First post, been lurking for a couple of years. We spent 10 days in the Central Coast area in May, 7 nights in Los Osos, and 3 nights in Paso. Most of the visits we made to wineries were from recommendations here. This was not meant to be primarily a wine trip, since we flew and only had a single Wine Check to take home. Trips to CA tend to turn out that way, though.
Attended the Wine Festival in Paso on May 17th which wasn’t too bad for the first hour or so. Tasted a couple of wineries that made us want to visit on Sunday, Summerwood and Ecluse. We already had planned on Tablas Creek. We did visit a few on Friday, Ambyth (they had me at amphorae), Turley, and Zin Alley. Ambyth was fascinating and very nice folks, and I am very interested in wines with minimal additives. Maybe a few more additives than that, though.
Turley, to our surprise, was a super friendly tasting room. Luckily we both loved the same wine, the 2010 Ueberroth. The ladies there told us to stop at Zin Alley, just around the corner. Interesting stop, one man show with a sign on the door, something about only Hippies can use the door. In we went, and the Zins were great. He makes one a year, and last year he also made a botrytis pinot blanc from Bien Nacido. I came home with a bottle of that.
Had a great time at Taste of the Valleys in Pismo Beach. They will open up nearly anything in the store if you buy a glass, then they put it in their wine keepers for general tastings. We did the “reserve” tasting and they threw in a few extras. This is where we found a new favorite, Kynsi Pinot. At the Los Olivos wine shop, we tried, loved, bought Center of Effort Pinot. Coincidentally, the two wineries are directly across the street from each other. Visited Kynsi, but CofE was appointment only and we didn’t do appointments this week.
Best tasting visit was Tablas Creek. Loved all of their wine except the syrah, but I never love Syrah. Joined the club in spite of vowing we would NOT join any clubs, and took a bottle of 2010 Esprit de Beaucastel to Artisan that night. Match made in heaven. So was the Kynsi we drank at Ciopinot in SLO. Oh, and we did not like Thomas Hill Organics at all, so there’s that. The wine we took was good though. I could really get used to taking good wine to restaurants, unfortunately we live in NM.
We’ve been to Napa/Sonoma several times, but this was just a different experience. The tasting room employees were really friendly, funny, knowledgeable. (If you go to Talley, ask for Sherry.) Many of the young pourers were students at Cal Poly wine program and knew their stuff. There were some reasonable tasting fees, usually waived if you bought a bottle.
Just hoping we can drink the wine we brought home. Our connecting flight in Phoenix was canceled, so our luggage sat outside (in the shade, so they told us) for four hours! Evening, but still in the 90s. Very poor planning on my part. Never have flown with wine before, this might be an expensive lesson.
Sorry to hijack a thread on my first post and turn it into a trip report. Did want to throw Zin Alley out there though. Overall, very fun trip. If we didn’t own a time share in Napa, we might be going back to Central Coast every year. But, it was HOT. Maybe in March sometime.