Paso Robles: Far Out Wineries - green and gorgeous right now
Lush, green and gorgeous road trip alert - the recent rains (March 2011) have made the Paso Robles wine country a gorgeous destination right now, particularly the "Far Out Wineries" in the western part of this new wine growing area. http://www.faroutwineries.com/
We spent our time at Thacher Winery getting to pick up our case of the now sold out recent SF Chronicle award winner Zinfandel 2008 Triumvirate Reserve and got a personal tour by the owner and tastings of what was not only bottled but samplings of what was also work in progress - and there is a port coming along in the next few years that just might change American imbibing habits. They are still pouring tastings of their 2007 Zindfandel Triumvirate Reserve, so get there before this runs out too.
They have an opulent trough of walnuts for palate cleansers with picnic tables and a garden setting for your own take-along lunch on this former ranch property. Lots of happy road trippers coming and going on this back country route and it just could not have been a prettier drive this time of the year. Drink and drive responsibly!
We finished our trip at Moonstone Grill in Cambria because the sunny day and wild sea begged stopping at this setting, food was satisfying enough with standard cafe menu items. Lightly battered calamari appetizers, clam chowder in a bread bowl, fish tacos and fish and chips - all very okay, fast and friendly service, but the main menu item here was the feast for the eyes.
8355 Vineyard Dr, Paso Robles, CA
re: Liquid Sky
There are lots of good recommendations if you search this California forum for Paso Robles. That whole back country has never been prettier because of the rains and hitting the peak wildflower time. We always take the Peachy Canyon Road leaving from Paso Robles around 5th or 6th street to reach those "Far Out" wineries. Not much at first but this becomes a beautiful country drive road trip just to get out there.
re: Liquid Sky
We were tasting in the area just after Christmas and had a wonderful dinner at Artisan. Food and service were excellent. Be aware they only serve beer and wine so if you like a cocktail, have one elsewhere first. We also had 2 wonderful breakfasts at Panolivo. One in our party took a tuna sandwich to go and it was also delicious.
Skip Bistro Laurent. It looks like a charming French bistro but the service was terrible and the food just marginal. They had an odd and limited menu and I am fairly sure they also did not serve cocktails.
We heard great things about Thomas Hill Organics but we didn't have a reservation and they were full. I would definitely recommend reservations. I don't know if it was extra busy because we were there between Christmas and New Years but most of the restaurants are small and seem to fill up quickly.
Thomas Hill Organics
1305 Park St, Paso Robles, CA
1202 Pine St, Paso Robles, CA 93446
1344 Park St, Paso Robles, CA 93446