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Reco for Wedding at Paso Robles Winery?

o
Obessed May 21, 2008 10:34 AM

Any specific winery/vineyard recommendations for a wedding reception in Paso Robles? We just got engaged (YAH!) but have heard you need to book a venue early. We are thinking next Spring (late April-early June) and probably about 100-130 people. We prefer an outdoor setting -- and plan on having the ceremony and reception at the same location. Last year we stumbled onto a wine tasting at Villa Creek winery/vineyard and loved it, but not sure they could accomodate us (but will definitely look into it). Thanks so much in advance!

  1. paso_gurl_100 May 21, 2008 12:08 PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I loooovvvee weddings!! you picked a great place to get married! I can think of a million great places to get married outdoors. But it might be good to know your budget. Just about ANY winery in the area will either shut down to do your wedding or make their space available after hours. I can think of so many other places in town than VC winery. It's nice, but SUPER over priced. (And I will hold my additional thoughts there). I would do Villa Toscana before I would do VC winery OR restaurant for that matter. I honestly don't think either would accommodate your large group. Near Villa Toscana, is Vista Creek winery, they don't sell retail, but they have a B& B called Buena Vista, and an AWESOME chef. Robert Hall has been doing a lot of weddings, Clautiere has space, but the view might not be as nice. Gosh, there are so many places. When I got married, 10 years ago, my dream was to get married out in near what they call the "Far Out" wineries (don't do JUSTIN tho). It was sooo beautiful (and romantic). But if I were getting married now, I would have a hard time deciding. As you get further into your planning, you will decide on things that you "gotta have" and that you can "do without". Be sure to keep us updated. Happy planning!

    9 Replies
    1. re: paso_gurl_100
      o
      Obessed May 21, 2008 01:02 PM

      Thank you so much for your response and sugestions!! We actually stayed at Toscana last year and loved it, but it might be a bit over our budget. I don't know tho, because we haven't really outlined a budget yet, but I am thinking $15k-less than $20k. At Toscana for Saturday night wedding, you had to book all the rooms for 2 nights at $6000; and I can't ask family/friends to pay that much. We were also thinking a "far out" winery. Where exactly did you get married?

      I will definitely look into your other recommendations.

      1. re: Obessed
        paso_gurl_100 May 23, 2008 10:40 AM

        You can definitely do something spectacular within your budget. Once you nail down a date (and 1 or 2 back up dates), maybe you can contact a few different places and come out to Paso and take a look. We actually ended up getting married at a country club (long story). Since you mention family and friends looking for lodging- my recommendation would be anything off either 46 W: Castoro, Summerwood, Doce Robles, Midnight, could all accommodate your crowd and the Hampton Inn and Courtyard by Marriott are close by. OR 46E Meridian, Eberle, Vina Robles, Bianchi, Firestone (now owned by Foley they have a loft for the bride and groom to spend their wedding night) would all compete for your business. And there is a brand new La Quinta Inn and RV park right there. I have been to many, many big events at Tobin James and they have been a blast! great setting, and they even have a place to spend your wedding night : the B&D- bed and donut. Don't know if they really give you a donut, but it's a cute little place.

        For an outdoor wedding, I would do a buffet. Maybe a tri-tip dinner? Check out Cahoots Catering, you might have to google it. They are the #1 requested out here. Book them early. Otherwise there are lots of other good caterers - avoid Hospitality Catering, and Dining With Andre.

        1. re: paso_gurl_100
          a
          arlalee Jun 12, 2008 08:30 PM

          Dear Paso Gurl,
          What is wrong with Hospitality catering?

          1. re: arlalee
            paso_gurl_100 Jun 13, 2008 09:19 AM

            I have been to 2 private events where the hosts were SO unhappy, one was talking small claims court. The first was party at the Yacht Club at Avila, where they arrived 2-3 hours LATE with the food. The other was an anniversary party in Paso Robles where they DID NOT show up, so the host called, and for some reason , and they said they had them scheduled for the following day (she had a written receipt with the correct date). They did manage to make it over with the food several hours late. At neither event was the food quality anything remarkable for what they charged. And both times it was cold because everything is served in cheap aluminum throw aways. I can see the convenience in doing that, but compounded with all the other factors, I would not recommend them, especially not for a formal event like a wedding.

            1. re: paso_gurl_100
              a
              arlalee Sep 27, 2008 01:18 PM

              Dear Paso Gurl, I didn't take your advice about Hospitlaity Catering, and they did my rehearsal dinner. Their attention to the cooking, the serving, and making the most of my location were all a big help to me, and they worked out a way for me to maximize my budget. I'll supply more information to anyone who needs a personal recommendation: write me at arla@lsm.org.

               
               
               
              1. re: arlalee
                paso_gurl_100 Sep 30, 2008 10:26 AM

                I think it's great that you had a good experience. It would probably be a good thing for you to share more about it here in the open forum, particularly for all our friends who are shopping for caterers in the area. I particularly would be interested in hearing about what you served? how it was served? what your venue was? did they drop food off, or stay and serve for you?

                1. re: paso_gurl_100
                  a
                  arlalee Oct 8, 2008 08:31 AM

                  What LazerStar and dserra have to say sums up my experience as well.
                  I wanted good food, but not too complicated (because of the group I was hosting), and my dinner was exactly that: fresh food cooked well.

                  I also had the problem of not being familiar with the Paso area; for us it was a destination wedding, so I really needed help with the details, and Brigitte was on top of it for me. One reason for catering instead of doing it myself was peace of mind, and that was delivered throughout the whole planning process. They took advantage of the best parts of my location at Wild Rose Ranch, they served, and cleaned up. I didn't have to do anything but enjoy being with my family.

              2. re: paso_gurl_100
                l
                LazerStar Oct 7, 2008 11:08 AM

                I have to say, we are a business that relocated to the Central Coast and set up an Open House/Grand Opening in August. We talked with and spoke to several people in the community and more then one person told us that Hospitality was a great company to deal with. I not only was impressed with their ability to listen to what we wanted but they were eager to try something new, we mentioned that down in Orange County we had an event that used a Pasta Bar and they were all over it and become excited at trying this new idea! A bit about their service and their ability to come through, not only did they show up HOURS early they consistently stayed in contact with us before and during the event. On set up day we decided that we did not have enough sit down tables or stand up Pub tables and they made it happen and several more, including linens were delivered without delay......talk about on it!

                We just mentioned to Brigitte about needing to hire Nanny service and she connected us with several local people and they helped us out in that regard.......

                Mark was of course hospitable, he sang for our guest's towards the end of the evening, it was a real crowd pleaser......their entire staff was helpful, kind and considerate, Johnny who tended bar was awesome!

                We had 150 people here including community leaders (the Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem) Chamber of Commerce people, friends, family, vendors and customers so we really thought long and hard about who we wanted to use and we made an excellent choice!

                The last thing I will say so as not to make it sound like a love fest is there were a couple of bumps and minor miscommunication but that was mostly my fault, I had too much to juggle and Hospitality ended up more of a Part Planner then they did a food service catering company, so in closing:

                Use them, they are great people kind and sweet, if you are unclear or unsure talk to them they will always listen and offer advice not to mention provide great food!

            2. re: paso_gurl_100
              d
              dserra Oct 8, 2008 08:07 AM

              RE: Hospitality Catering.
              We have a large extended family that gathers every year (for 20 years) in Creston to spend four days together at Christmas time. Three years ago we decided to do something special for a family member and hired Hospitality Catering to cook & serve dinner. We had only intended it as a one-time event. Since then we've had them back each year. We have a complicated group (some vegetarians, some meat lovers, two gourmands from New York City - where food is a lifestyle, etc.) I can't say enough good things about Brigette & Chef Mark who purchased quality ingredients, cooked, served and cleaned up while adding pleasantly to the convivial atmosphere. We especially appreciated the interest to the culinary details, the richly marinated entrees, and the crisp freshness of the vegetables. They have been reliable, flexible, reasonably priced, and we couldn't have been happier.

        2. dockhl May 21, 2008 02:44 PM

          I've not been but I understand Carmody-McKnight has lovely grounds:

          http://www.carmodymcknight.com/weddin...

          (btw, lots of good hotel rooms at a variety of prices with several new ones having gone in recently

          )

          -----
          Carmody McKnight Estate Wines
          11240 Chimney Rock Rd, Paso Robles, CA

          1. l
            littlestevie May 21, 2008 04:36 PM

            I might suggest Meridian (please don't boo yet). The grounds are really pretty and I know that they can handle that size of a crowd for wedding. The other thing is that it is right off the highway on the north side, so people do not have to make a dangerous left to get back to Paso. Yeah their wine are corporate, and they make enough to fill Lake Tahoe, but their limited relase stuff is quite nice.

            1. toodie jane May 21, 2008 05:02 PM

              for sites, here's a link to get started:

              http://www.herecomestheguide.com/location/regions/Paso-Robles-and-the-Central-Coast-Wine-Country

              For keeping to your budget, you might consider doing less than a full sitdown dinner, depending on the timing. Do a mid-afternoon wedding and just serve nibbles and great cake and champagne. Then you would be able to have some fun prenuptual auxiliary activites just for the two immediate families, like golf or a sunset cruise out of Morro Bay.

              As an 'old-timer' I really don't know why the trend has gone to such huge receptions. They're boring for most guests and the bridal couple never has a chance to relax. Good music, pretty grounds, a well-thought out ceremony, great cake, and time for guests to mingle is about all a good wedding reception really needs.

              At least four new large hotels have gone in lately in Paso, so there will be plenty of choice for out-of-towners.

              If you chose Paso, may I suggest April rather than later.. April is Green Green Green. May onward, you have a good chance of it being hot. Last weekend was over 100 with a nasty warm dry wind out of the east. Now it's windy and cooler, but you never know! April is enchanting in north county. By late April, the iris and roses and wisteria are all going off at the same time; the effect is breathtaking.

              Another gorgeous setting to consider is the historic Dana Powers House in Nipomo, just north of Santa Maria. The summer is warm but not hot, the grounds are beautiful all year but especially stunning in April-May, specially planted with ambiance and photo shoots in mind. The host, Judi Dana Powers, is charming, she's exceptionally talented in planning and guiding a wedding. A visit to her website gives you an idea. The main gardens around the house can be used, and the original 1880's barn is now fitted for receptions as well. Tons of character. If you're interested, call Judi and talk to her, and you'll see what I mean. Everyone who has visited her gardens for a wedding or other function comes away in awe.

              http://www.danapowershouse.com/rental...

              2 Replies
              1. re: toodie jane
                o
                Obessed May 22, 2008 10:08 AM

                thanks for that link - definitely a good place to get started! I am already feeling overwhelmed ;-)

                1. re: Obessed
                  toodie jane May 23, 2008 08:04 AM

                  ....take a deep breath, plan what YOU would like to do for your day, and forget all the hype that surrounds modern wedding planning. There is no "correct" (only) way to do it.

                  Feel the love.

              2. s
                sgbslo May 23, 2008 09:55 AM

                We checked out many places for my step daughters wedding next month. We decided to have the wedding at Spanish Oaks Ranch in Santa Margarita instead of a winery. Their rehearsal dinner is going to be at Eberle Winery and is going to be a very casual barbeque. A few places I thought would be very nice for a wedding were Vina Robles--beautiful facility, Castoro--nice facility, Carmody-McKnight-gorgeous setting and Robert Hall--nice facility. I agree with a previous poster that while Meridian wines might seem a bit "corporate" their facility is very beautiful.

                1. jrmint May 26, 2008 01:41 AM

                  Try looking at local photographers blogs to see photos of wedding locations (then you can see actual weddings at the locations and see what you do/don't like) - list of photographers at ccwp.com ; also, one winery that comes to mind is Zeneida Cellars on highway 46 west. Happy planning!!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jrmint
                    paso_gurl_100 May 26, 2008 07:40 PM

                    I would have to disagree about Zenaida. I have been to several events hosted by Jill Ogorsolka and the service has been TERRIBLE, very poor planning, could not keep the food replenished, not a good hostess. My husband and I were very disappointed with her attitude when she owned Trumpet Vine (with Tom Fundaro- current chef at Villa Creek). She was aloof and unfriendly. At one event her presentation was, well, embarassing. The food was just plain ugly and the guests responded in-kind by leaving it untouched. (It was an event where several local chefs had contributed).

                  2. o
                    Obessed May 28, 2008 06:59 PM

                    THANKS again for all the suggestions and recomendations. Looks like I'll have a lot of options. I will start calling some wineries and definitely will plan a visit in the very near future to look at some places. In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone knew how far in advance I needed to book a place? I had assumed roughly year in advance would be enough time...but a friend recently went to Solveng to look at places and she couldn't get a reservation till 2010!?!? I'm hoping venues are just really limited in that area and Paso will be more available, especially since my date is somewhat flexible :-)

                    Thanks again!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Obessed
                      toodie jane May 30, 2008 09:45 AM

                      Here is a local planning site that has some good tips on what to consider before picking a venue or date:

                      http://www.centralcoastbride.com/Arti...

                    2. o
                      Obessed Jun 9, 2008 01:19 PM

                      THANK YOU AGAIN for your suggestions and recommendations.

                      After an exhausting trip to Paso Robles this weekend we have narrowed it down to 4 places: Summerwood, Castoro Cellars, Bianchi and Villa de Buena. Would love to hear thoughts/comments on events attended at any of these places. Summerwood has a chef on-site who seems fabulous and for the others we need to get an outside caterer and are considering In Good Taste.

                      Thanks again!

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Obessed
                        l
                        littlestevie Jun 9, 2008 02:49 PM

                        I have never been to receptions at any of the places you have chosen, but I have tasted wines at Summerwood, C.C., and Bianchi. I have also stayed at Summerwood B&B. I really enjoyed my stay there (2X). They were very professional and the breakfasts were great. they should be able to handle with great ease. The only problem is it is right on the highway and it might be noisy if it is an early wedding. Things really clear out after 5 on the west 46. Bianchi is a cool place with their lake and all. It is off the highway and very quiet.

                        1. re: littlestevie
                          o
                          Obessed Jun 9, 2008 03:27 PM

                          That was one of my concerns also re: Summerwood, but the chef also mentioned in the evening traffic noise is not an issue. We are planning an evening wedding - like 4:30-5 to 10pm. Thanks for the comments!

                          1. re: Obessed
                            paso_gurl_100 Jun 9, 2008 04:01 PM

                            I have been to many, many events on 46 W at night, and you really don't hear much from the road or the neighbors at all. I was thinking about you this weekend! It sounds like your visit very well. Gee, I think you are going to have tough time deciding, your final four are great. I will say that I have had some not pleasant experiences with Castoro over the years. ( I still go back there, but the staff can be rude). You might also check some of the popular travel review sites for reviews. As for In Good Taste, I don't think I have ever tried them. You'll have to tell us how the food is. Did you get to sample anything this weekend?

                            1. re: paso_gurl_100
                              o
                              Obessed Jun 10, 2008 11:14 AM

                              It's so funny you say that about Castoro - I just talked to someone over there to get some more information and, to be honest, I found them unenthusiastic and not that friendly. I am definitely leaning towards Summerwood, but my fiance also really likes Bianchi. Villa de Buena unfortunately may be out since they have very limited availability (they are already ocmpletely booked for June, which is when we want to get married).

                              We didn't sample any food from In Good Taste over the weekend. We had a dessert from Chef Kirk (at Summerwood) that was amazing. We also had dinner at Villa Creek and loved it - and definitely think we will have our rehearsal dinner there.

                              Thanks for the tip on checking out travel sites - I definitely will.

                              1. re: Obessed
                                l
                                littlestevie Jun 11, 2008 12:34 PM

                                I have to say that the people at Bianchi have always been nice, but I think you would want to sample Good Taste before any decision. I really do like Castoro and while I have never had a problem, I could easily see why you and Paso Gurl may of problems. Some of the staff is kinda rude so when I taste I gravitate away from them.

                                1. re: littlestevie
                                  o
                                  Obessed Jun 11, 2008 01:32 PM

                                  Thanks Stevie --- do you not recommend In Good Taste as a caterer? Do you have other recos? Some wineries have also recommended Cahoots and Chef Charlie. It might be moot that we'll need to hire a caterer since we are leaning more and more towards Summerwood.

                                  1. re: Obessed
                                    l
                                    littlestevie Jun 12, 2008 08:26 AM

                                    most of the events that I have been to, were associated with a single restaurant. I am sure that at some of the festivals there were caterers offering their goods, but alas I could not remember any of them or what they served.

                      2. dockhl Jun 11, 2008 03:03 PM

                        Do you need to drink the host winery's wine?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: dockhl
                          o
                          Obessed Jun 11, 2008 03:26 PM

                          Yes, at all 3 places. Villa de Buena requires us to use Vista Creek Cellars. All the places also either prefer or require us to have Firestone beer. I guess they like to support the locals!

                          1. re: Obessed
                            dockhl Jun 12, 2008 09:00 PM

                            have you checked to see that you like the wines? I am not a fan of Castoro or Bianchi, although they might be fine for general wedding consumption. Dunno about Vista Creek....never heard of them. Get yourself soemthing better to drink during the reception ;-)

                            1. re: dockhl
                              o
                              Obessed Jun 12, 2008 10:46 PM

                              Well, Villa de Buena is out...they don't have the date we want available and have read some pretty mixed reviews on the faciliy. Castoro is out also - because they weren't very friendly and have many restrictions. I am definiely leaning towards Summerwood and will likely make a final decision VERY soon :-). Everyone has been so helpful - thanks again!!

                        2. s
                          smile001 Jun 17, 2008 02:32 PM

                          I am planning my wedding too!! I booked Vina Robles for April 25, 2009. I have visited sooo many venues. I would highly reccomend you check out Silverhorse winery. They are a little far north, but I love the views and the reception site is so versitile. Bianchi was my second choice, but I thought it was a little small. A brand new venue that I do not have pricing info for that you could look into is the Gardens and Peacock Farms if you are looking for outdoor/garden, but it is not a winery. The only other winery that has not been mentioned that I liked is Edna Valley Vineyard near San Luis Obispo. The vineyards are beautiful out there. Another good resource is Wedding and Party magazine.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: smile001
                            o
                            Obessed Jun 17, 2008 04:13 PM

                            CONGRATS!!! Vina Robles AND Silverhorse were actually both on our lists to visit, but we were so tired and overwhelmed and I fell in love with Summerwood that we ended up skipping them. We are just about to book Summerwood for June 6, 2009!

                            1. re: Obessed
                              s
                              SDgirl84 Jul 14, 2008 01:21 PM

                              Congratulations! How exciting! My fiancee and I are also planning on getting married in Paso next summer, and we are going to make a trip up to look at locations soon. We want to visit Summerwood, because I've heard it's really beautiful. However, I heard you have to use the chef who works there, who is supposed to be amazing, but also pretty expensive. Are you able to customize your own menu, and possibly bring those prices down a bit, or is it a set price? Thank you so much!

                              1. re: SDgirl84
                                o
                                Obessed Aug 15, 2008 03:23 PM

                                Congrats on your engagement SD Girl! I hope I am not chiming in too late...

                                Well, I am in full swing wedding planning mode for my wedding next June at Summerwood. It is very beautiful; I completely fell in love with the location (as well as Chef Kirk) as soon as visited. One of the reasons why I love Summerwood is that you can can use any of the areas for whatever you want. We looked at a few other palces (like Robert Hall, Bianchi, Buena de Vista) and while they were very pretty location wise they seemed too cookie-cutter if you know what I mean.

                                You do have to use thier chef and if you plan to use any proptery at the Inn (which we are), you'll need to reserve all the rooms also. Chef Kirk is amazing and has been very flexible with the menu (& pricing). He has great ideas and suggestions but I am definitely able to customize it a bit. So I think it is definitely worth giving them a call. Email me directly and I can provide more info and details if you are interested.

                                1. re: Obessed
                                  s
                                  SDgirl84 Aug 18, 2008 02:01 PM

                                  Hi there,

                                  Thanks so much for the information! We have since visited Summerwood a few times, and we fell in love with it as well! We are booking it for July 18th, 2009. :-) I tried to email you directly, as I'd love to compare vendor notes, but I couldn't figure out how. Is there a way to email you through the system? Sorry for my confusion!
                                  Thanks!!

                                  1. re: SDgirl84
                                    o
                                    Obessed Aug 20, 2008 07:51 AM

                                    Hi SDGirl - How exciting; just 2 weekends after my wedding! I'm not sure I'm supposed to post my email, but you can email me at annie_irwin@yahoo.com

                          2. f
                            Fudee76 Jun 18, 2008 02:01 PM

                            Bianchi Winery is absolute gorgeous for weddings. They have a beautiful lake in the vineyards, which is very unique!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Fudee76
                              TBird Jul 14, 2008 01:23 PM

                              we got married at justin, but of course they stopped that very soon after. ;-)

                              #2 on our list was further south at gainey.

                              congrats and good luck!

                            2. l
                              LuLu5 Jul 21, 2008 12:54 PM

                              Hi there,

                              I also just got engaged and am looking to have a very small wedding in Paso Robles next October. Would you say Summerwood is a good place for a small, more casual wedding and reception? We are really looking to stay with a small budget, and only 30-40 people max. Anyone have any recommendations for something like this? I'm also looking at Bianchi and Eberle.

                              We are going up there next week to take a look at some places, and I'd like to have a list compiled! Thanks everyone!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: LuLu5
                                paso_gurl_100 Jul 22, 2008 09:32 PM

                                I would recommend Midnight Cellars for your budget. They have a gorgeous lawn that is perfect for a small wedding, they can recommend caterers too. I have had good food there.

                              2. kc girl Oct 7, 2008 12:04 PM

                                I suggest Castoro Cellars in Templeton.
                                http://www.castorocellars.com/

                                My friend has had several art exhibitions there. The grounds are lovely and working with them for set up has been fun and easy. Very friendly and professional.

                                You do need to bring in your OWN OUTSIDE CATERER. They are just a facility.

                                Their wines are reasonably priced and enjoyable. I am most familiar with their Chardonnay that IMO tastes as good as a much more expensive wine.
                                (Uhm, we've purchasedt Castoro Chardonnay at Trader Joe's for about $9 a bottle > seems their website single bottle price is higher than that)

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