I was not sure what to expect when arriving to California. I have heard it is beautiful and the lifestyle was quite nice but I have heard that about many other places and have not really been impressed once getting there.
A couple of years ago I found a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles California that I liked a lot, not being a great wine connoisseur I was surprised by how nice this wine was, so I became kind of an explorer of this kind wine and it was my introduction to Californian wines in general.
I am convinced that wherever wine is produced it is possible to find great lifestyle, what I mean by this is good food, amazing local products and beautiful places to explore. I was right with these particular areas of California, it is really beautiful and worthy to explore.
We rented a car in LAX airport and drove three hours through a scenic highway, one that goes along mountains, beaches and coastal towns.
We arrived to Atascadero and a little hotel there our base to explore this lesser known California wine region. Our first stop was Paso Robles itself, the downtown is quite lovely, packed with good quality restaurants many of which delivers the organic concept of farm to table. Wine is everywhere and I loved that.
The first vineyard we decided to explore was Edna, located in the outskirts of San Luis Obispo, the views are impressive and it makes the wines to taste even better. Most establish wineries are open from 10 to 5 pm and they charge a small fee for a tasting of their best wines, most of the times this fee is waived when one buys their products. Later in the afternoon we explored the downtown of San Luis Obispo and enjoyed a great lunch there.
We drove an hour North to visit Justin Vineyards, this place put the name of Paso Robles in the world radar almost 15 years ago when one of their wines was recognized as one of the top ten in the world. Once again the place is beautiful, so stylish, so chic and everybody is very friendly. The views again are to die for.
There are hundreds of wineries all around, we decided to visit some of the most scenic. The following day we drove to Santa Ynes and stop in Sunstone winery, it is hard to come to the terms that one place is more beautiful than other here, but Sunstone transports one to French countryside. It is like being arriving to a state in Provence with lavender and stone houses included. After enjoying our wine tasting we brought food and took seat in one of the lovely tables in their patio, it was a wonderful experience.
They recommend us to explore Mosby wines, not far from there, it is a very small vineyard with many Italian varietals, it was really nice to end our trip there since we close with one of the best dessert wines I have had in long time.
This is a place that still is out of the radar of crowds, now is the time to go there, it is much more affordable than other wine regions such as Napa and everything feels less touristy and more genuine. We left California with the conviction we have to be back soon.