When thinking of visiting California’s wine country my thoughts have always gone to the well-known Napa and Sonoma Valley’s. Both of which I have visited on more than one occasion and love. That all changed this past November when I was invited to tag along with family who were attending an event at Justin Winery in the unpretentious wine region of Paso Robles. After tasting fabulous wines at a variety of vineyards and seeing how beautiful the countryside was I knew I had to give this area more of my attention.
As soon as I got home I immediately started planning a girl’s weekend with my friend Kris, who’s a wine enthusiast and loves a getaway just as much as I do. With equal enthusiasm, we decided to get more acquainted with Paso sooner rather than later and booked our adventure for this Spring. With more than 100 wineries in the region, deciding which to visit over a short weekend can be quite a task. Knowing that the weather would be ideal I decided to focus on ones that offered outdoor seating where we could drink in views of the vineyards, as well as our wine.
We have since returned from our fabulous weekend getaway and hit the jackpot with these three vineyards whose wines were just as gratifying as their views.
With sweeping views of their award-winning vines, the Santa Lucia Coastal Mountain Range and free tastings, you cannot go wrong with a stop at Eberle. Head inside to learn the significance of the large boar that greets you at the entrance and enjoy a laid back tasting experience before taking the complimentary tour of their wine caves. Better yet, buy a bottle of wine and spend some time outside playing Bocce Ball and relaxing on the deck.
Open Daily from 11-5 | Complimentary tasting and cave tours | Private tours with wine & cheese pairing for $35
Located: 3810 East Hwy 46 – 805.238.9607
Although I have visited Denner twice now, I have yet to take a tour of the winery. Who needs to with a deck and view as inviting as this? Not to mention the tasty cheese platter you can order. It paired perfectly with their spicy wines so appropriately given bold names such as Ditch Digger and Mother of Exiles.
By appointment only.
Located: 5414 Vineyard R. – 805.239.4287
DAOU VINEYARDS & WINERY
Sitting at the highest point in Paso Robles, at 2,200 feet, Daou topped my list for the best views in the valley. Views so rich they stole my attention from the moment I got out of my car. I had a hard time putting my camera down and simply taking a moment to soak it in. The attention to detail in the grand, Spanish Colonial style tasting room is just as spectacular as the properties views. The large heavy doors open to iron chandeliers, rich dark wood, a very impressive bar that lit up from the back with a very subtle glow and enormous windows that overlook a lush patio and breath-taking views. Most impressive was hearing the story about the bell, which is from the early 1700’s, and hangs in the tower above the entrance. Not only is this bell the symbol of Daou Vineyards but is still used today to celebrate the harvest each year.
Open daily from 11- 5 | $20 tasting fee waived with purchase of one bottle of wine | Food and wine pairings available. Visit Daou for detailed information.
Location: 2777 Hidden Mountain Road
With wines and views as good as these, it’s no wonder that Wine Enthusiast named Paso Robles the Wine Region of the Year for 2013.
Are you a wine enthusiast? Would you enjoy a weekend in California’s third largest wine region?
If so here’s a few helpful tips before you go.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
- Visit Grow Wild to request a full-colored complete wine tasting brochure and map. I wrote all over mine and used it to make all of my plans. It also provides great restaurant and lodging recommendations.
- If you are planning to only visit for a weekend and have a large list of wineries you’d like to visit, I highly recommend hiring a driver to get you around for the day. Some of the wineries are quite spread apart and this will give you peace of mind to relax and enjoy!
- Plan to stay at each winery for about an hour. Everyone was so great to visit and spend time teaching us about the wine. The relaxed atmosphere at all three mentioned above allowed us time to really enjoy each experience which meant we were there longer.
This post is also part of Sunday Traveler with A Southern Gypsy!