Mike and I have experienced wine country in Napa Valley and Sonoma for many years as he raced in NASCAR. We never traveled to Paso Robles, which in the past few years has became quite a hot spot for California wine lovers.
We got up in Vegas around 6am and by 6:30, temperatures were already nearing 90 degrees. Maybe it was the temperatures, maybe it was the wine from Michaels the night before… I attempted yoga in the shade, and ended up a wee bit nauseous. So, the slides came in and we were headed toward Paso by 7:30am.
We fell in love with Paso quickly.
It’s like you are in Italy, but a little western vibe from the good ole USA.
We settled in our parking spot at Cava Robles RV Park and headed downtown for a quick bit to eat. Unagi Sushi looked very inviting with seating outside along the Paso sidewalks.
In the morning…. You guessed - We found pickleball! The Centennial Park had an active club of very good players. Everyone was full of suggestions on where to taste wine.
I had already secured a 4pm VIP tasting at Tobin James. I had read it was the most fun location and full of wild west saloon décor and history. Perfect for the NASCAR driver nicknamed “The Gunslinger” and the actor known for his western roles. The owner Lance Silver was entertaining and informative -- and, by the way, he makes some great vino!
Dinner plans were assisted by Lance who called in a favor to get us into a French Brasserie. BL Brasserie was delicious, and even better with a special reserve bottle of red blend that Lance himself selected we enjoy at dinner. Perfection. Did I mention I love Paso?
Day three began with an 11am wine tasting at Jada. A nice little jaunt up the mountain and our host for the day, Eric, was ready and waiting, as we were escorted to a taste table with a view!
It also happened to be July 4th, so Tom made sure to provide us with some interesting American history while we sipped the fine Jada selections.
We couldn’t drink too much, because we had a second tasting and lunch scheduled at Daou. This vineyard was a little further up the mountain, but worth the drive because the views were unbelievable. Mike and I felt we were back in the Tuscany region of Italy. I am NOT joking. Daou is probably the prettiest setting that Paso Robles offers. They have tables and wine barrel loungers spread all over the winery lawn, overlooking the rolling hills. Lunch was superb and the wine tasting was relaxing and enjoyable. If I ever visit again, I will request a table for two right on the edge of the lawn and indulge in lunch and a bottle of their Pinot or Rose – and make it a four-hour lunch.
We returned with full bellies and a few bottles of wine under each arm. The sun was still shining so we laid by the pool for a late afternoon nap. Cava Robles has by the far the best pool area, complete with a cash bar, billiards room and even splash area for the kids -- and beach entry for those that wish to sunbathe without getting TOO hot. Again …. Have I mentioned that I love Paso?
Since it was July 4th – Tom, Laura, Mike and I elected to cook out at the park. The only issue was the windy and cold temperatures. Despite the daytime temps still in the 90’s, once the sun set it got a little brisk. We threw some logs on the firepit and bundled up – a little wind was not going to ruin our July 4th cook out! Laura had the best playlist on while we sipped our Paso wine selections and devoured ribs right off the grill. I love to “glamp”.
Our final day is Paso would be visiting one of Mike and I’s favorite wineries – Justin.
We got lucky with their managing sommelier who spoiled us with Justin’s best vintages. The winery also offers an amazing restaurant and I do believe we had the best gourmet grilled cheese you could ever taste.
Note: Every winery we visited in Paso allows your dogs if you are tasting outside. I really wish we would have brought our pups to Daou as there was plenty of shade, umbrellas and grass. Justin, as well. Next time!!