Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wine Tasting and Sight Seeing at Paso Robles

We pulled into the Vines RV Park in Paso Robles on Friday March 20th.  Little did we know that the annual Zinfest was going on - the park was packed!  After setting up, we strolled down to the bar area for some complimentary wine tasting that was offered by some of the local wineries.

The Zinfest was $60 a person, and if we had been prepared for it we may have gone.  There were events going on all over the place, and for the $60 dollars you got complimentary tastings at the participating wineries.  However, since we had things to take care of on Saturday and Sunday (wash, food shopping) we decided to wait to do any wine tasting until Monday.  It was just as well, since the wineries all seemed pretty busy for the Zinfest.

By Monday we were ready to sample some of the local wine.  Our first stop was J Lohr, one of the wines that we enjoy back east, especially their Cabernet Sauvignon.  We had a fabulous complimentary wine tasting there, and bought 3 great bottles - 2 of a delicious Petite Syrah, and a bottle of their Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

Our next stop was San Antonio Wineries, mainly because they had offered some of their wines at the campground here on Friday night and we had enjoyed them.  We ended up buying a really nice Cab blend, a Zinfindel and a Sangiovese.

Tuesday we took advantage of the small workout room that the Vines offers.  Their equipment is all in good order, offering an 2 elliptical trainers, 2 treadmills and a bike.

Wednesday we were ready for some more wine tasting, and started off with Tobin James.  What a great wine tasting experience that was!  All complimentary, and all good stuff.  We were really impressed and decided to join their wine club.  They offer many of their really fine reserve wines for about a 50% discount for members, and it is by far one of the best deals we've run across.

Tobin James Winery

After Tobin James we headed for two of the wineries that had offered samples at the Vines' Friday night tasting.  Pear Valley gave us a complimentary tasting, but we were unimpressed and didn't make any purchases there.  We tried to go to Villa San-Julliette. , but when we got there we found that on Tuesdays and Wednesdays they were only open by appointment.  What a beautiful setting they have there - sorry we couldn't taste their wine.

Villa San-Julliette Winery
Finally we ended the day with a trip to Peachy Canyon Winery, known for it's wonderful Zinfandels, and sure enough we walked out with two great bottles of Zin that we really love.

We were going to go to Hearst Castle on Thursday, but it has a hefty $25.00
fee per person, it was crowded, and we were much more interested in going to look at the elephant seals, so this is as close as we got to seeing the castle.

The rookery for the seals is four miles north of Heart Castle. At this time of the year, it is mostly females and young seals that are practicing their swimming skills before they leave.

There were still some males hanging around though - and these two got a bit confrontational.

The male seal that was trying to come out of the water is forced away by the larger male.

We drove down the coastline a bit more before turning back and returning to the Vines.

Wildflowers were in abundance!

On the way back we noticed zebras (of all things).  Seems that they are part of the Hearst Zoo.

More beautiful scenery!

We left Paso Robles on Friday and are now in Marina Dunes RV Park which is near Carmel and Monterey.  We certainly had a great stay at Paso Robles, and left with some excellent wines!

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