Save on the tasting fee
We found that most if not all of the wineries would wave the cost of the tasting if you either signed up for their wine club (this is where they take your credit card and ship you wines a couple of times a year) or if you purchased wine while visiting. With the cost of the tasting averaging $3-$6/person, we found purchasing a $20 bottle of wine to be the better way to go.
Wine Tasting at Kenneth Volk
Kenneth Volk produces some very excellent wines. The tasting room is on the smaller side and shares with another wine tasting room, Lone Madrone. Volk does wines in both Santa Barbara County as well as San Luis Obispo. Primarily knows for pinot noir and chardonnay, they also have nice cabs and merlots. There also do some "heirloom" wines, not as well knows such as malvasia and tempranillo. The tasting area is very low key and comfortable. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly.
There was a cute goat in a small pen to greet guests. The architectural nuances are fun and interesting.
Paso Robles - a wine stop
"A recent wine phenomenon"
My mother in law, who grew up not too far away in Solvang, says Paso Robles is a cow town. Well, some years ago it was. But now it would seem very different to her. Paso still holds to its agrarian roots, but vineyards have spread across the landscape and the town is now a destination for a different, more cosmopolitan set of visitors.
"More wineries than one can visit"
As recent as the mid 1990s there were only about 30 wineries in the region. Now there are well over 200! A lot of money has come in, with investors and wine lovers with money buying up property and building their new little empires. With so many to visit, it would be difficult to objectively say which to choose from when you make a brief visit.
Personally, I have little interest in visiting a new place that looks like a faux French chalet, or a silly little dream castle; let the rich folks have their fun, but I prefer to discover a winemaker who practices his craft and focuses on wine rather than trying to impress people by building his or her version of a primo vineyard and McMansion.
Paso Robles itself is a charming town, centered around a green plaza framed by local businesses. Several old buildings on the north side of the plaza collapsed in the earthquake of December 2003. My wife and I happened to be there that morning, and had breakfast in the building that fell down two hours before the quake hit. We felt it in Solvang, some miles to the southwest.
Paso Robles Ironman Qualifier
Ever heard of the Ironman Qualifier USA Triathlon International Distance Championships held in conjunction with the Lake San Antonio Wildflower Festival to be held held this year, Sat. May 5, and Sun. May 6, 2001?
No, didn't think so. Unless, you are a hard-core crazy elite triathlete!! The USA Tri Wildflower Championships are held the first weekend in May. Saturday's mountain bike Tri accommodates weekend warriors, too. However, Sunday is the main event. It is comprised of a 1.5 mile swim, 40km bike, and 10km run. We are talkin' grueling, tortuous, and sheer madness!! You got your under 18 mini-maniacs, collegiate bombers(USMA West Pointers Hooahs, Naval Academy Squids, Air Force zoomies, a few, good men Marines, Colo. State, CAL Berkeley, Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, UCLA, etc. & a few Stanford, Cornell and Harvard guys thrown in for good measure). You got your 20-29 fit-as-a-fiddle young Turks, 30-39 smooth operators, dynamic 40-49 diehard maquinas(streamline machines), 50-59 heavy-duty pilecat movers, 60-69 I-can-kick-your older bro's, father's, son's and any other family member's tushy from here 'til Kingdom's come, 70+ well, you know, buddy, gramps ain't gonna be rockin' in no rockin' chair, cuz he's is ROCKIN', BABBEEEE! The lady Tri athletes are the toughest, leanest, meanest elite women athletes you ever will come across. Don't wanna meet these gals in a locker room or dark alley either.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION/// to be continued...
Ladies, though, I can't wait to tell you this one, though. Saturday eve, May 5, 2001(eve of the past collegiate and long-course Tri Champhionships) I was in the ladies "powder room", when I hear this bellowing, " Ladieees, run over heeere quick. It's the Naked Guys midnight run!!!" Well, I'll tell you, girls, I have never seen a bevy of male pulcritude and tight buns the likes of what-one-may-see-in-heaven in one place, at one time!!And under the flaterring light of the full moon, too!
FOR INFO: contact Tri-California (408)373-0678, see website: USA Triathlon.com