On Sunday, November 30 we had lunch at Justin Winery outside of Paso Robles. Paso has lots of vineyards and Justin is one of the more famous one. It is quite far from San Luis Obispo; it seemed even further because we took some back roads to get there. However, the winery is so beautiful that any car sickness from the windy roads is quickly forgotten! It was a wonderfully sunny day and the vines were a gorgeous yellow-red color. The place is the epitome of picturesque and all I wanted to do was to grab a chair, a book, and sit there forever. But I wasn’t opposed to eating lunch either. We sat in an outside patio, looking out on the front of the winery. We had a wonderful white wine to start with, a viognier, which was a new type to me; very nice and refreshing.
Allow me to be lazy and copy some info from the Justin website:
JUSTIN Winery is a family owned and operated winery making estate grown and produced wines. The property was founded in 1981 by Justin and Deborah Baldwin when they planted their 160 acre property to the major Bordeaux varietals and created their Estate vineyard. The winery is located in the Paso Robles appellation of California’s Central Coast. The region’s first grapes were planted in 1779 by Franciscan missionaries and today are home to the third highest concentration of wineries in the United States.
The cool thing about this winery is that we sort of have a relative who is a chef there – she is something like my boyfriend’s step-second-cousin. That probably makes her not at all related to me but fun nonetheless! She was alone in the kitchen, poor thing, but she came out and said hello which was nice.
For a starter, I had a salad with beets, blue cheese, and walnuts. It is a classic salad, but it was sooo good. There were a few pieces of fried onion on top that made it extra delicious and gave additional crunch – my favorite texture. My entrée was a smoked salmon tartine, also delicious. It came with fries, which I love, so I was happy. For dessert, we shared (which I now regret!) an apple cake with cinnamon ice cream. It didn’t sound good to me – I was thinking apple pie and fake cinnamon taste, two things I don’t care for, but it was amazing! The cake was dense but light at the same time, and the ice cream had just a hint of natural cinnamon flavor. Yum yum!
We didn’t do a wine tasting, since we had a long drive back, but I am sure their tastings are wonderful. Justin Winery is gorgeous and I would totally recommend it – even without a step-cousin-once-removed.