Central Coast and Paso Robles Wine Fest

(All photos for this are posted here)

Anna and I took a mini vacation two weeks ago to the central coast. We rented a convertible for the trip and couldn’t have picked a better time to do it – the weather was fantastic. Temps were in the 80’s with Sunday going up to the mid 90s, even on the beach! Not exactly common. The park reservation system was not yet up and running and we arrived on Thursday, so we were able to get a site at Pismo State Beach. Twenty five bucks a night gets you a great site just a few minutes walk to the beach. We went to the great San Louis Obispo farmers’ market on Thursday night and loaded up on fruit and veggies for the weekend event.

Cutty and Sarah met us down there to go to the 23rd Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival on Saturday. We went to the fest two years ago. It was well attended, but I was curious to see if Sideways (which takes place in the area) would have any effect on the popularity of the festival. All signs point to yes. It was packed this year. It was a beautiful day and everyone was in good spirits. The tasting was great as usual. Our favorites were still our favorites: Eberle, EOS, Wild Horse, Justin, and Tobin James.

Of course, we aren’t really in the market to buy most of their wines ($25 and up) for regular consumption. For that we turn to the sommelier at the Paso Robles Albertsons. I can hear the gears turning… Sommelier? At Albertsons? Well, I guess sommelier isn’t the proper title, but she is the wine purchaser for Albertsons and makes great recommendations. As for Albertsons, they stock a lot of great Paso Robles wine at great prices. We really stocked up this trip – a case and a half of different kinds.

After that we bummed around Avila Beach and had a great meal at The Customs House (our favorite seafood place in the area). Then it was campfire time and bed.

The next morning we headed out to Oso Flaco Lake & the Oceano Dunes for a walk. There is a boardwalk stretching from the skimpy visitor center across the lake, through the dunes, and to the beach. It is really great walk with lots of wildlife and native plants. The only downside to the park is that it is south of some Oceano dunes where 4x, buggies, and dirt bikes are allowed – they make a lot of racket if the wind is blowing right. But this is a pretty minor thing, the park is great.

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