Wine country. What is your first thought? California. Napa. Sonoma. Right? Yes, I can feel the head nods now. California has great wine destinations other than the two mentioned. Don’t get me wrong. They are great. They helped pioneer the way we buy wine in America. But, they paved the way to other great California discoveries. One of my favorites is Paso Robles on California’s Central Coast. I immediately connected to the central coast and I have been studying the region, terroir, grapes, and wines.
The place to stay during your wine visit should be the Allegretto Vineyard Resort. The resort resembles a Tuscan villa, has a great restaurant, and actually makes their wine as well. After all the wine tasting and dining, you want to fall into bed blissful. It’s luxurious and if you have a chance to visit the spa do so. It’s full of my favorite Caudalie products and is the perfect respite to prepare for wine tasting.
Paso Robles is home to more than 200 wineries, which means it requires a return trip. I wasn’t in Paso, but a few days but one of the main places I wanted to visit was Tin City. On the first pass, Tin City looks like an industrial park for businesses other than wine. At first glance, it appears wine, and great tasting wine, is the last thing happening but I was pleasantly surprised. I want to call Tin City the wine renegades and they are worth discovering.
Field Recordings was my first stop. I remember being enamored with the bottle because it matched a book I was reading. Yes, a pretty wine label will get me every time, but once I tasted the wine, sipped and swirled I knew it would continue to be a favorite.
Clos Solène. Clos Solène, names for Guillaume wife is a Bordeaux-style wine made in the heart of Paso. Harmonie and Fleur de Solène (flower of Solène) are beautiful and refined Grenache blends. I like to think of these wines as cellar wines. I would definitely age them because I can only imagine the beauty they will bring in another 5-7 years. This doesn’t mean they cannot be shipped now.
Levo Wines. Bret Urness takes rejection better than most people. After trying to get into school to study enology and viticulture he decided to take that difficult time and make wine. Thankfully for us, it’s wine that you not only want to drink now but to cellar later. I was able to chat with Bret and sip his wine. I was hooked. He was also gracious enough to share his pizza with me so he’s definitely one of my favorite winemakers now. I couldn’t get enough. The 2014 Spot was a transformation in a glass. I wish Bret and his team the best. I can’t wait to visit and taste with him again.
I did not have enough time in California’s Central Coast to explore the area and more wineries, but I am working towards being able to spend a few weeks there to get a feel for the land, the people, and the grapes.
I didn’t make it to these wineries on this visit but plan to do so later this year.