Who loves wine? I know I do! One of the things I was excited about when moving to California is the access to so many amazing wineries within a few hours of Los Angeles. I had always heard that Paso Robles was a great weekend getaway and always wanted to try it out! But where to go exactly?
The Paso Robles area has over 200 wineries, most of which are family owned and operated businesses. There are so many to choose from so I figured I would share our experience at a few we went to in case anyone is curious! As a planner I know a helpful guide or another's recommendations and experiences is always appreciated when making a plan.
On a whim we decided to head up there for two nights and hop around a bit as we were looking for a weekend getaway within a few hours of Los Angeles and wanted to look for all dog friendly places to bring our pup, Pepper.
It was Labor Day Weekend so there was very limited availability at hotels, especially pet friendly ones, so we spent hours calling every hotel in the area but nowhere had any vacancy for Saturday night, most only had availability Sunday. We went ahead and made a reservation at the Farmhouse Motel for Sunday, and left ourselves on a waiting list at a few hotels in case there were any cancellations for Saturday night. Hoping that the universe would bless us, taking a leap of faith, we decided to just head on up the coast with only a somewhat formulated plan. YOLO
Our first stop was Pismo State Beach. We wanted to give our dog Pepper some more beach experience to get her used to the water and hoped we could let her run around and have some fun! I had read the beach was dog friendly so we decided to make it a stop on our way! We ended up at Oceano Dunes which is actually a Recreation area with a beachside campground and off roading area for ATVs! There were tons of RVs and you could camp on the beach! Had we known we would have brought a tent and done just that! We had a nice stroll on the beach, letting Pepper run through the water, chase seagulls, and did some clam digging! Of course you are not allowed to take the clams off the beach so we returned them unharmed but it was a fun experience.
We then headed up to Morro Bay for a seafood dinner at the Blue Sky Bistro. I specifically picked it because it had great reviews, was dog friendly, and right on the Marina! We had a delicious sunset dinner right on the water. The Lobster Bisque and Clam Chowder were so delicious! There was also live music going on at a few of the surrounding bars & restaurants and lots to check out.
Just as we thought we were going to have to find a last minute crummy motel somewhere the universe provided for us and I ended up getting a call from Tracy (super nice lady!) at the Farmhouse Motel where we made our reservation for the following night in Paso Robles. She surprisingly had a cancellation and offered to put us up in the same room for both Saturday and Sunday nights! What a relief! We had faith that it would all work out in the end, and it did!
So we headed on up to Paso Robles for the night to check into our room at the Farmhouse Motel! We finally arrived at around 9:30pm ready to rest our heads for the night since we knew we would have a fun filled day of wineries to visit in the morning! The Farmhouse Motel was so cute and cozy, they even did the little fancy swan towels on the beds and all of the rooms had a nice homey, cottage, antique feel to them.
Our first reservation for a wine tasting was at 11am at Jada Winery so we were so grateful to have a place to stay closely the night before! (Most of the wineries were operating on strict reservation schedules for tastings & tours because of Covid precautions as well as the Holiday weekend) We opted only for wineries that advertised that they were dog friendly as well because of course we wanted to bring Pepper along for the day!
We got to Jada Winery right as they were opening the gates for the day. It was a beautiful vineyard with outdoor seating and a nice tasting room. We did their tasting flight with the gourmet cheese pairing. Seeing as it was our first winery we didn't end up buying any wine at Jada but enjoyed everything we tasted. Our hostess was very informative about the history and owners of the winery and somehow during the conversation we got on the topic of Disney and the Dole Whip they have. She recommended a Brewery nearby that had it! I was craving it since I wasn't able to get any the last time we went to Disney so we headed there for a mid-day snack before our next tasting!
The KiloKilo Brewing company was a cool Hawaiian themed spot and the Dole Whip was fantastic! It was gone within seconds! We didn't get any beer as I didn't want to be mixing beer with wine but I would definitely love to go back and try a few! On our way to the next winery we came across one of the many Antique stores, and of course we both love the treasures these stores have so we did a quick browse!
Our next stop was Eberle Winery. This one was a very popular stop and luckily we were seated inside as it was about 100 degrees outside. They did have those misting fans and plenty of shade out on their patio for the customers sitting outdoors. We tried a few of their wines while our nice host told us about the history and owners of the winery. They also do a group guided cellar tour which was very informative! We did end up buying a few bottles here, specifically their Cabernet and Viognier.
We had a bit of time before our next scheduled tasting and ended up at Brochelle Vineyards tasting room on a whim. As we passed by it looked like a nice place to sit inside for some A/C for a bit as it is mostly all indoors. Brochelle had a nice little tasting room with comfy, cozy seating areas. We did the wine tasting with a cheese pairing and ended up purchasing a few bottles! A number of people stopped in just to grab a few bottles of their Zinfandel which they are known for!
Our last stop of the day was at Tobin James Cellars. By this time I was a little tipsy and honestly everything started to taste the same! Our tasting was outdoors and our helpful host let us try pretty much as many wines as we wanted! It was a great last stop of the day and we ended up purchasing many wines including their "Fatboy" Zinfandel, "Palindrone" Tannat, & the "Primo" Sangiovese. As you can see @pepperfromthe pound had a great time as well!
By 7pm we were back in our hotel worn out from the day and needed a nap and decided on some Chinese delivery for dinner! After a long day of touring and day drinking relaxing seemed better than going out, am I right?!
Overall it was a wonderful weekend getting to see a diverse range of sceneries, tasting a number of different wines, and learning quite a bit about the history of Paso Robles and a few of their wineries! I highly recommend any of the wineries we went to as well as the Farmhouse Motel! If you are ever looking to spend a few days in the area and have any questions please don't hesitate to ask!