I decided to make a quick trip to Paso Robles this week. When my sister and I sold our folks' house in August, I asked the next door neighbor to keep some of the gardening tools for me, so I knew I had to go and get those.
The weather had been beautiful, but I knew that winter would arrive here one of these days, and I hate driving in rain or snow (over the Grapevine on I-5)
But the determining factor was that my Slow Travel compadre and fellow "Wine Snob" Shannon was going to be in Paso for a couple of days, and I wanted to help convince her to put Slow Bowl IV on the schedule for 2010.
I stayed at my friend Marianne's, but it was really strange not to have our own house to go to. I did get to meet the man who bought our house when I picked up the gardening tools, and he was really nice, so that made me feel good.
But, back to Slow Bowl and wine . . . Shannon and Marianne had never met, so the three of us went to Villa Creek restaurant in downtown Paso for Taco Tuesday. Had some very tasty tacos with a bottle of Albarino and lots of wine-related conversation. Here we are:
On Wednesday, both Marianne and Shannon had to work, so I drove over to Cambria, my very favorite little beach town. On the way I stopped at Peachy Canyon Winery to see if they still had their great Viognier - I had tasted it at the Slow Bowl dinner last February and loved it. It must have just been released at that time because they still had it - in fact, it was the only white wine on their tasting list.
Peachy Canyon Winery is known for their red wines and specifically for their Zinfandels. They had seven Zins on their tasting list, only one of which is distributed widely (Westside). I liked them so much that I went ahead and joined their twice-a-year Zin Club and picked up the shipment of six wines that had just gone out. Zin is Bill's favorite red wine, so he will be happy!
On to Cambria for lunch! The morning fog had still not lifted by the time I got there, so I stopped at the little bakery in the East Village (they have a dynamite onion-dill bread that I love) and then headed down to Moonstone Beach Drive to sit outside at Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill for clam chowder in a bread bowl. Really yummy!
I had some seagulls to keep me company, but they had signs all over not to feed the birds, so I waited until I left and took the remains of my bread bowl across the street for them to eat. It was a lovely setting , even with the fog.
Eventually I drove back to Paso to wait for Shannon's call (we were going to visit a new winery to see if a Slow Bowl gathering might be held there in Jan/Feb 2010. It was called Pear Valley Vineyards and is on Union Road on the east side of Paso Robles. A really gorgeous location with vineyard views all around and a huge tasting room building with indoor and patio facilities. Plus the fact that the wines were really good too! I agreed with Shannon that this would be a great place for a winetasting!
Here are a few photos of Pear Valley Vineyards: