26 October 2017

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Allegretto Vineyard Resort

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Allegretto Vineyard Resort / www.delightfulrepast.com
Cello Ristorante & Bar at dawn 

The very first morning I sense autumn in the air sets off a longing to visit wine country. Since all 50 states have some acreage in vineyard cultivation, that could be anywhere.
 
I first narrowed it down to California's Central Coast AVA (American Viticultural Area), which is home to hundreds of wineries and covers a vast area, then narrowed it down to a sub-region with more than 200 wineries, the Paso Robles AVA.

The Paso Robles AVA has been further subdivided into 11 AVAs that those of you interested in wine will want to look into. Not interested in wine? Stay tuned--there's more to the area than its wine.

Paso Robles is midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, about a 3 1/2- to 4-hour drive, depending on your chosen route, from both SFO (San Francisco International Airport) and LAX (Los Angeles International Airport). And you can fly into the nearby (40 minutes) San Luis Obispo airport from Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Denver. Don't like to fly? Amtrak stops in Paso Robles.

Next step, choosing a place to stay. There are a number of good possibilities, but one seemed most likely to fill the bill for this particular leg of our journey, which was to be a relaxing Midweek Break.


Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Allegretto Vineyard Resort / www.delightfulrepast.com
 
With relaxation as the ultimate goal, we needed a place that had it all--wonderful room,* pool,** spa, food, wine--a "one-stop shop" where one can park the car and forget it for a few days, finding all one's needs met onsite for nonstop relaxation. The place? Allegretto Vineyard Resort, the sort of place you can settle into and decide not to go out at all.

* Our room was spacious (425 square feet), well-appointed and pristine.

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Allegretto Vineyard Resort / www.delightfulrepast.com
Serious swimmers like Mr Delightful appreciate the size and regular shape of the pool, while dry-hair bobbers like me are more inclined to appreciate things like thick terry cloth covers on the loungers and big, fluffy pool towels. And I'm a cabana girl!
 
** Another thing we appreciated about the pool is that there was no music. Once in a while we encounter a resort with music at the pool, and that is a definite no-no for us. We love music, but not necessarily someone else's choice and not at the pool! If any hotel guests want music at the pool, let them use their headphones. We preferred hearing the birds chirp!

And there's plenty to see and do, even if you have no interest in wine. We would have enjoyed the Pioneer Museum, but it's only open Thursday through Sunday. And there's horseback riding, zip line tours, a water park, craft breweries and distilleries (we prefer wine), all sorts of things we didn't manage to drag ourselves out for. The charming downtown is walkable and so fun!
 
As my regular readers have probably gathered, I am very particular about where I stay; and the way I can find flaws would make me the ideal person for any hotelier to hire to have me point out the error of his ways. The hotel we chose, Allegretto Vineyard Resort, disappointed me in that regard--I had nothing to complain about!
 
The Mediterranean-inspired Allegretto has a laid-back vibe, something I call refined rusticity. If you like the convenience of free valet parking, they have that. If you prefer to park it yourself, as we do, you can do that too. If you want help with your luggage, they have that. If you travel light, as we do, assistance isn't forced upon you.

This property is a labor of love for its owner-creator whose personal collection of art and artifacts spanning multiple centuries and cultures is seen throughout the resort, inside and out. The focal point of the Piazza Magica is a fountain with a natural sandstone formation at its center.

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Allegretto Vineyard Resort / www.delightfulrepast.com

Besides the acres of vineyards and olive trees, the gardens make for beautiful views everywhere you look.

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Allegretto Vineyard Resort / www.delightfulrepast.com
This garden path on the left side of the hotel leads to the little Abbaye de Lerins, barely visible through the fog. I only got to enjoy the brief early-morning fog because I got up early to watch the sunrise over the vineyard. 

We never dined on the patio, but I couldn't help noticing the whimsical patio heaters that look like giant lamps. Cute and tasteful!

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Allegretto Vineyard Resort / www.delightfulrepast.com
 
The restaurant, Cello Ristorante & Bar, headed up by executive chef Justin Picard, is about fresh ingredients and artisan cookery. I loved meeting him and touring his kitchen and garden. Fine food in a beautiful setting, but you're just as welcome in jeans and boots as in your finery. I don't know about you, but we're not interested in hauling our dress clothes on vacation.
 
Though I could have tea in my room any time (someone had thoughtfully replaced all the Keurig coffee with assorted teas; and I had brought along, as always, my tea travel kit), I was thrilled to be able to get a proper cup of tea in the restaurant.

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country / www.delightfulrepast.com
 
When I ordered tea for breakfast, the coffee mug was taken away and replaced by a cup and saucer. And the matching (beautiful rustic pottery) teapot had a decent capacity (probably about 25 ounces). The organic tea bags were the proper "pyramid" sort with plenty of room for the leaves to unfurl. If you're not a tea drinker, you may not appreciate how truly rare this is in the US!
 
There are lots of great places to eat in Paso Robles, including Thomas Hill Organics (which we loved), but more times than not we found ourselves "at home" at Cello. One evening we enjoyed a bar meal and had the pleasure of watching Travis the bartender mixing drinks, some of his own invention, and mixing with the customers. Sooo fun!
 
The wine tasting was exceptional. John, the director of wine hospitality, doesn't just know the Allegretto Vineyard wines, he knows all about wine and the wine industry. I was so engrossed that I forgot to take pictures, so I was "forced" to open a bottle of wine at home to stage this photo!

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Allegretto Vineyard Resort / www.delightfulrepast.com
 
Disclosure: Though parts of this trip were comped or discounted, I assure you that does not alter my opinions or influence my review. I always tell my readers exactly what I think.

89 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

That's a very place to relax and enjoy with the loved ones!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

What a great trip and a wonderful place to stay for you and your hubby, Jean! I honed in on that rustic and beautiful teapot and teacup. How nice that they used pyramid, organic teabags for your enjoyment. Thanks for your review!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. I know you would enjoy it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh Kitty, it was so fun! And they really do pay attention to the details. I think your extended family would really enjoy it - there's something for all ages there.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Always fascinating to read your white-glove analytics on these places, Jeani. Might surprise you to know that I do get a kick out of occasional forays into 5-star digs, mostly for the novelty. That said, stripped down accommodations do not phase me because I spend very little time in a room, if I’m not sleeping or working. My one universal requirement is CLEANLINESS, and I will call the desk if that is not what I find when I enter a room. While I’m not much for formal tours/wine tasting etc., I’m bowled over by your epistolary verbiage herein, e.g. “dry-hair bobbers” and “refined rusticity”!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sully! Those are both "verbiage" that I came up with decades ago. Yes, cleanliness is number one with me, but I also thrive on beautiful surroundings. Waking up to a pretty room and a lovely view gets my day off to a good start.

Louca por porcelana said...

What an amazing place!Great time,Jean!Hugs.

Pauline Wiles said...

I didn't know that all 50 states grow wine somewhere.
And yes, I am exceedingly impressed with their attention to tea at breakfast! Often I feel coffee is so much the standard fare that anything else results in haphazard service at best.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Maristella. Yes, I definitely want to go there again ... and again!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, Pauline, haphazard tea service is the bane of my existence! I was once at a catering conference, and one of the speakers who taught hotel caterers how to handle banquets said that he teaches them to serve the tea drinkers first at so that they're not sitting there waiting interminably. He said serve the tea, then it's a simple matter for the server to go around each table offering regular or decaffeinated coffee.

Anonymous said...

My kind of place, Jean! Maybe next month. - Angela

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angela, you won't be disappointed!

Daniela said...

I'm always so charmed by the description of the places you choose for your stays, darling Jeanie, and this last one doesn't fail to win my heart, thank you for sharing !

Trusting you're having the best of weeks,
I'm sending my dearest love to you,
cherished friend

XOXO Dany

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Sounds like a truly relaxing get away. BTW, I'm a cabana girl too and my hair usually never gets wet in a pool unless I've been splashed.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Aaw thank you, Dany dear. I love all things Italian-inspired, so ... :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, too funny! I try to avoid getting splashed because I don't want to mess up my sunglasses! You would love this place.

Tony Grant said...

Very interesting, Jean. Yourself and Mr Delightful obviously had a ,"delightful," time. Ha! Ha! ( Sorry, couldn't help it.)

The two of you must come over here and do a tour of vineyards in Southern England. We have a quite a few. Viticulture is taking off in Britain. It has always been here, ever since the Romans, and that is two thousand years ago but it has never been that popular. There never has been any reason why we should not grow grapes.I think its been a cultural thing in the past but us Brits are far more cosmopolitan these days. Its just a shame we are trying to extricate ourselves from Europe at the moment. It shouldn't happen!!! Our climate and geology is similar to Northern France where Champagne comes from.

Anyway, I will refrain from wittering on ad nauseum.... (You can only hope!!) Here is a website to a vineyard just down the road from me in the Surrey Hills. All the best, Tony

Denbies wine is very good by the way.

http://www.denbies.co.uk/

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, yes, "delightful" indeed! If I ever make it to England again, I'll definitely visit the vineyards of the south.

Tony Grant said...

Sorry, Jean. I should have pointed out something to you. The banner picture to the Denbies wine website shows a lovely stretch of countryside just north of Dorking. The hill on the left is Box Hill!!! I knew that would excite you. Jane Austen country no less. "Emma," is the Surrey novel after all.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tony. Very cool!

xinex said...

What a beautiful place to visit, Jean! Your photos are fabulous, makes me wanna pack and go there right now. The rustic teapot and cup are so pretty...,,Christine

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Christine! I know you love to travel, so I think you just might land there one day.

Nancy said...

Visiting Southern California and hope to go to my favorite wine area,Temecula, this week end. I live in Florida and feel I went from the frying pan into the fire with the way over 100 degree temps this week. But, "they" say it's a dry heat. There's a reason grapes turn into raisins in California sun!

Liz Berg said...

We were in Sonoma and left the day the fires ingnited. Our first time to California wine country---we loved it, but so sad to see some of the damage to the area. But my biggest take from your post is your tea travel kit!!! I always take tea bags with me, but am often disappointed with coffee tasting water (ick) or no coffee maker at all. I'm going fix up my own travel kit (fellow tea snob :))!!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Nancy, have fun in Temecula! I was close to there once on a business trip but didn't have time to go there. Maybe someday, maybe next year? Dry heat is a bit better to me than hot and humid. The lovely thing about areas with dry heat (like Paso Robles) is that when the sun goes down the evenings are sooooo nice.

Margie said...

What a wonderful getaway. I liked how the tea set matched the hotel's "refine rustic" esthetic.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Liz, be sure to do Paso Robles next time you can do California wine country. It's wonderful! I ran into lots of people who had had to change their travel plans from Napa and Sonoma at the last minute because of the fires, and they were all very satisfied. Glad you like my tea travel kit - it's a real boon!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margie, thanks. Yes, that's just one small example of their attention to every detail!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jean, your review makes me want to visit. I am a big fan of Napa Valley, but you make this area seem perfect. I couldn't agree with you more about the music! Why in the world does music have to blare at us everywhere these days? ♥

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Martha, thank you so much. I hope you will visit this place. If you like Napa, you will like Paso Robles. You could actually do both places on one trip - they're maybe 5 hours apart or something close to it.

ellen b said...

Looks like a great spot. I'm pretty picky about where we spend the night, too. Paso Robles is a nice place to relax in.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ellen, the way I look at it, if a place isn't at least as nice as home, why go?! :D

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

Jean, what a wonderful post. I have stayed in Paso Robles a couple of times and always enjoyed it. I am a coffee drinker during the day but in the evening I enjoy herbal teas that I take along on my travels. I like your idea with the tea travel kit.

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

I have visited Paso Robles a few times and enjoyed the area. I like your tea traveling kit. I only travel with a plastic bag of some herbal tea,

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

I am having a difficult time commenting. I hope this one works.

Gerlinde@Sunnycovechef said...

I enjoyed visiting Paso Robles, your post makes me want to visit again. All I have is a ziplock bag filled with teabags, I need your traveling kit.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Gerlinde, I was having troubling commenting on a couple of blogs the other day, and so I switched to a different browser (Chrome, I think) and it worked smoothly. You might give that a try next time you have difficulty. Thank you for persisting - I always appreciate your comments. And I'm glad you like my tea travel kit!

Ruth W said...

An area I haven't been to in years. I too appreciated that you were able to have a nice tea...not easy in most hotels. Cute teapot too! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Ruth

Richard Sheppard said...

Sounds like you had a great time in Paso Robles! And what's not to like the area is beautiful and loaded with great wineries and restaurants?! I've visited the area twice for wine tasting excursions and picked up some great wine. Living in Sonoma Wine Country, it's nice to get out and experience a new place once in a while. The hotel sounds great too and by the looks of it, a nice place to sketch too! ;-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ruth, thank you. If restaurants knew how much tea drinkers appreciate when a little thought goes into their tea service, more of them would do it, I'm sure.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Richard. No matter how nice an area one lives in, it's always good to get out of town once in a while! I have friends in England who are always traveling, and I always think "If I lived there, I'd never go anywhere else." But ...

Beatrice Euphemie said...

This looks like a wonderful place! Good food, lovely accommodations, gardens, shops, wineries - what's not to love? Everything looks beautiful. Thank you for the reviews - I would love to visit. x Karen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, I hope you will! I know you would love it; like you said, 'what's not to love?"

Mildred said...

Looks like a lovely visit. I really like the rustic tea pot.

Re the dumplings....I like the fluffy ones, not the noodle-y ones!

Red Rose Alley said...

The wine country sounds wonderful, Jean. Since I'm a California gal, I've been to quite a few of them. Have you ever been to the Temecula Wineries? Such beautiful countryside and lots of vineyards and olive trees. Your day sounds lovely, and that cup of tea in the restaurant hits the spot. The white tea cup and saucer with the gold rim is beautiful. Glad you had such a nice time. : )

~Sheri

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mildred, I know you like nice dishes, good food and lovely surroundings, so you would definitely like this! (Glad to hear you like "proper" dumplings, too!)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sheri, thank you. No, I've not yet been to Temecula - maybe next year. I wanted to go there a few years ago when I was nearby on a business trip, but there was just no time for the side trip.

Sippity Sup said...

Beautiful trip. My favorite winery in the area there is Zinfandel. If you didn't get to go there look for them in stores and on menus. Very good old vine Zinfandel. GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Greg. Didn't get to try any of the old vine Zinfandels, but I'll be on the lookout for them.

Sandra said...

Lindas imagens. Bom fim de semana. Felicidades.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Obrigada, Sandra. It is a very photogenic place!

Margaret-whiteangel said...

Was amused that the coffee mugs were taken away - so many people presume that all drink coffee and not tea, find it difficult at times to get a cup of tea when travelling unless I make it myself in the caravan. Stopping in Hotels/Motels one can get tea easily.

Catarina said...

I can imagine myself spending a few days at that resort. It sounds very pleasant, very appealing.

No music while in the pool, please!! Some people occupy space in the pool to show their conversational skills! : ))) I don't like that either. Pool = relaxing moments. : )

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margaret, I so rarely can get a decent cup of tea in a restaurant that when I do I sooooo appreciate it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Catarina, I know you'll enjoy it there! So true about the conversation as well as the music. It's especially bad when people are yammering on their cell phones.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

A beautiful and relaxing retreat.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Oh, Jean - we have to meet in person sometimes. When you write things, I often think, "That is exactly what I say, or do!" The music at the pool (or beach, or neighbor's patio) is a big no-no for me. I love music, too, but there is a time and place and it is never in shared air space!

The resort does look lovely - and I know the region so well in terms of its wines. Truly the best! Thanks for sharing your visit with us!

Hugs, David

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Carol. That's exactly what I look for in a vacation spot - a beautiful and relaxing retreat.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

David, I knooooow! Started blogging at the same time, same posting frequency, same garlic allergy ... That must be why I love your blog so much! You would definitely love this place.

Menaka Bharathi said...

The real beauty of a place is in the eyes of the person who sees it,Your mind blowing explanation of the the place have already pulled many and i am one among them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Menaka, thank you so much. And you would enjoy the organic food at the local restaurants.

Miz Helen said...

Looks like a great place to have a lovely cup of tea! Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Full Plate Thursday! Have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Miz Helen. AND you would love their food!

Jann Olson said...

Sounds like a beautiful place Jean! Hubby and I are not wine drinkers, but have been to the Napa valley a couple times. Still lots to do and see. I love seeing the vineyards and beautiful surroundings! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jann, you are so right - there is plenty to see and do even for those who don't drink wine! Like you, I enjoy the beauty of it all.

Barbara Radisavljevic said...

As a 25 year resident of the Paso Robles area who lives in the midst of the 46 West Templeton / Paso Robles Wine Country, I have never been to the places you've written about, although I have met Thomas, who was connected with the Thomas Hill Organics Restaurant and I believe still owns the organic farm. I met him at Studios on the Park downtown when he was a resident artist there. Anyone who loves art and visits Paso Robles between Thursday and Sunday should not miss visiting Studios on the Park.

You also didn't mention Sculpterra Winery's wonderful sculpture garden. Even if you don't drink wine it's worth seeing. I write a lot about our wineries and vineyards, as well as local art, in my Paso Robles in Photos Blog.

April J Harris said...

Oh my, Jean, the Allegretto Vineyard Resort sounds like just the kind of place my husband and I would love! We often travel to California together when my hubby is on business and we try to squeeze in a weekend away together as well. This is the place for us! I've added it to my must visit list! I like the idea that the pool is quiet, and that you have all you need in one place. It looks very luxurious too. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely place with us at the Hearth and Soul Link party!

Anagha Yatin said...

Wow... thats one great place to rewind and chill out! The photos and the narration add to the "must visit" factor!Thanks for information.

Anagha recently published...Motherhood Stories

JakiJellz said...

What a fabulous trip. It makes me want to go back to the pool myself! #DreamTeam

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Barbara, I love your blog! And its subject -- I'll definitely be going back, so I'll check out Studios on the Park and Sculpterra. What a great town/area!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, I thought you two might like it! I like reading about your travels.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Anagah! And I'm pleased to "meet" you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jaki! I want to go back too!

Mrs Mummy Harris said...

Oh wow, this place looks amazing!!! Would definitely love to stay there myself!
Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, Mrs Mummy, it really is! Thank you.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Haven't been to Paso Robles -- would love to visit some day. We have friends who are real winos :-) and are always visiting California -- Paso Robles is one of their favorites. Really fun read -- thanks.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, John. I'm a wino, too, but your beautiful way with cocktails is winning me over. :-)

Ali Duke said...

It looks lovely there. I definitely appreciate knowing about good tea bags!
#TriumphantTales

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

It IS so lovely, Ali! Thank you.

3 Little Buttons said...

This looks like such a beautiful place to visit for some serious relaxation! I can already picture myself in that pool! I did laugh at your tea bag comment. I'm quite particular too, and can tell if anyone switches the brand I like best for something else. Stunning! Thanks so sharing with the #dreamteam Jean xx

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Annette, thank you! Yes, it's perfect for the whole family.

Menaka Bharathi said...

Seeks like you had the best of your times - thanks for joining Happy Sunday Link Party

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Menaka. You would love the food at the resort and at many of the restaurants in the town -- featuring local, sustainable, organic, etc.

April J Harris said...

Thank you so much, Jean. By the way, I just wanted to let you know I have featured this post at the Hearth and Soul Link Party this week. Thank you again for sharing it! Have a lovely week!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thanks! I'll check it out!

Bernideen said...

thanks for taking us along on this trip although you wouldn't want to see me in a bathing suit - scarey! I loved the sweet pottery teapot! Glad you had some vaca!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh Bernideen, you're too funny! :D But thank you. Another thing you'd like about that teapot is that it pours nicely - so many cute pottery pots have clunky, dribbly spouts.

aginglikeafinewine.com said...

It sounds like a perfect trip! Not too hectic and busy, time to relax and good wine! Cambria is one of our favorite places to visit in California. Thank you for sharing your trip with us at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, ALAFW! We didn't make it to Cambria this time, maybe next time. Paso Robles definitely exceeded our expectations, and Allegretto ... bellissimo!

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