Thursday, April 17, 2008

Central Coast Wine Tour-Day 5-Paso Wineries

On Thursday we toured some more wineries, this time in the Paso Robles area. Our first winery was the Eberle Winery. John had setup a tour of the facilities because they have caves to age their wines that are unique.

After some initial tasting, which is always a great way to start the day, our tour guide took us down the stairs into the caves. The caves were drilled into the hillside and then reinforced with concrete. There are many corridors which lead to other corridors, with barrels lining each side of the wall.
The caves are very narrow so that all of the movement of the barrels is by hand. Since the caves are located under the fermentation area, they are all filled using gravity which has less impact on the wine.

There are 16,000 sq. ft. of caves under the winery. The winery and tasting room were built with recycled redwood to create a beautiful setting in the midst of the vineyards. Here we are relaxing after the tour and enjoying the ambiance of the tasting room.
Eberle is known for great red wines. They make a very good Zinfandel, a full bodied Cabernet, and a unique Rhone blend called Cotes-du-Robles. We enjoyed all of the wine we tasted. And many bottles of wine were purchased.

After leaving Eberle, John took outlying country roads. Our first stop was for an olive/olive oil tasting facility. There were many different and unique products to taste including salad dressings, olive dips, and many different types of olive oil.

Our next winery was Adelaida Cellars. This was just a tasting event and we enjoyed the different wines. John was a little disappointed in the quality of the white wines, but the setting on top of the mountain was great and the tasting room is done is the Craftsman Style which John loves.

Down the road was a little piece of France in California. The Tablas Creek Winery is owned by the famous Perrins family who own the famous Chateau du Beaucastel estate in France. They brought their own grape cuttings over to plant in their vineyards which added new varieties to the area. In fact, they started a nursery and are selling their cuttings.

Most of their signature wines are blends in the french style. Their hallmark red wine is Espirit du Beaucastel, a richly dense wine based on the Mourvedre grape. They also produce some unique varietal wines. John bought a bottle of Tannat wine which was rich and ripe with plum overtones. It was a truly different wine tasting experience.
Our last winery was the Justin Vineyards & Winery. Justin is more than just a winery, it's also an inn and restaurant. John knew that Linda would like this winery because of the gardens and the winery dogs.

We tasted some fantastic wines including their signature red wine blend, Isosceles. It's named after the triangle and produced from three different grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. This wine is consistently rated in the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wine List.
However, the hit of the tasting for our friends was the port like wine, Obtuse. It's made in the traditional style, but made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. We were lucky to be able to buy it as it was almost sold out.
Here's a view of the vineyards surrounding the winery and inn.

For more pictures of the day click on this link:
After we left Justin, we stopped a the grocery store and bought some steaks which we proceeded to BBQ back at the motorhomes. It was another great Happy Hour, with great conversations and fellowship.
Tomorrow we move North again to the Monterey area.

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