The Central Coast in CA- Good Vino, Good Spirits, Good Folks
It is Friday Fun time so I want to talk about wine and spirits! Ok NO, I do not think you need to have booze to have fun but if you know me at all you know I love my vino and I always have fun when it is around 🙂
Mike and I just got back from a fabulous trip on the Central Coast to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary. We love the Central Coast and could not think of a more beautiful place to celebrate our groovy love for each other. If you are in CA and you think about going wine tasting most of the people think about Napa and Sonoma in Northern CA. I have to admit we USE to love going to Napa and Sonoma but honestly, I think the Northern CA wineries have all gotten a little snooty for our taste. I do enjoy some of their wine but please people do not charge me $25 a taste then charge me an outrageous price for a bottle of your wine. Its good and all but get over yourself there are others right on your heels with just as good stuff. PLUS most of the wineries on the Central Coast all have dogs so well…….. need I say more?
The first thing that made this trip AMAZING was the VRBO we picked. We normally do Airbnb but we could not find anything we liked there this time for some reason. When we got on the VRBO site we found our perfect getaway home. We ended up staying at the most adorable cottage in Creston CA. Creston is 8 miles from Paso Robles and only a few miles from Templeton. Gone are the days that we feel we need to be in the middle of all the action. One of our favorite things to do is hang out in town during the day then grab some fresh local grub or pack our own food and make our meals in our rental.
If you do visit please tell them Mike and Judy recommended the Olive Cottage to you. They are good people!
Thie Alta Cresta Olive Cottage was just what we needed. As you can see from the video the place is off the charts AMAZING. They even had a bottle of wine and olive oil for us upon arrival. The refrigerator also had some milk, orange juice, butter and yogurt all chilled for us to enjoy. AND if that is not enough they also had fresh bread and muffins for our eating pleasure. Can you even believe it? For real friends, this is a place you must check out.
The Central Coast is a hidden Gem. It is a short drive from Northern AND Southern California. Most people think of San Luis Obispo when they think of the Central Coast but there are so many cute little towns all over. Each of them has their own hidden treasures worth checking out.
This trip we did something different than our previous trips, we explored the Paso Robles Distillery Trail. I love my wine but Mike loves his spirits. What a fascinating experience it turned out to be.
Manucci’s was a trip. The decor had an authentic Southwestern and the owner knew his spirits! They had a Habanero & Garlic grappa that had me gasping for water. They also had some other flavors but I was not a grappa fan so I passed. Re-Find was my favorite. The cucumber flavored vodka was delicious. My second favorite was a vodka that they aged in a whiskey barrel. It had a caramel color to it and it actually tasted a little sweeter than whiskey to me. BUT let’s be real, spirits are spirits and they are STRONG. The tastes were very small thank goodness. Our last stop on the trail was the most educating. Azeo’s is not open to the public yet but I was able to score a private tour. This is a picture of the machine that does all the magic. They named it Wheezy lol. We recevied an education that I can not even begin to reiterate to you. Talk about chemistry. I just sat there and listened and patiently waited for my taste. Mike soaked in all the science.
We visited a lot of different wineries on our trip as well. We averaged 3-4 stops a day. We really went at a slow pace so we could enjoy ourselves and the experience. I loved all the wine but I loved all the dogs at the wineries more lol. This is just another reason I love the Central Coast. It is not uncommon to see a dog at every stop. There are over 300 wineries in this area so if you like vino you are in for a treat. It is a warm climate so they really know how to produce some great reds.
The tasting fees were a little steep but better than Napa still 🙂 Each taste was $15 and the fee was waived if you purchased a bottle of wine. Tasting wine and spirits can really creep up on you so we always shared a taste. If I did not watch Mike he ALWAYS hogged the tastes!!!! I could go on and on about tasting in Central Coast but the purpose of this post was just to get you excited to get out for a visit. If you want to learn more about the area you can get a lot of info here. Please feel free to also contact me if you want more info from our trips.
These two were best buds by the end of our tasting!
The Central Coast is home to so many amazing hiking trails. I am not really a hiker, there are too many crawly things out there for me 🙂 However, I do love to walk. Our favorite trail is called The Bob Jones Trail. We try and visit this trail every time we visit the Central Coast. It is a fabulous walking trail.
If you are looking for some good Farm to Table food then you have to visit Thomas Hill Organics. There are also lots of great deli’s and mom and pop places all over that produce very good quality food. We love to bring our food and cook ourselves nowadays but it is great to know the options are there if we want them.
The Central Coast is so pretty and a perfect weekend getaway if you live in CA. I hope you consider visiting, I truly think you will be pleased.
PS it gets hot there so make sure you check the weather or you might be mad at me 🙂