Off to Paso!

We are on our way for our annual trip to our favorite place….Paso Robles! Today we are going to head to our most loved wineries Terry Hoage, Kukkula, and Hearthstone. Tomorrow we decided to try all new places. One winery picked by each of us. My pick is Arroyo Robles. I picked it because it has two sparklings and a decent variety but not too many where you wonder if they are picky with what they make or just putting everything out there that they can and hoping for a hit. We also are going to try a new restaurant for dinner to keep the theme going. Hopefully we will find new gems and new favorites to post about!

Cupertino wineries…..bust

So the Fan4 went out up into the hills of Cupertino for a little wine exploration. Yea we could have stayed in our backyard and opened a bottle of any of our wines and been happier. Aside from the beautiful views we were not to impressed. Ridge was over priced and although we did take home two bottles of wine none of us were “wowed”. All the wines were soft and subtle but kinda tasted the same. Next!
Second stop Picchetti. To be honest it was more impressive just because they had more of a variety. With that said I didn’t care for most of it; but still they have a variety. My fav was their 2011 Sangiovese. Tasty but way over priced. It’s a 20$ bottle selling at 39.95!
So all in all it was a gorgeous day with beautiful views and as Brax says “we are wine tasting…..which means it’s a good day”.

Carmel trip goes bad…….

So Doc and I decided on a last minute one night getaway. While researching where we should go that was not too far I found Carmel Valley Ranch. It’s rated very well on all the major sites so I decided to call them directly and see what they had to offer. I spoke with Moses, one of the “reservations consultant”. He was extremely pleasant and helpful on the phone. He found me a great “midweek” special. Still, being the upscale facility it is it was not cheap to say the least.
We started out our travels stopping at Scheid tasting room in downtown Carmel. If you recall in our last Carmel excursion we loved this place. Natalie was our host and she was very nice and friendly to speak with. Of course the pinots were great and we found a new “table red” called Triple Layer Red 09 that was fabulous and reasonably priced at 28$ a bottle.
Next stop was Wrath. You may recall this is another must try if you are in Carmel that we discovered on our last adventure. Michelle was our host and she was a delight. Very friendly, knowledgable and inviting. We tasted some delicious pinots including a new favorite of mine called San Saba 2010. Fabulous!
I had decided that Doc and I should definitely eat in since our room was supposed to be amazing so we headed to The Cheese Shop to pick up an array of tasty treats for our evening in. Dan was our cheese connoisseur who was great! He took us through a cheese exploration and helped us pick out quite an assortment of delectable cheeses.
On our way we went, plenty of fine wine and cheese to enjoy at a stunning resort. We were greeted by friendly staff and took in the amazing views. We were carted to our suite where we were pleased with what the room had to offer. A big spacious beautiful living room with a huge bathroom and a nice sleeping area with a king size bed, fireplace and balcony. We put our champagne and cheese in the fridge and headed back out to explore. We hit the hot tub that was spacious with beautiful views of a golf course and nature. We enjoyed a delicious cocktail (or two) and two small plates of appetizers. The appetizers were very good. We headed back to our room via a nice walking path. We decided to eat our snacks in the living room when around 9pm I got up to floss my teeth after getting a few pieces of salami stuck when I noted in our trash can in the bedroom were remnants of what was obviously a good time (well multiple good times) had by some couple. I was seriously dumbfounded that a resort of this status would not thoroughly clean their room. Doc called and housekeeping was there shortly to take the garbage away. A manager called back and asked if we would like to move to another room. Being after 9pm after our belongings had been put away we declined. A little while later the manager called again and informed us that our room would be comped. I emailed Moses letting him know of my disappointment. By then our entire romantic evening was toast. We got up the next morning and received another phone call from a different manager apologizing again and reiterating our stay would be taken care of by them. We did have a delicious breakfast and got to see some wild turkeys running around the property.
So, all in all it was a beautiful facility but was such a disappointment to find something so gross in our room that has just left a bad taste in our mouth. The staff was very helpful and the managers did do the right thing by taking care of our bill but I don’t think we will be returning to their establishment. If we do, we will definitely update you on how it went the second time around; but like I said for the cost of staying there nothing like that should EVER happen.

Paso…..yum!

Well Paso never let’s us down. We love Paso for its down to earth mom and pop kinda feel. They have amazing wine where they have the right to be as snooty as Napa but they don’t act like it.
We embarked on a GSM tour but to be honest I fell in love with a few new wineries…….
We had a lot of tastings of some great wine but I will just discuss my favorites. First up Hearthstone vineyard and winery. We actually also bought a white (Pearl) in addition to their GSM (Lodestone). Josslyn was our host and she was fantastic! Friendly, funny and knowledgable. The wines were great and she was a great host.
Doc and I did purchase two reds (Willow Creek CuvĂ©e and Avenger) from Villa Creek winery but they were more expensive than worth the price. Don’t get me wrong they have some nice wine but worth close to half the price. They also have a restaurant in town that we ate at for dinner……ummmm it was amazing and worth every penny. Braxs had a lamb shank that was to.die.for! My pasta dish was scrumptious! A must try in paso.
As a last minute stop on our first day we went to Windward. It’s strictly Pinot. Very delicious Pinot I must add. A must stop if you are a Pinot lover.
We also stopped by a tasting room in town that Doc and I have visited before. Parrish Family Vineyards. This is actually the first place we discovered a GSM……we had it again (2008 GSM Rhone Blend) very good but they also make a Petite Sirah and a reserve wine called Silken that is another must try!
Last but certainly not least my all time favorite of the trip…….Terry Hoage. Amazing!!! I have been anticipating the day when we open one of the bottles we bought! I wanted to join the wine club on the spot but Doc and I have this rule that we don’t join until we have come home and tried it again…..ummmm maybe with clearer taste buds :)
They were pouring four reds. I believe the whites were either sold out or close to it and reserved for wine club only. All of the wines were like a silk sateen dress dancing on your tongue as it swirled over your taste buds. If you only check out one winery while stopping by paso this is it. Evan was our tasting tour guide. He was great, but the wine was so good we could have had no one there to help us along and it would not have mattered. Did I say I liked this wine….? :)
Now where to stay….we stayed at Paso Inn. Spacious room but plainly decorated. Comfy bed.
The second night we splurged and stayed at Hotel Chaval. Fabulous! Pretty room with a comfy big bed. Great fireplace in the courtyard where you can sit, laugh and enjoy your company.