Passin Through Paso


Having a great time - wish you were here!
Having a great time – wish you were here!
A welcome sight for my LA County eyes!
A welcome sight for my LA County eyes!

This week I’m taking you on a virtual weekend getaway to Paso Robles, California.   

Are you ready?

I was joined again by Donna, my  partner in shenanigans for a three-day girls-only weekend of beautiful scenery and delicious eats.

Going through a tunnel on the 101 North
Going through a tunnel on the 101 North

Driving up the coast from Los Angeles is not all that pretty… but once you hit Santa Barbara, the rest of the scenery makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a completely different part of the country. With rolling hills, giant Oak Trees, patches of wildflowers, and various livestock… you almost don’t see the ocean following you on your left side till it sparkles at you.

photo: Fiddlestix Winery,  courtesy of www.PrinceofPinot.com 
photo: Fiddlestix Winery, courtesy of The “Prince of Pinot”
You've gotta smile when you see a calf playing in the sprinklers.
You’ve gotta smile when you see a calf playing in the sprinklers.

The miles and miles of grapevines are such a treat to drive through. I never realized how much they remind me of the photos I’ve seen of Italy until just the last few years. I rolled my window down and felt the cool breeze and smelled the deliciously clean air. I immediately could feel the stress fly out the window, the farther north I journeyed.
Here’s a little teaser from a Paso Robles Winery I visited last fall:

fall grapes
Paso Winery, August 2012

There’s something magical about these twitted trunks, outstretched branches and beautiful heavy clusters of multicolored fruit.

McLintocksWe visited McLintocks’ Paso Robles Location on one of the days. It was a perfect country saloon, complete with “Southern Hospitality” and great country music.
This is definitely a place you want to check out, and it’s right on Park Street, which is in the heart of all of the local shopping.

Now this is a Saloon! Gorgeous Cornice!
Love the moose =0)
Love the moose =0)
Is this the most beautiful ceiling you've ever seen... or what?!
Is this the most beautiful ceiling you’ve ever seen… or what?!

The service is fantastic too. It seemed like everyone there was in a great mood, and smiles were abundant. Now, if only I could get one of those chocolate brown T-shirts the gals had on…! Super cute.

I ordered the Black & Bleu Burger which was perfectly medium rare, and topped with bleu cheese crumbles, cracked black pepper and thick-cut bacon. (I opted for sliced tomatoes, since I don’t eat fries)

This burger was incredibly delicious!
This burger was incredibly delicious!

We each ordered a “South Sider” but sadly, the gal at the bar said they were out of mint.

Now that it's got Basil, I've named this the Sockmonkey South Sider
Now that it’s got Basil, I’ve named this the Sockmonkey South Sider

My mind started thinking… “Do you have any fresh basil in the kitchen?” She said they did indeed. We had them mix up our drinks with basil instead. I must say, that was such a beautifully refreshing beverage! So much so, that I think I’m going to incorporate fresh basil into my Meyer Lemonade this Summer.

SockmonkeysKitchen.com

Another stop we made was
DAOU Vineyards & Winery.

Donna had been told by friends that she just had to go because of the spectacular views.
Her friends were right!

One of the many perfect views from DAOU Vineyards & Winery
One of the many perfect views from DAOU Vineyards & Winery

Now I am always up for a gorgeous view…especially since I really can’t drink many wines, due to crazy allergies.We started out by the sign on the main road, and drove up a lovely winding pathway, and the scenery got better with each turn. At the top we went through a huge gate and were welcomed by a huge Spanish Colonial style building that reminded me of the California Missions.
You. Have. Got. To. See. This. Place…… Seriously.

Daou Label

You must go see this place!
Here we are with Daniel Daou, of DAOU Vineyards & Winery. What a great guy!

When we got to the tasting room, there were quite a few people being served, so we just hung back a bit, since we weren’t in a hurry. A very kind gentleman approached us and asked if we’d been served yet, and offered to get us started.  He chatted with us for a while, and was so charming, and spoke with such passion about the Cabernet Sauvignon as he poured a taste for Donna.  I let him know that I couldn’t drink reds, although I took a long breath in from her glass and it smelled like heaven!
The man then introduced  himself. “Hi, I’m Daniel. Welcome to my winery.”

Ultimate Relaxation
Ultimate Relaxation

Yes, this was Daniel Daou, the Winemaker & Proprietor of DAOU. We then got to hear his story about how he moved from France to America in his later teens, and how he fell in love with vineyards and the winemaking process. He was a delightful storyteller and made us feel so welcomed in his beautiful “home”. He was so accommodating and even found a purely whimsical chilled dessert wine I could drink called Pasorina. It has spring flowers on the label, and his eyes sparkled when he told us that he had helped with the design. It was absolutely perfect for me. It reminded me of getting that little tiny bead of nectar onto my tongue from the inside of a honeysuckle flower. What? You never did that? You need to. Or just try Daniel Dauo’s wine 😉

Perfect for me =0)
Thank you, Daniel

You absolutely must visit this peaceful place, and you’ll understand why they call it the “Tasting Room in the Sky”.  I am still in awe. If you cannot wait, you can click here for the virtual tour.

I’ve got on my new DAOU t-shirt =0)

Well I hoped you enjoyed a look around beautiful Paso Robles, California. I’d love to hear what you thought of your “virtual tour”. Tell me – have you ever been here? What did you love about it?

Anything after this logo is nothing but advertising!
(Everything after this yellow logo is nothing but advertising)
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