When we recently planned a long weekend getaway to Paso Robles,
we were determined to visit wineries we had not visited before.
Our first stop was Lone Madrone on Adelaida Road. Sitting on a hill surrounded by vineyards, Lone Madrone is a lovely, unpretentious spot. We enjoyed our tastings on the back patio, a shaded area of COVID-spaced tables and frequent visits from their wine dog. Our tasting included 2019 Picpoul Blanc, 2019 Oveja, 2019 Oveja Negra, 2016 Bailey Ranch Zinfandel, 2015 Old Hat, 2014 Dodd and 2013 Bollo. And yes, all were delicious.
For lunch we shared Pickled Organic Veggies and Olives, a Prime Beef Blend Burger, Shoestring Fries and a bottle of the 2014 Dodd. Prepared by Chef Jeffery Scott, our lunch was wonderful. I can’t wait to visit again to try some of the other alluring items on Chef Scott’s menu.
On the advice of our friend Cheryl, we next visited Grosso Kresser. Run by Karl Kresser and Juliane Grosso, a couple who met working in the entertainment industry in Southern California, this majestic winery and inn sits on a hillside overlooking vineyards and neighboring wineries. Karl was pouring that day and he was a delightful, genial host. Karl poured their 2017 Chardonnay, 2015 Candére, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon and their 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. All were amazing, especially the Candére, a delightful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. We liked it so much that we went back the next day and purchased a second bottle!
After a restful evening at Cambria Landing Inn & Suites on Moonstone Beach and a tasty breakfast delivered to our room by The Canteen, we started the day with a visit to Epoch Estate Wines on York Mountain Road in Templeton. We were seated on a spacious patio outside the tasting room and each presented with our tasting flight – the 2016 Sensibility, 2016 Veracity, 2019 Rosé, 2019 White Extended Age, 2016 Estate Blend and 2016 Ingenuity. Amazing aromas and delightful tastes.
Next we stopped at Dilecta on Vineyard Drive. Dilecta is a boutique winery of handcrafted Rhones by winemaker/owner Orion Stang. We were served by Betty Wick, Orion’s mom and a talented artist who creates Dilecta’s labels. We ate our picnic lunch on the patio and tasted their 2018 Maddie Viognier, 2017 Bien Nacido Syrah, 2018 Bien Nacido Syrah, 2018 Match GSM and their very tasty 2018 Unorthodox Syrah/Petite Verdot. We also went into the tasting room to take a look at several of Betty’s paintings. Stunning!
Next on our journey was Pasolivo where we tasted a selection of olive oils and vinegars. We joined on a previous visit and, on this visit, the staff could not have been nicer or more generous with their knowledge.
Our final stop before going back to our hotel for the evening was Denner Vineyards. Situated on a hillside vineyard, Denner’s facility is beautiful. Due to COVID we were seated outside in what is normally the member area, Comus Vista. With expansive views, Comus Vista is a wonderful area to enjoy Denner’s wines, as is Comus Crush, their indoor tasting room. We tasted their 2018 Viognier, 2018 Ditch Digger, 2018 Dirt Worshipper, 2018 Mother of Exiles, 2019 Theresa, and 2019 Zinfandel. All were very good.
After an evening enjoying the ocean views, and another delicious breakfast delivered by The Canteen, we ventured to Tin City on the east side of Paso Robles. As stated on their website, Tin City is “an evolving industrial makers market nestled amongst the oaks where friends, adventurers, and aficionados come together to partake in craft wine, beer and spirits served up by Paso’s most passionate artisans.”
Our first tasting happened at ONX Wines. Seated on their spacious patio, we enjoyed their 2018 Field Day, 2019 Indie Rosé, 2017 Mad Crush, 2017 Crux, 2016 Level 22, 2017 Reckoning, 2017 Black Orchid and their 2014 post script. With the exception of the Indie Rosé, a rosé of Tempranillo, all of their pours were blends, each with its own unique aromas and characteristics. The post script (No caps), a delicious dessert blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, stood out, along with the Indie Rosé, which we enjoyed back at our hotel that evening.
To change things up a bit we stopped in at Tin City Cider Company, a collaboration between winemakers Curt Schalchlin, Mikey Giugni and Andrew Jones. Crafted from California apples, their carefully crafted ciders come in a variety of styles and flavors. We tasted their TC Light, Original Dry Hopped, Poly Dolly, Lower East Cider, Templetucky, Crowded House, Poly Royal and Library Cider.
Feeling a bit peckish we stopped at Olivas de Oro Olive Company. They were very kind and put together at meat and cheese platter that we enjoyed at our last tasting.
Our last stop for the day was a delightful visit at Jacob Toft. A winemaker for over twenty years, Toft began as a gypsy winemaker. He settled in Paso Robles in 2015, and has been producing great wines ever since. Sitting on their tiny patio, we enjoyed tastes of their 2017 Kelly’s Cuvée, 2017 Sierra Mar Vineyard Syrah, 2017 Tessa’s Cuvée, and 2017 Maggie’s Cuvée. We were also lucky enough to speak with Toft, a warm genial host.