17 Aug Flash tour Central Coast – Day 4 – Santa Cruz to Paso Robles on the Pacific Coast Highway
More of the Flash Tour! We are back on the Central Coast for Day 4. Today is about the call of the ocean, and we spend much of the day on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Day 4 Santa Cruz to Paso Robles to Solvang
To the Pacific Coast Highway
Day 4 we were up early and heading to the coast again. This time through San Jose then onto Rt. 17 to Santa Cruz. This glorious stretch of road is notoriously dangerous, but is tree lined and beautiful running through Scotts Valley with Redwoods to the North. This drive takes you to Santa Cruz and then Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway. We drove to just before Davenport and enjoyed the scenic drive up Bonny Doon Road for a bit. Then it was back to enjoy the coast on Bonny Doon Beach. It was still early, so we hopped back on the 1 heading north and took in some more of the coast. We came upon Theodore J. Hoover Natural Preserve in the Rancho del Osos- Big Basin Redwoods State Park. As you drive up the coast looking at the ocean suddenly this burst of mountainous beauty catches your eye from the other side. We stopped and took in a little of the view before heading back down to Davenport and the Bonny Doon Tasting Room.
Bonny Doon Vineyard Tasting Room
Bonny Doon…there is so much to say here. The first of the Rhone Rangers, Randall Grahm has been a winemaking pioneer in California. I will treat you to a full post on Bonny Doon, Randall Grahm and all of the really great and interesting stuff, but for now…visit the Bonny Doon Vineyards Website and have a quick read. We had an amazing tasting in their tasting room which sits right on the Pacific Coast Highway, then went across the street to enjoy the view and have a picnic lunch.
Paso Robles – Tablas Creek Vineyard
We hit the 101 and proceeded to Paso Robles heading straight for Tablas Creek Vineyard, where we did a tasting and took a look at where the vines were in veraison. They were pouring two interesting wines, Clairette Blanche and Terret Noir. Tablas Creek imported Clairette Blanche to the United States in 2003, it was released to them in 2009 and planted in 2010. The half acre block of Clairette Blanche at Tablas Creek is one of the only plantings in California. The Terret Noir is a blending grape from Chateauneuf du Pape. This vine was brought in from the Beaucastel Estate in Chateauneuf du Pape, as part of Tablas Creek’s goal to have all the Chateauneuf du Pape varieties. Watch for tastings and pairings with these two rather unique wines. And if you are a wine geek, get yourself to Tablas Creek Vineyard. If you can’t make it there, visit the website, you will find a ton of fascinating educational information on Rhone wines. Of course you will also find loads of information here on our website. We were lucky enough to do an interview and tour with Jason Haas their General Manager and had fascinating discussions on a wide range of topics including the Rhone Varieties, the Adelaida AVA and using Foudres, dry farming and more.
A little more PCH
Then it was back on the road to Solvang in Santa Barbara County where we would stay for the next 2 nights. Luckily were were not in a hurry, so we drove SR 46 to the Beach and up a little to Cambria and then took the Pacific Coast Highway to Morro Bay and SLO before getting back on the 101 to see sunset out the back window and moon rise out the front as we drove into Buellton.