Visit Hearst Castle near here....
Visit Hearst Castle near here. Ii is one of the most amazing examples of how the rich live/lived!! Newspaper tycoon Randolph Hearst built Hearst Castle - shipped the stone out from England - and filled it with amazing things. I remember a gorgeous indoor swimming pool.
A GREAT WINERY DISCOVERY: TOLOSA
Edna Valley is outside of the city of San Luis Obispo's main shopping area. Start at the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, appropriately where the first vineyard was planted in the county, and take Broad Street (Hwy 227) south from downtown SLO past the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, known as McChesney Field and turns into Edna Road. Only a little over 4 miles and you have arrived at one of the premier wineries in the Edna Valley appellation, "Tolosa", located at 4910 Edna Road San Luis Obispo.
Tolosa has a state-of-the-art tasting room that is modern with a glass bar that has lit cut outs on the walls behind with bottles, glasses and vases sitting in the cut outs. You can see many of the stainless steel wine tanks through a glass partition from the tasting room with a plaque telling you of the self-guided tour of the wine making process. Cork floors and stainless steel ceilings put a finishing touch to the tasting room. There is a table in the tasting room with stemware having pieces of fruits, seeds, and leaves, so that your senses may catch the aromas and flavors of what the featured wine on display may contain.
The tastings are at the wine bar, but there is a wonderful patio just outside the tasting room with tables and chairs with a modern water fountain, overhead canopies and a view of the crushing machines. If you spend time at the tables with a bottle of Tolosa wine and some snacks, you are also in for a treat of the private aircraft coming in for a landing at the nearby airport. Now and then a small commercial jet will go over to add to the excitement.
The wines of Tolosa are rated high with many in the 90 range. In their own words, Tolosa says that "our goal is to produce a perfectly balanced wine and to stay true to the characteristic of the grape varietal." The perfection in their wines comes from the winery using only the top 10% of the fruit for estate bottling. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the main estate wines at Tolosa. I found the Chardonnay to my liking and approved it with a purchase of a bottle or two. Tasting Room Hours: Daily, 11 am - 5 pm.
"CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLY GROWN "
Wolff Vineyards and Winery is a "Certified Sustainably Grown" vineyard. You will hear a lot about this in the future. CSG is all about ecology. Click on the words of Wolff Vineyard for a full ecology report. So what does this mean to us common folk. Well, it shows that some wineries are thinking about helping mother nature out with good sense practices that will help heal the earth. I classify Wolff Vineyards Winery as a family owned boutique winery that cares about more than how many bottles of wine they can sell.
Wolff Vineyards is great for that up close look at the vines. The parking area and around the tasting room have rows of grape vines that show you the progress of the vine from bare to fruit filled depending on the season. Inside the tasting room, I received a great big hello and welcome from Clint Grubb, Winery & Hospitality Operations, who guided me through the tasting. Looking around the room, and you can see the many plaques and ribbons that Wolff has earned making excellent wine. I have a fondness for dogs and when I saw the label on one of the samplings with a big black labrador on the label and the wine was named "Brixie's Red", I was a little sceptical. But I must admit the combination of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that makes up "Brixie's Red" reminded me of Tuscany and Chianti Classico. That was the one for me as I love a big red with my Italian meals I prepare at home.
Wolff has a quaint patio under the shade of a huge tree near the tasting room. You can bring along a picnic to have while enjoying a bottle of "Brixie's Red". They are located at 6238 Orcutt Road in Edna Valley and the tasting room is open from 11 am to 5 pm.
Big Sky is the local's favorite in San Luis Obispo, offering unique dishes prepared with organic ingredients. Combining the flavors of Southern, Carribean and Californian cuisine, Big Sky always provides something new and delicious. Everything's good. Definitely try the corn bread and the chocolate cake.
Large Portions @ Margie's Diner
This is a medium sized diner that serves up HUGE portions of food for a relatively low price. If you order anything with potatoes, you will probably get about 2 to 3 pounds of potatoes on your plate, whether it's breakfast potatoes, french fries, mashed potatoes, etc... The food is tasty, but it's not exactly fine dining. Casual atmosphere, with pictures of old movie and music stars hung up on the walls. Again, I cannot stress enough, the serving sizes are LARGE - this is what Margie's is known for; you will probably be leaving here with a box full of your leftover food. I am a big eater, and I have only finished my meal twice - both times when I substituted something else for the potatoes in my meal. My favorite dish here is the Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs. I like to get the potatoes substituted for biscuits and gravy, cause I'm a big fan of biscuits and gravy too. If you ask for your eggs scrambled, you will probably get about 4 or 5 eggs. The chicken fried steak is decent sized, and smothered in country gravy. You will also receive some fruit on the side (usually a slice of watermelon and a orange slice).