Daou Vineyards

Daou Vineyards is a west-side winery located in Paso Robles. This winery boasts one of the best views in the area with beautifully landscaped grounds and quality wines.

This is a perfect place to come as a couple to sit in the private niche with wine barrel Adirondack chairs overlooking the stunning views or enjoy the lush and luxurious cushioned settees with a group of friends.

This will be one of the more popular wineries so there may be many  people here, however, the seating options are plentiful so you should be fine. If you are looking for a relaxing, enjoyable day, and a spot to lounge around for awhile, this is a great choice.

Daou charges $40 for their wine tasting and does not have a cafe/restaurant but does offer a charcuterie platter for purchase and offers special priced wine pairings with cheese platters.

Daou Vineyards

2777 Hidden Mountain Road
Paso Robles, CA, 93446 United States
Phone: (805) 226-5460

http://www.daouvineyards.com

Allgood Custom Leather

Allgood Custom Leather (aka Creston and Company), is a small store with unique items from mostly local artisans and custom leather hand-crafted goods located in the tiny town of Creston, CA,  just on the outskirts of Paso Robles. The store is owned by Matt Allgood and his wife Meagan (nee Ryan), who is a 6th generation Creston resident.

The Ryan family roots run deep in Creston, dating back to the late 1800’s; so much so, that the building that Matt and Meagan operate their business out of is the same building that Meagan’s ancestors ran a general mercantile from in the early 1900’s through the late 1940’s.

On my husband and my first visit to the store, we walked into the small wooden building and were immediately impressed with the selection of cute country clothing, cowboy hats, and custom t-shirts, jackets, mugs, and other quality items with the Creston logo. There were custom leather saddles, knife belts, and other intricately hand-crafted leather items throughout the store. Memorabilia from the past was strategically placed throughout the store as a reminder of a by-gone era.

Within a minute of our entrance, an extremely friendly man wearing a cowboy hat walks out from the back room and greets us with his huge smile, southern drawl and a tip of his hat and introduces himself as Matt.

Matt begins explaining that he is working on a pair of chaps. Unbeknownst to us, we had no idea that this skilled craftsmanship still existed. It was from that day forward that we became fast friends with Matt and big fans of the store.

The store is a fun stop for those looking for a modern-day experience of country living at its best. On any given day, you can walk into the store and find Matt in the back working on his latest project or it’s very likely he may be visiting with a local who stops by to just say hi.

A fun experience is to have Matt custom fit and shape a cowboy hat for you. The store sells stock hats that have not yet been shaped and it’s entertaining to watch Matt steam and trim the hat to your specific specifications.

The next time you find yourself in the Paso Robles area, take the time to come out to the town of Creston…enjoy the Creston Wine Trail, stop by the store and say hi to Matt and then cross the street and enjoy a crafted meal by chef Pandee Pearson at the Longbranch Saloon…you won’t be sorry.

Allgood Custom Leather ~ follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

The store is located at 6223 Webster Road, Creston, CA. Open Weds – Sat.

 

The Sea Chest, Cambria

Cambria is a quaint costal town located near the Pacific Ocean just off West Hwy 46. If you are coming from Hwy 101 at Paso Robles, the pleasant drive on Hwy 46 West will take by several wineries and produce farms.

Cambria has an easy-going, artist community vibe. You will find unique shops, restaurants, and wine tasting rooms scattered between the two distinct downtown areas. The two downtown areas are walkable, if you enjoy a long walk; otherwise, I believe there is a trolley that shuttles people back and forth, or you can drive yourself.

Moonstone Beach is the main location for the majority of hotels that are located waterfront. Also located here is my very favorite restaurant in this area, The Sea Chest Oyster Bar and Restaurant. The restaurant is located in what I can only describe as a Sea Captain’s Cottage with its cozy wood interior walls, old books on the shelves and well-worn, sturdy furniture.

The food is always consistently good (and I’m talking about over the years I’ve been going here), some of their specialties are the House Cioppino, Local Morro Bay Oysters and Panko Crusted Calamari Steak. The Clam Chowder and daily fresh fish catches are always crowd favorites and they offer a great selection of local and beyond wine choices.

Word of warning, they do not take reservations (they often have over an hour wait) and they only take cash, so be sure to come with a stuffed wallet…but it is well worth it! The great news is, it’s located oceanfront (and I always wait for a table by the window) so wear your walking shoes and stroll the boardwalk while you’re waiting for your name to come up or sit by the outdoor fire pit with your favorite beverage. A visit here is an entire coastal dining experience.

 

The Sea Chest | Cambria, CA

Cambria is a quaint coastal town located near the Pacific Ocean just off West Hwy 46. If you are coming from Hwy 101 at Paso Robles, the pleasant drive on Hwy 46 West will take you by several wineries and produce farms.

Cambria has an easy-going, artist community vibe. You will find unique shops, restaurants, and wine-tasting rooms scattered between the two distinct downtown areas. The two downtown areas are walkable if you enjoy a long walk; otherwise, I believe there is a trolley that shuttles people back and forth, or you can drive yourself.

Moonstone Beach is the primary location for the majority of hotels that are located waterfront. Also located here is my very favorite restaurant in this area, The Sea Chest Oyster Bar and Restaurant. The restaurant is located in what I can only describe as a Sea Captain’s Cottage with its cozy wood interior walls, old books on the shelves, and well-worn, sturdy furniture.

The food is always consistently good (and I’m talking about over the years I’ve been going here); some of their specialties are the House Cioppino, Local Morro Bay Oysters, and Panko Crusted Calamari Steak. The Clam Chowder and daily fresh fish catches are always crowd favorites, and they offer a great selection of local and beyond wine choices.

Word of warning, they do not take reservations (they often have over an hour wait), and they only take cash, so be sure to come with a stuffed wallet…but it is well worth it! The great news is, it’s located oceanfront (and I always wait for a table by the window), so wear your walking shoes and stroll the boardwalk while you’re waiting for your name to come up or sit by the outdoor fire pit with your favorite beverage. A visit here is an entire coastal dining experience.

Cass Winery ~ Our First Wine Club

To join or not to join (wine clubs), that is the question when it comes to the hundreds of wineries located in the Paso Robles region. We’ve gone back and forth on this and in speaking with friends in the area, many have said that when they first moved to the area they joined numerous clubs and then cut back as time went on.

In listening to our friends, we’ve been a little selective in our process of joining wine clubs, however, when you’ve only lived in an area for a couple of months and you’ve already made several trips to the same winery, see that they offer fun events and they’re located just minutes from your home…and oh yes, you enjoy their wines…it seems like a no-brainer, so welcome the newest members of Cass Winery…us!

Cass Winery is located on the east side situated almost right in between Hwy 46 and Hwy 41. Not only is the location of this winery extremely convenient for us, we also really enjoy the peaceful, unpretentious, country setting of this vineyard. We heard from several people that Cass has a lot of fun social events and we also like the fact that they are open daily and have a tasting room and a café on site that serves delicious lunches with indoor and outdoor seating options. It’s a fun place to just hang out.

We’re looking forward to receiving our wine shipments, the private wine club member events, discounts and other benefits of being a member here. This feels like a good fit for us at this time.

We had the opportunity at an industry event to meet the owner, Steve Cass, who seems to be fun and spirited which seems to translate over to the staff.

So cheers to our new membership and the good times ahead.

Cass Winery

7350 Linne Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446
tel: 805.239.1730
fax: 805.227.2889
email: info@casswines.com

Calcareous Vineyard

Calcareous Vineyards offers the unique distinction of sitting atop one of the highest limestone plateaus on Paso Robles’ westside extending panoramic views. Not only is this winery a fine location for tasting high-quality wines but to also enjoy a nice lunch + wine pairing along with the spectacular views.

Calcareous is open daily and offers many events throughout the year (see calendar). For over a decade now, Calcareous has produced a collection of world–class blends and varietal wines that exhibit Paso Robles’ claim to being distinctly different.

This is a perfect location to enjoy a relaxing day, a light lunch or evening sunset, but do be careful drinking and driving at this location as the road to get to here is quite windy and would not be suitable for anyone who might be slightly impaired. A chartered wine tour or Uber would be recommended here if you want the wine to flow freely.

 

Calcareous Vineyard
3430 Peachy Canyon Road
Paso Robles CA, 93446

Phone:  (805) 239-0289
Fax:      (805) 239-0916

http://www.calcarous.com

Click here for Tasting Room hours.

Our First Wine Seminar Experience

Today, Thomas and I had the pleasure of attending our first wine seminar through an invitation from our friend and leisure travel consultant specializing in food and wine adventures, Lisa Baserga of AVA Wine Adventures, LLC. The seminar was presented by the Rhone Rangers, an organization dedicated to advancing the knowledge of Rhone grapes grown in the Paso Robles region and throughout the United States and was hosted at the Broken Earth Winery located in Paso Robles.

The day’s event included a 1-1/2 hour seminar, catered lunch, grand wine tasting and a silent auction. The seminar was moderated by Patrick Comiskey, Senior Contributor for Wine & Spirits Magazine, Principal Wine Columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and author of “American Rhone: How Maverick Winemakers Changed the way Americans Drink”.  The panel of speakers was composed of a team of 8 winemakers who have chosen the Rhone Ranger route in Paso Robles, and who are forging the area’s reputation as California’s “Rhone Zone”, the speakers included Paul Hoover, Still Waters Vineyards; Kevin Sass, Halter Ranch; Chris Eberle, Eberle Winery; Jeremy Leffert, Tooth and Nail Winery; Carl Bowker, Caliza Winery; Damian Grindley, Brecon Estate; Terry Hoage, TH Estate; and Jeremy Weintraub, Adelaida Vineyards & Winery.

As a novice vineyard owner and babe to the wine industry, I found the seminar to be professionally organized, informative, and although there was well over 100 people in attendance, the venue felt intimate and the winemakers were accessible, friendly and willing to answer questions. The information the winemakers shared certainly gave me an education, especially about many varieties of grapes that I was not familiar with. I enjoyed the way they set up the table with a placemat labeled with each winemaker’s wine sample so that as each winemaker presented their wine, you could experience the wine as they spoke about it.

Each table was headed by a winemaker and I had the privilege to be sitting With Jason Hass of Tablas Creek Vineyard and founder of the Rhone Rangers Paso Robles Chapter.  Jason was named the 2015 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year for his outstanding contributions toward the success of the Paso Robles wine industry.

Jason presented a not-yet-released 2017 Barrel-Sample Rosè called Dianthus, that I truly enjoyed as well as one of his exclusive vintage bottles, 2003 Panoplie, which he described as the best-of-the-best. It was a real treat and well enjoyed along with a gourmet buffet-style luncheon.

After the lunch, we were able to visit with all the attending winemakers who were pouring their wine and enjoy some one-on-one time with them. There were several nice silent auction items up for bid, some baskets containing wine, apparel and more; some were providing private tours of the winery, along with hotel stays and wine tours in vintage cars. I tried my hand at a few items but it seemed that I was always quickly outbid.

This was a very pleasant experience with an educational edge for me and I now look forward to visiting many of the wineries that were represented there.

The Aftermath

I want to again thank Lisa Baserga (AVA Wine Adventures, LLC) who made this day possible. Lisa is an experienced travel consultant specializing in food and wine adventures throughout the world. Please visit her site for more information on how she can create your own personalized wine adventure. www.departurelounge.com/travel-advisors/lisa-baserga

 

James Dean’s Memorial

 

 

James Dean was a popular actor in the 1950’s who is remembered as a cultural icon for his Hollywood movie roles. He became a legend of sorts after his life came to a very untimely and tragic death at the early age of 24 when he died in a car accident at the intersection of Hwy 46 and Hwy 41 in Central California near Paso Robles. I was always told that there was a memorial for him but thinking it was on the West side of Hwy 46 from the 101 freeway, I could never find it.

Today I discovered the memorial site while traveling on Hwy 41 (East of Hwy 101), cutting across from Interstate 5. The memorial site is just a short distance from the actual crash site (the intersection of Hwy 41 and Hwy 46) where you will see an American flag on a chain link fence and his adoring fans still bring flowers 60 years after his death.

The memorial structure honoring James Dean stands on Hwy 41 located next to the Jack Ranch Cafe and adjacent Hearst Winery tasting room.

 

The Jack Ranch Cafe seems to be frozen in a time capsule with its retro decor and, as expected, the walls are flanked with images of James Dean and they sell some memorabilia, but the pleasant surprise was that they have quite an extensive menu and the food was good. The Hearst Winery tasting room is adjacent to the cafe and a nice way to cap off the visit.

 

So for any James Dean fans out there who might want to visit his memorial and pay tribute to him, I would recommend a stop here and, while you’re there, grab a bite to eat and taste some wine! Cheers!
Address:
James Dean Memorial / Jack Ranch Cafe
19215 CA-46, Shandon, CA 93461

Giuseppe’s | San Luis Obispo, CA 

On the recommendation of several people, we decided to try Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica located steps from the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa in downtown SLO.

The restaurant is located in the historic Sinsheimer Bros. building built in the 1880’s and the establishment oozes with charm and character. As you enter, you are greeted by the host behind a small Italian roadster which has been converted into reception desk, the exposed brick walls give the interior a cool vibe, along with vintage black and white images paying respect to the building’s historic past, and the original preserved vault – now turned into a tiny private seating area – takes the charm to the next level.

We arrived just after 3 pm when they stop seating at the restaurant tables in preparation for the dinner transition but they were serving in the bar area so we sat at a high-top table next to the fireplace and the vault. For warmer days, there is also a quaint bistro-style outside area.

 

They offer a good menu and nice libations and since they weren’t serving their dinner menu while we were there, we ordered several started items and shared them and we found them all delicious and satisfying.

IMG_0289
Bruschetta

The entire visit was a pleasant experience, the servers were friendly and we would highly recommend a visit here.