Monday, June 20, 2016

Paso Robles Wine it up on the wine trail

This past weekend was Paso Robles Wine country 2.0.  AS in our second time and with a group of former coworkers hell bent on a good time tasting wine on the Central Coast.  Added bonus is we got to enjoy cooler weather than home as So Cal was broiling in record breaking heat.

I've reviewed the wineries in more detail on Yelp.  Click that link for the details.  

First up having toured more than a few wineries over the years its imperative you have a designated driver as you get tipsy without trying after a few stops.  In our case since we had a group of 7 we opted to rent a limo for the day and be escorted to the wineries rather than drive ourselves.  We use Grand Cru in Paso Robles and was not disappointed.   If you can ask for a driver, ask for Kyle was really terrific.

First stop on our tour was up a barely one lane wide yak trail to Le Cuvier wineries.  Don't let the drive scare you, this place is worth the drive to get up there.  The wines from this boutique winery are among the best I've ever had. The tasting experience is at the top as well.  Then you get the incredible views from the cliff side patio overlooking the Paso Robles valley.  Amazing experience.  A must do.

Another hilltop stop with views to die for is Calcareous.  This winery is named for the limestone formation in the area that adds to the terroir or minerality to their wines.  All very good wines, terrific gift shop and very friendly staff.  Meg was terrific in lightening up the day and setting us off on the right foot.

Next on our loop of the West Valley of Paso Robles was Minnassian-Young Winery.  This winery is unique in that it is a dry farming operation relying only on local rainfall to keep the grapes growing.  They do several varietals but specialize in Zinfandel.  Truly one of the highlight stops for us of the day.

Oso Libre is a winery more need to model after.  Its a sustainable winery and cattle farm.  The two working to keep each other going.  We were there the day before Fathers Day and hit it just right.  The place was crowded yet Kyle was able to maneuver the limo to the main tasting room and there we joined the celebration of a fresh Angus beef burger cooked over a wood fire with a glass of their award winning "Carnal" red blend wine.

Next in our round of stops was Thacher Winery. It was a decent winery, tastings were #10 flight and their Zin was pretty exceptional.  Ditto the Grenache.

Our last and final stop of the day was Rabbit Ridge.  The place was a ton of fun and needs to be on anyone's must stop list.  Its set up in a warehouse with barrels and cases of wines. Joanne and her daughter Sara made us feel totally welcome, led us through a tasting flight of 12 wines that were all good to excellent...more of the latter than the former and they are priced so well we came home with a mixed case!

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