It was a quick trip up the coast as a surprise for the husband's birthday. We packed a lot in! Buellton, Paso Robles, Lompoc, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara hills.
Started off with lunch at a fantastic place in Buellton called Industrial Eats. Beyond delicious food, seasonal ingredients, deli counter as well. The chef offered to make us something to our liking off of the menu, with guidance, but we basically custom ordered our breakfasts. Amazing, and if we had had more time, we would have tasted some wine next door at once-a-favorite Alma Rosa. They have a new-to-us, cool and relaxing tasting room. Next time, mañana, mañana.
Next up we drove to Paso Robles. Stopped off at Niner because we've always liked their affordable wines, and it was on the way to our tasting appointments at Denner and Villa Creek. Somehow we are members at the exclusive Denner, which is super nice, but frankly a little too upper crust for me. And not at Villa Creek, which I love. Must rectify this. Villa Creek wine is fantastic and they just updated/upgraded their tasting room. At first I was concerned that it wouldn't have the same charm that I look for in a tasting room. I like it when the room is pretty much an afterthought to the wine-making, a cleared out shed, dogs roaming around, counters made from barrels and driftwood. But never fear, the Villa Creek tasting room is an update while still maintaining its rustic charm. It's a very handsome room, comfortable, hip, and dogs are still roaming about!
Later that night we had drinks and dinner with our friends at Villa Creek, the restaurant in downtown Paso Robles. I love it here, and it was a perfect evening of delicious food, wonderful company, and many great beverages. Funny, I don't even remember having any wine with dinner.
The next day we had breakfast at Las Robles Cafe, a couple of pork tacos as a base for more wine tasting. We bee-lined to Lompoc after finding out that a recent wine discovery, Holus Bolus, just opened a tasting room there. Then to both Foxen tasting rooms (where we are members) before lunching at Cold Spring Tavern with Tri-Tip sandwiches, beer and bluegrass. We fit a lot into 2 days!
Sometimes I forget how great Southern California is. How within 2 hours, you can be in wine country, or the dessert or mountains, skiing, surfing, hiking, tasting wine, tasting tequila in Mexico, etc. I need a trip like this every now and then to remind myself how lucky I am. And how beautiful January can be.