27 Aug A weekend in West Side Paso.
Our trip to Paso this time is a little more focused as we hit the North end of Vineyard Drive and the West end of Adelaida Road. The big events we are attending are a Tasting through the Vineyard with Neil Collins (winemaker) and Levi Glenn (viticulturist) at Tablas Creek and a Vineyard View Sunset BBQ at Halter Ranch. So our other tastings we chose to keep in the neighborhood.
Tablas Creek and Neil Collins you will find plenty of blog posts on. They are perhaps my favorite winery on the planet. This event will give us the history of the vineyard and winery as well and learning about the farming techniques and tasting grapes on some of the blocks and then the wines that have been made from them. There will also be small bites to pair. Really, this sounds like heaven to me and I can’t wait to tell you all about it when we get back!
At Halter Ranch we will enjoy a Vineyard View Sunset BBQ on the deck of the new winery. The dinner line-up sounds amazing, and the views are sure to be spectacular.
At some point there will be lunch at Kukkula. The name means hill or high place in Finnish. The vineyard is on 80 acres overlooking the Adelaida schoolhouse. The tasting room is beautiful and modern and built into the hillside. It was designed to be energy efficient. They serve lunch on the weekends so this looks like a perfect spot.
We also plan to get out to DAOU which we missed doing on our last trip. They will have music Friday afternoon, so the goal is to make it for that. This winery is perched at 2,200 feet on the hills on the south side of Adelaida Road. The views from their Spanish Colonial style winery are spectacular. An anomaly in this area of the valley, they grow and focus on Cabernet! The property, the Hoffman Mountain Ranch was originally found by non other than Andre Tchelistecheff. Dr. Hoffman purchased it in 1964 and this was the first commercial winery in Paso and…they grew Cab. We will enjoy some music, taste some Cab and learn more about this amazing property!
Lone Madrone is Neil Collins personal label and he has a new tasting room across from Adelaida. This is perfect to keep his tasting room and Tablas Creek close. He sources grapes from small, locally owned and sustainable vineyards on west side Paso, working closely with the vineyards. The new tasting room is in a converted barn and has two patios where you can enjoy the wine and the view. I am hoping that we can also taste some of the Bristols Cider that Neil makes.
Jada, which is on Vineyard Drive, offers cheese pairings from Vivant, and how can you pass that up! They have an open air tasting room and you can reserve tables on the patio. They focus on Rhone and Bordeaux style wines here.
After reading Alice Feiring’s book “Naked Wine”, I felt I had to plan a visit to Carmody McKnight! Gary and Marion Conway purchased this land near Justin more than 40 years ago and have been making “Natural Wines” here ever since. Soil studies on the property show that there were once three volcanoes here and the soils here have been dubbed super soils and wonder soils that are seen nowhere else on the planet. So…we will taste their natural wines and learn about the super soils and get some of their opinions on “Natural Wines” which is a pretty hot topic these days! Oh and on the celebrity side, Gary Conway began as an actor and artist and Marian McKnight Conway is a well-known former Miss America. Their daughter Kathleen is the winemaker.
In all the times that we have been to this area of Paso Robles, we have never managed to stop at Pasolivo the olive oil company. The trees here are over 15 years old and they are an award winning olive oil company. With a variety of flavored oils I may just stock up!
Winemaker Kevin Riley is the consulting winemaker at Shale Oak and several other wineries locally. Proulx (Pru) is his own winery with his wife Genoa. The vineyard here is 55 years old. In addition to their own fruit, they source from the best Paso vineyards. This tiny winery produces just 1500 cases yearly. Maybe, we will get lucky and Kevin will be around and we can talk winemaking with him!
And it’s close to harvest so we hope to get lost of great shots of grapes ready to pick, maybe some harvest action and get to speak with fabulous wine makers!
Yes, it’s an ambitious trip and while we want to fit lots in, we will stop along the way to smell the wine. We will sadly have to edit stops on the way so that we can spend time and fully appreciate the places we do stop. You can look forward to great blog posts on our return!