16 May 2019

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country

Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country / www.delightfulrepast.com
I'd been craving a wine country getaway since my first whiff of autumn in the air, but it took us until well into spring to make it happen. Wherever you are in the US, wine country isn't far away since all 50 states have vineyards now. But it had been nearly two years since our last California wine adventure, and we really wanted to head back to the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA).

Even if you're not into wine, it's a beautiful area to visit. Paso Robles (or Paso, as the locals call it) 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. 


Travek Review - Paso Robles Wine Country / www.delightfulrepast.com

There are good accommodations at every price point and of every type. Some vineyards even have a few guest rooms, I learned! We were fortunate enough to stay at the full-service resort we stayed at on our first trip, Allegretto Vineyard Resort, and enjoyed every minute. We needed what I like to call a "personalized self-guided wellness retreat" or "one-stop ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation." Or as Mr Delightful put it: We needed a vacation like nobody's business!


Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country (this photo - Cello Ristorante & Bar) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Of course, we went out and about, tasting wine, eating wonderful meals, seeing beautiful scenery, visiting charming downtowns; but if we had never left the property we could have been happy. The restaurant, Cello, is not your usual hotel restaurant. It is a serious--but unstuffy--restaurant where you'll run into as many locals as guests. Headed up by executive chef Justin Picard, it is about fresh, local ingredients and artisan cookery. 



Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country (this photo - Cello Ristorante & Bar) / www.delightfulrepast.com

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, even at the bar. If you are a tea aficionado in the US, you know what a rarity that is!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to experience the Spa at Allegretto, but it looked lovely. Here's a peek at their outdoor relaxing area.


Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Spa at Allegretto / www.delightfulrepast.com





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. One of my favorites is this one, and I bet you can guess why!


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!

There are lots of great places to eat in Paso Robles and the surrounding area, including Fish Gaucho, Thomas Hill Organics and Novo. Novo Restaurant & Lounge, in downtown San Luis Obispo, features locally sourced, globally inspired cuisine in a serene creekside setting.


I wanted to walk over this gorgeous little footbridge, but it didn't happen. Next time.

In inclement weather, it would have been a pleasure to dine in the historic building, but we never miss an opportunity to dine outdoors. The comfortably heated patio perched over the creek was idyllic. Mr Delightful was so dazzled by the setting I was afraid he'd not pay enough attention to the food! But the food stood up to the view. And the service was outstanding.

We enjoyed visiting the tasting room at Allegretto, sampling the excellent wines and watching Stephanie work the room. I have no idea how she kept track of what everyone was tasting. She was knowledgeable about the wines, and we also appreciated her restaurant recommendations.

Our visit to Eberle Winery, which cultivates 64 acres of vines over five vineyards with different soil-climate combinations to suit particular grapes, was the highlight of our stay. The time we spent getting acquainted with the Eberles was priceless. Both raconteurs, they kept us entertained! We even got to meet the winemaker, Chris Eberle (not related).

Following a tour of the 16,000 square feet of underground wine caves (photo below), we sat on the deck overlooking the vineyard and tasted lots of wine. Like any self-respecting blogger, I should have taken a picture of the view from the deck, I should have taken lots of pictures; but I was in the moment.   


Travel Review - Paso Robles Wine Country - Eberle Winery (this photo of the caves) / www.delightfulrepast.com
Photo courtesy of Eberle Winery

As we sipped wine and nibbled cheeses, savories and dried fruits and drank in the view, we learned the history of this pioneer of Central Coast winemaking and a lot about the region and wine in general. 

Tasting each wine, I pictured what foods I would pair it with; for example, a pork roast and fruit sauce with the Syrah, a traditional roast beef dinner with the Cabernet. Can't wait to break open a bottle!  

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.

Jean

63 comments:

bobbie said...

Have you tried the wine tasting areas in Santa Barbra and Ynez counties? ~ even better than Paso!!
I used to live near there ~

Marilyn Miller said...

What a lovely little get-away and tea too. It looks beautiful there.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Your visual verbals go a long way toward replacing photos, but as splendid as your trip sounds, I relate most to that “in the moment” frustration that leaves you looking backward for .jpg files. It’s a classic dilemma. I often find that there’s too much going on to interrupt it with a photo snap. And if there are people involved, it’s even less likely I will take a picture, lest I interrupt that flow of communication. It’s why there is a certain redundancy when I actually turn on camera mode. I tend to take photos in batches, many quite similar, arty perhaps, distinguished if at all by the nuances of light and shadow. Your photos are always quite formal to my eye, beautiful for their arrangements and select perspective. Ditto the elegant prose. Methinks, some well-paying travel magazine is missing an upgrade by not hiring you.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Hi Bobbie ~ Thanks for the tip--I'll put those on my list for next time!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Marilyn! Yes, it's beautiful. I always appreciate the different scenery wherever I go.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, thank you so much. If you have an "in" at any of those "well-paying travel magazines," be sure to put in a good word for me!

Louca por porcelana said...

What a beautiful place!You had a great time there!Hugs!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Maristella! I know you would love it there.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jean, Paso Robles is a great town. My dad was born there in 1912. I'm sure it has changed a bit since then! Thanks for your visit. We are having rain all this week so think it is slowing the pollen down some..Happy Thursday..Judy

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Judy, thank you. Yes, I'm sure it has changed, even just since the wine came in.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

What a wonderful place to visit for you and your hubby! My late beloved and I went to Sonoma,and Napa, but I can see that this would be a place that I’d love. Thanks for your review.

A Casa Madeira said...

Que bonito!

DUTA said...

I must admit I'm not "into wine" , but your great review of the tour at Paso wineries area, and the beautiful photos - made it all very interesting to me.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Kitty. We love Napa, too, and would love to visit Sonoma sometime.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Muito obrigado, A Casa Madera! VocĂȘ gostaria.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

a visit to wine country sounds heavenly!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

DUTA, I really appreciate that. And, rest assured, there is plenty to enjoy there besides the wine. Your comment reminded me of how much I enjoyed the Ken Burns documentary series about baseball even though I've never had any interest in playing or watching baseball!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Carol. It was exactly what we needed!

My name is Erika. said...

It looks just fabulous. I've been to California several times but I have never spent anytime in wine country. I am glad you stopped by my blog and I will be taking a trip through yours also. Nice to meet you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Erika. Nice to meet you as well! Another good thing about visiting a region's wine country is that you're bound to find some seriously good restaurants there! :-)

Pauline Wiles said...

Yay for the tea! And I'm so impressed with the person who left ample supplies in your room.

Strangely, we may have criss-crossed on the road to your getaway. We were in Solvang last weekend, for a half marathon in very scenic surroundings. The post-race wine tasting kicked off at 9:30AM, though, which was a little too early for me!

Veronica Lee said...

After reading your post, I would love to experience a wine country getaway. Totally adding this to my bucket list.

Your photos are beautiful Jean.

BTW, I am now following your lovely blog via GFC.



TONY said...

Hi Jean. I like a good bottle of wine. This sounds very interesting.
Here in Britain wine growing is taking off too. The Romans created vineyards all over the South of England 2000years ago, but wine growing went into a bit a of a decline but never went away. Many vineyards in the South of England are grown on south facing chalk escarpments. The geology and the climate is very similar to the Champagne area of northern France. We are competing very strongly especially with our sparkling wines nowadays. Marilyn, Emily, Abigail and myself visited Greyfriars Vineyard on the south facing slope of The Hogsback , near Guildford recently. The wines are expensive but absolutely delicious.Here is a link: https://www.greyfriarsvineyard.co.uk/
Shame we can't do a wine tasting via the internet!!

TONY said...

Just a thought Jean. The photo of the girl reclining on a couch as she reads reminded me of something. I went to see the Edward Burnes Jones exhibiton at Tate Britain recently. He painted a young girl, virtually in the same pose. I wonder if the sculptor referenced the Burnes Jones painting?

BarbRad said...

I'm a local. In our Templeton home, all our neighbors grow grapes and our back fence borders the Croad Vineyards and ZinAlley. It appears you stuck to the east side of Paso Robles and our winery neighbors are all in the 46 West wine country.

I love living in Paso Robles. It's a shame I don't drink wine. But I walk through and photograph the local vineyards. The scenery alone keeps me happy. I enjoy watching the seasons change each year. Some of the most scenic wineries on the west side are Croad, Niner Estates, Peachy Canyon, Castoro, and Doce Robles. And then there is Tooth and Nail if you like castles with moats. I hope you keep coming back. I hope you got to Sculpterra. It's a really special place on the east side. I go there often just to see the sculpture garden. It has the best art of any of the wineries.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, what a wonderful trip. The winery looks beautiful, a lovely place to visit. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

We always stay with friends when we go to Paso Robles... thus, while we get to enjoy several wineries each time, we rarely eat out,,, obviously, that needs to change! And there are so many other things we seem to be missing! Saved this in my CA files! Thanks, Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pauline, 9:30am is a bit early for me to start wine tasting as well! I think 11am is fine because I can go to lunch shortly after the tasting. Funny about crossing paths, but I will never cross paths with anyone on a half-marathon race route! :D

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Veronica, thank you so much. You are very kind! Glad you've added a wine country getaway to your bucket list. You're going to love it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, I've misplaced my notes on the sculpture, but it is one I could have posed for years ago--little girl with long braids never seen without a book in her hands! I'll check out that link to Grey Friars. Must definitely check out English wine country one day.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Barb. I appreciate the recommendations and will definitely check out the west side on our next trip to the area. Your "The scenery alone keeps me happy. I enjoy watching the seasons change each year." is something I like to point out to people who, like you, are not wine drinkers. It is so beautiful!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Eileen. Someday I must explore Maryland's eight wine trails!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

David, thank you. And you'll be glad to know that I spoke with someone at Cello Ristorante (at Allegretto Vineyard Resort) about the garlic allergy, and I was surprised to learn that they can quite easily deal with that!

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

O MY!! What beautiful pictures of a truly charming place!! Thanks so much for taking us along!! Thanks too for stopping by!! The flowers on my slope is a ground cover plant called phlox that blooms for about one week or so in the Spring here. After it blooms, it stay green for the rest of the year providing excellent coverage on slopes which was why i planted it there...Have a wonderful weekend!!!
Hugs,
Debbie

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Debbie. I love the rolling hills, whether covered in wine grapes or something else, and the small towns that are quite unlike other small towns. Each area holds its own charms. (Will be googling phlox now!)

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Wow! delightful images you painted, Jean! I'm not much of a drinker but I do love the surrounding gardens and foods at the wineries. Your tour sounds restful and rejuvenating.

Jeanie said...

This is a terrific review, Jean. It really gives a wonderful sense of place -- and it all sounds beautiful and delicious. So much fun and lots to learn. Small towns like that have such charm, I just love them!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sue, thanks so much! We don't drink much either, but we do enjoy a small glass of wine with dinner. But even if we didn't like wine, I would still love visiting wine areas for the surroundings and the food, as you mentioned.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Jeanie! It pleases me to think I succeeded at conveying a sense of place.

Jennifer@MyFlagstaffHome said...

What a lovely getaway! Just beautiful and serene. Thanks so much for sharing at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home. --Jennifer

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Such a lovely post about your experience, Jean. I'm impressed they took the pains to meet your tea needs. That would make me a happy camper. Sounds like a wonderful place to experience great wine.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Jennifer. "Beautiful" and "serene"--two of my favorite words!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Martha, thank you! Yes, they really pay attention to the details at that resort, which makes it even more relaxing and enjoyable.

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Upstate New York has lots of vineyards, too. I have only ever attended a wine festival once, but I think a vineyard tour would be amazing! Now I need to gather some girlfriends and get planning! Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience.

Shelbee
www.shelbeeontheedge.com

Margie said...

What a lovely getaway. I'm sure returned from your trip refreshed.

My idea of vacation has changed. When I first started traveling, the trip was always, "Go! Go! Go!". Now I prefer the low-key vacation where there's no rush to do touristy things.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Shelbee, thank you. Yes, it was a wonderful experience. I hope you'll take a wine trip soon.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Margie. And I so agree. Though I've always tried to keep it low-key, I did tend to pack my itinerary in those early travel days.

Amy Johnson said...

We never go to wineries because we don't drink. It's good to hear there's plenty to do even if you don't drink. They always look so beautiful. Maybe we do need to go to one someday.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Amy. Yes, I'm convinced even someone who doesn't drink wine would have plenty to do here. And you would enjoy the beautiful drives and taking photos of the vineyards and other gorgeous scenery.

csuhpat1 said...

Very nice. Looks like a wonderful place to visit.

Fran @ Gday Souffle said...

Jean, this looks like a great place to visit. I feel like hoping in my car and driving up the coast from San Diego to visit!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, csuhpat1, thanks. I definitely want to return!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Fran! I know you'd have a lovely time.

Sylvia said...

What a beautiful place to visit. I enjoy visiting wineries. Thanks for linking up with us at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 37

Heather Keet said...

Looks absolutely gorgeous. I'm not a wine person, but I love driving through the vineyards here in Washington. #DreamTeam

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sylvia, thank you. Wineries are beautiful AND smell so good!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Heather. I know. Even if I didn't like wine, I would find Wine Country the most beautiful places for vacation.

Miz Helen said...

What a great review Jean, I really enjoyed your post! Thanks so much for sharing with us on Full Plate Thursday and come back real soon!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Miz Helen! I know you would love to visit that area!

Lowcarb team member said...

What a lovely post Jean, it looks and sounds a very nice get-away.

I've just enjoyed a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc with one of our favourite meals … Provençal chicken :)

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jan, thank you. That sounds like a lovely pairing! I like Viognier, too, with many chicken dishes.

bill burke said...

Sounds like that was a perfect place to getaway too. Good food, scenery and some fine wines to taste. Your review was very nice and I enjoyed reading it,
Have a wonderful week, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Bill! It did me a world of good to have a change of pace and scenery!

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