Wine Line: No slowing down in Paso Robles

A truck load of recently harvested grapes makes its way to a winery in Paso Robles.
A truck load of recently harvested grapes makes its way to a winery in Paso Robles. The Tribune

The four-year drought in California didn’t seem to affect the little town of Paso Robles. The last time the Navigator and I did the downtown wine walk, there were 13 tasting rooms. Now there are 21. Taste Anglim’s excellent Rhone-style wines. For big bold reds try Pianetta’s, and make sure you don’t forget the remaining 19! It’s a perfect activity for an afternoon arrival. Walk and taste, sneak in a nap and then have an early dinner at one of a dozen or so downtown restaurants.

One restaurant high on our list is Thomas Hill Organics, which is a farm-to-table restaurant that features creative organic food. The owners work with local purveyors for fresh fish, grass fed beef, lamb, fruits, vegetables and artisan-crafted breads. The wine list is Central Coast-centric with most coming from SLO Wine Country. On this trip, we ate at the newly opened Organic Kitchen in San Luis Obispo. If you’re a farm-to-table food fanatic, put Thomas Hill on your list.

On your second day, head out Highway 46 West for a sinful zinfandel zin-fest. Peachy Canyon should be your first stop and if you’re lucky, the owner, Doug Beckett will be pouring. With more than 30 winemaking years in Paso Robles, he is the guru of all things zinfandel. We’ve been drinking his Incredible Red for years and his 2014 Westside Zinfandel (91 score from Wine Enthusiast) is a steal at $20 or less. He has a full line-up of vineyard-designated zinfandels that will excite all zin lovers. Look for the huge white Adirondack chair on the front lawn, that’s Peachy Canyon.

More wine? Continue on 46 to Cambria for lodging and dinner. If you planned ahead and have morning Hearst Castle tickets, you can start the Pacific Coast Wine Trail after by tasting Hearst Ranch Wines. There are 10 tasting rooms from San Simeon to Morro Bay and it’s an incredibly scenic wine trail with the Pacific Ocean in view as you head down Highway 1. Two must-stop wineries are Stolo Family Vineyards and Harmony Cellars. Solo’s winemaker, Nicole Pope, makes excellent 90-plus pinots and chardonnays and Harmony produces a full line-up of reasonable priced award-winning wines by winemaker Charles Mulligan. Check out their Cellar Master wine club, it’s one of the best value-priced clubs around. After you finish the PCWT in Morrow Bay, you can then head to Edna Valley … but that’s another column. Cheers!

Remember, May 6th is the Amador Four Fires Festival. Tickets are available online.

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