Check out Paso Robles, our friends urged, you’d like it. We did, and what an excellent suggestion! Of all the wine regions we’ve visited, Paso Robles was surely the most memorable, if not for the wines, for the generosity and friendliness of the vineyard owners.
Located about 3.5 hours south of San Francisco, Paso Robles today is perhaps the Sonoma of 10-15 years ago. The wine scene is fast developing, and currently, there are over 200 wineries in the region. Most of them are still small production, family owned wineries, although about 6 months ago, Fiji Waters came in and bought out Justin Vineyards, one of the most highly reputed wineries in Paso Robles.
We rolled into Paso Robles late on Friday afternoon, having driven in from San Francisco. Our place for the evening was the lovely Winemakers Porch, a B&B on a working vineyard perched on the top of a gently rolling hill overlooking the grapevines. The B&B is run by Marlowe and Corrine, and they named the vineyard after both their middle names. While they sell most of their wines to other wineries, they keep about 4 barrels to make their own garage wines, which they shared with guests. As part of our stay, Marlowe gave us a wine and barrel tasting, and before we left, thrust two bottles of their wines for us to bring back with us. I’d highly recommend the Winemakers Porch to anyone else wishing to make a visit to the area; if waking up to the sun rising over the golden-hued grapevines isn’t enough, there’s Corrine’s phenomenal breakfast on their back porch to look forward to every morning.
The first morning, we first tucked into a bowl of freshly cut oranges and grapefruit marinated in Grand Marnier (what better way to kick off a full day’s tasting in the vineyards?). For our mains, we had a generous serving of the fluffiest waffles drenched in maple syrup and topped with peaches and blueberries, along with sides of sausages and an egg.
For our second breakfast, we had hot apple strudel fresh from their oven. The layers of crust were thin and crunchy, absolutely heavenly! That alone would have made my day, but then we also got a serving of ham and egg quiche with rosemary potatoes. 🙂 We both cleaned our plates, and the enormous servings helped see us through the rest of the day until evening.
Evidently, the B&B is very popular as a destination for couples to get engaged at, because while we were there, there was just one such proposal from the couple staying across the hallway from us. Hehe. According to Corrine, there have been 4 proposals over the past 6 years, and one of them took place right underneath the huge tree in the top picture.