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Feb 3, 2010 02:52 PM

Wine virgin goes to wine country!

My husband and I are taking a relaxing drive from LA to SanFran and stopping at Paso Robles for 2 days along the way. It's a 12 day trip and I am very new to wine/wineries. What should I know? Where should I go? We are planning on staying at the Canyon Villa bed and breakfast. Any suggestions/reviews would be very welcomed?

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  1. As an inexperienced wine taster, I would suggest that you visit Castoro Vineyards on Hwy. 46 west to start. Ask your hosts for any recommendations as to their contacts with other local vineyards. If you will be in the area on a weekend, make sure to make a dinner reservation soon. See the Paso Robles Vintners site for additional suggestions and a complete listing of the wineries. Many outstanding restaurants and wineries.

    1. My husband and I randomly stopped in Paso Robles on a trip from LA-San Fran about 4 years ago and fell in love with the much we actually got married there this past June (@ Summerwood Winery & Inn - which I obviously highly recommend)!?

      Anyway, some of our favorites include: Four Vines, Jada, Denner, Tablas Creek, Opolo, Villa Creek . Tobin James doesn't get much love for their wine - but it's a fun place to stop at.

      Our favorite restaurant is Villa Creek (of course, we had our rehearsal dinner here in the back room and it was perfect!) We also love Artisan and McPhee's Grill.

      Have a wonderful trip!

      6 Replies
      1. re: Obessed

        Paso is great to visit. There are so many good wineries. I would add Adelaida and Linne Calodo to the list above.

        Also Thomas Hill Organics serves some excellent food and, though it's been a few years, I've eaten well at Bistro Laurent. Artisan blew me away on my last visit.

        1. re: Ed Dibble

          One of my favorite wineries in Paso is Robert Hall. We were just there a couple of weeks ago on our way over to Shell Beach. Paso is full of excellent places to wine taste: Wild Coyote, Justin, Villa Robles, Tablas Creek, Bianchi, Tobin James, Meridian, EOS, Turley and Martin and Weyrich are a few of our favorites. I would not miss a meal at Artisan in downtown Paso. Have a great trip! :)

          1. re: syrahgirl

            Thanks! We will be there on a Mon and Tues towards the end of March. Looks like we are missing out not being there during a weekend. Can't be helped unfortunately, as we will be in LA on business. A lot of the wine tours seem to only run on weekends... so I've read. I was looking at an actual tour that would provide us a bit of education to allow us to grow our love of wine. The last thing I want is to be saddled with a bunch of snobs who will look down their noses at us because we are new to the wine/winery experience. I want it to be fun!! I've made a list of all the places suggested and will try to fit in what I can for a Mon-Tues visit. Is it hard to have fine dining evening without a reservation??

            Thanks all!!

            1. re: gtekkrom

              I suggest that you check out The Wine Wrangler who can provide just what you describe for a tour. They do a good job catering to your needs.
              I am in the wine trade and they do well.

              1. re: Bruce in SLO

                This is a great recommendation! We hired them the day after our wedding for a wine tour (they were also our shuttle from the hotel to Summerwood night of our wedding). We suggested a bunch of wineries, but they helped narrow it down, made reservations where needed and plan the order in which we went to them (4). They were very easy to deal with, very professional and no one had to worry about having a designated driver.

              2. re: gtekkrom

                We had no reservations at Artisan and were there in the middle of the summer. But we dined early, and I remember the place being full - with folks waiting - while we were there on the Sunday night visit. But if you know where you want to dine, a reservation is probably a good thing.

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          1. We stopped in Paso Robles in June, on our way to and from San Francisco to Santa Barbara and discovered some excellent wineries and became wine club members of two. We particularly liked Edward Sellers (tasting room downtown, just off the main plaza), Cass (they offer a chef-cooked lunch with wine pairing), and Denner (beautiful new tasting room on top of a hill). Paso Robles is most known for their Rhone-style wines so you will find Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier for whites and Grenache, Carignane, Syrah, etc. for reds.

            1. The original comment has been removed