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Paso Robles Wine Harvest

Sunset over Paso Robles Vineyard

Vineyard Sunset

Wine harvest in Paso Robles is a special time of year – one all us locals greet with enthusiasm and a eagerness.

This year the weather has been nothing short of perfect – 80 degree days with 50 degree nights; it’s perfection incarnate for a most successful wine harvest. The sunsets are something out of National Geographic. And, with the vineyards beginning to turn color, it’s a most wonderful time to get the camera out for some amazing photography.

Paso Robles wine harvest is a time to celebrate the hard work, the heat of the summer, and the fruits of the harvest. I especially like that the harvest celebration is not a central event, but one each winery creates to celebrate their harvest. So that means every year we get to expect something different. While live music graces many vineyards, this year we’ve had all sorts of exciting and unusual food pairings to go with the new wine releases. Sounds ‘corny’, but truly I feel so lucky to have all this ‘fun’ in my backyard!

Put our Harvest Weekend on your Calendar for next year – it’s a sure winner!

 

I encourage you to visit the Central Coast in later Fall and Winter when the crowds have left and you’re able to really get up close and personal with all our treasures. hwy 46 on the central coast This photo was taken on a trip over Hwy 46 W in February – gorgeous, isn’t it? Our usually Summer dry hills turn a verdant green. I love this drive in Winter as it reminds me of the natural cycle of life and that everything is right with God – renewal begins once again. Notice the ocean in the distance – clear as a bell! Amazingly, other than when an occasional storm breezes through, our Winters on the Central Coast are usually clear and warm – Yes! We laugh that we have Thanksgiving dinner out on the deck. Yes, it’s a bit brisk the later in the day we plan the feast, but the sun is out and the surroundings are surreal. After dinner we take a stroll down the street to catch up with our neighbors – everyone seems to be out enjoying this fabulous weather. Did I say I feel blessed to live on the Central Coast? We are. Consider taking a trip to visit us during Winter. The crowds are gone, the wineries are still open and happy for a visitor, the restaurants rarely need a reservation…. come live like the locals do. I wish you could see things through my eyes because the Central Coast at this time of year is most special. All our tour friends know to write me for info. on what to do, where to go, where to stay, etc. Nothing has changed. E-mail me and I will see what I can do to give you the latest deals and offerings, as well as my personal opinion, on how to enjoy your next trip to the Central Coast. I hope you are all well and happy enjoying Fall! Laura

San Luis Obispo Tours

Discover San Luis Obispo Tours – as only Central Coast Food Tours can offer.

Autumn Vineyard

Whether you seek a vineyard, wine tasting experience or one of our walking tours of the historic downtowns of San Luis Obispo or Paso Robles, be prepared to enjoy an authentic experience on the Central Coast.

Our San Luis Obispo Tours offer a variety of options for the culinary inclined. From sailing in Avila Beach, to Zip Lining at Margarita Ranch, to a mellow walk through the rich and historic downtown of San Luis Obispo, to a private wine tour designed just for you… we’ve got an array of choices sure to please all!

Autumn is a wonderful time to visit, as the weather cools, the leaves in the vineyards change color, and the tempo calms as us locals welcome the change of season: it’s a time all of us enjoy a restful moment to appreciate the changing beauty around us.
If you have yet to discover San Luis Obispo in the Fall – give us a try; I think you’ll love us!

Introducing Daou Winery and Tasting Room…I love a new discovery – especially one with comfy seating, awesome views and nice wines!

Views at Daou Winery

Views at Daou Winery

Daou winery has a reputation…. for expansive views and expensive wines. Us local folk haven’t been sure what to make of these guys, but as time goes by, the once barren setting (touted as the best view in Paso Robles) is becoming a lovely oasis on top of the hill. I recently visited and enjoyed wandering the grounds, discovering all the wonderful private little places for couples or small parties to gather and enjoy their wines. I visited in the afternoon, but I imagine the setting is spectacular at night with the stars out and the paths glistened by lanterns. It feels very Spanish/Moroccan with the iron work and tile – sort of exotic for our little Paso Robles. But hey, I welcome new twists on this wonderful terroir of ours and theirs happens to be their Cabernet Sauvignon. Come visit and taste. They have gotten some great reviews on their wines… so if you’re ready to spill a $50 for a bottle of Cab you just might have found your new ‘find’.

Paso Robles Food

Well, it’s no secret that I’m a ‘foodie’ of the first order and Paso Robles Food is some of the best out there.

Paso Robles Chile Rellano

Paso Robles Food is delicious

As they say, there are people who eat to live and people to who live to eat – I am definitely of the latter. And truly of all the places to dine on the Central Coast Paso Robles Food is the best. I know my friends with restaurants (and very fine restaurants) in Cambria, San Luis Obispo, and Pismo Beach might take considerable offense by this statement. What I mean is that for the greatest number of truly fine dining options – the town of Paso Robles has the rest of the county beat. Imagine: All within a 6 block radius you’ve got a wonderful ‘farm-to-table’ restaurant (Thomas Hill Organics); two (2) otherworldly Italian restaurants (Buona Tavola and Il Cortile); Latin/Carribean Tapas (Estrella + a personal fav of mine); want meat? – try the Paso Robles Steakhouse and Villa Creek; seafood lovers out there head on over to PasoTerra; and, for dessert I suggest my all time favorite French Family Bistro – Panolivo. Paso Robles is a lovely little town, perfect for a secret romantic getaway for people who love fine wines and absolutely thoughtfully crafted, delicious food. If you’re not sure where to start with the food, consider signing up for our “Food and Wine Tour”. You’ll get to try 4 different restaurants and one of the many tasting rooms as part of a progressive lunch tour. It’s a great way to start your time in Paso.

Understanding Wine Acidity

UNDERSTANDING WINE ACIDITY – do you? I’ve read a lot about wines, but somehow I’ve never really ‘gotten it’ about wine acidity – in short: why it’s so important. I just came across this article in “The Daily Sip” and found it really enlightening in helping me to understand the whole acidity thing. This is taken verbatim from the September 16th issue of “The Daily Sip” :

red and white wine in glasses

red and white wine in glasses

 

What Does Acidity Contribute to Wine?

Fresh and lively, or dull and lifeless?
redwhitewine-1Acidity is best known for making wine refreshing, but acid, one of the major components of wine, has so many other important functions, too. Acidity comes from the actual presence of acids–mostly tartaric acid, and smaller amounts of malic acid. Acid is what makes your mouth pucker when you taste a lemon, and what makes your mouth water when you sip a wine with high acidity. Some wines are naturally high in acidity, like riesling, sauvignon blanc and many northern Italian red wines, while others are not, like sémillon and syrah. Natural acidity levels can be accentuated by the climate in which the grapes are grown; cooler climates tend to produce grapes with higher acidity levels than the same grape varieties grown in warmer climates because the cool climate allows the grapes to ripen while still preserving their acidity.

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Paso Robles Wine Region

Fountain at Paso Robles Winery

Fountain at Paso Robles Winery

I encourage you to discover Paso Robles Wine Region. Imagine: we actually live among the Paso Robles vines! This may not seem like much to you, but for us wine lovers … this is nothing short of an unexpected gift to us long term SLO residents. Who knew this region would produce such incredible wines? Oh – no… not us! It’s been a real awakening to fast forward 20 years to see our hills and canyons planted in vines.

But somehow it all seems to fit. Little by little, I’ve been tasting wonderful wines from the hills around our home. I’ve wondered if these “boutique wineries” could make a go of it. But, as I said, the wines are something that deserves recognition beyond our backyard. How great to hear that “Wine Enthusiast” named Paso Robles “Wine Region of the Year!”

I hope to highlight both the reds and whites that make our region special.

Puff Pastry Apple Pie

Puff Pastry Apple Pie

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  • 1 box of puff pastry dough
  • 7 med. size granny smith apples
  • 1 TBS of flour
  • 2/3 Cup of sugar
  • 1/2 Cube of butter
  • 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 egg

1. Pick up a box of puff pastry dough from the grocery store – it’s in the frozen foods section.
2. Let the crust start to thaw and cut 2 pieces of the crust around the edge of your pie pan. Place one piece of the crust into the pie pan and press gently to fit into place. Place just this section of bottom crust into the hot oven and let bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the other piece of crust back into the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
3. Peel the apples and slice them very thin.
4. Add 2/3 cup of sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg to the apples and stir to coat.
5. Add the apple mixture to the cooked pie crust.
6. Slice off slivers of butter and sprinkle over the top of the apple mixture.
7. Sprinkle the flour over the apples & butter.
8. Bring the top piece of crust out of the refrigerator and place on the top of the pie. Seal the pie by crimping the edges. Use any leftover pieces of crust to make little leaf or flower designs on top of the top piece of crust.

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