We are hoping around a little bit at the end of our current road trip. After a couple of days in San Simeon, we moved inland again to Paso Robles. This area has become a premiere wine growing region in California, while still retaining a lesser traveled destination than the Napa/Calistoga regions. We got in early enough to do a load of wash that should get us through the rest of the week and home.
In the afternoon we headed out for a little tasting. We stopped first at Wild Horse and, as we often do, we found a nice Cabernet and Pinot Noir. It was expensive, among the highest we’ve paid for a wine, but we’re thinking it will serve nicely as our 25th anniversary dinner wine – unless we find something better tomorrow. We then moved on to another winery called Dunning. It was way off the beaten track, to the point where the paved road gave way to dirt before finally ending at the winery. It was a very quiet setting and boasted it’s own turkey flock. We picked up a couple more bottles here. I wasn’t shooting much, so no pictures for me.On Tuesday, our friends, Susan and Fred Miller, whom we plan to have dinner with later tonight, recommend we try The Other Joe’s restaurant in Templeton for breakfast. They are supposed to have about the best hash browns around, so we thought we’d treat ourselves to a breakfast extravaganza. We were not disappointed. Not only were they great, but everything was great. I has sausage with my scrambled eggs, and they were so fat and juicy that they splattered all over my shirt when I cut into them. Yes it fatty and yes, it’s greasy, but ohhhhh it’s gooood. It was such a large breakfast that we ended up skipping lunch altogether.
After a little rest back in camp, we headed out again for more tasting. We though we’d hit maybe 3 more wineries before going to dinner. But first we stopped at Mission San Miguel Arcangel. It’s another of the California Mission ruins. While the grounds are a bit rundown, the church was actually quite nice. Mary had forgotten her camera, so I let her shoot around with mine. She likes poking around the missions more than I do, so I just made the Instagrams with my phone you see here.
On to the wineries. We ended up stopping at only 2. The first stop was Bianchi where we liked 3 wines enough to buy bottles. We moved on to Tobin James where we proceeded to have our sock knocked off. We started off tasting what they had on the list and it was OK, but we were not blown away. We told our server that we really liked very fruity zinfandels. She got a look in her eyes and told us they have fruity zins, but they usually only offer them to the wine club people. So she started pulling out the good one’s and we started tasting one after the other. Most of them were pretty amazing – but expensive. They were good enough though, that we actually did join the wine club. It gets us a nice discount and invitations to member parties. Now we get 16 bottles a year. These are 16 REALLY good bottles, of their choice of course, but we’ll give it a try.
So we were done with our wine tasting. We went back to camp to recover a little bit before dinner with Susan and Fred who live about 20 mile south of Paso Robles. They are up in the hills some, and they warned us that GPS devices often get the route wrong. They were right about that, but we were prepared with MapQuest and after a wrong turn or two, we found them. They have a great home in a beautiful setting. Country living is nice. We had a terrific dinner and it was great to catch up with friends. Tomorrow we head back to the coast for a couple days in the Monterey area before heading home.