As spring drifts to summer so we drifted north 350 miles to the still green countryside of Paso Robles. We have been re-charging our culinary and artistic batteries in this delightful countryside for 15 years and have seen it change from an agricultural community to an acclaimed wine making hub.
While some may debate the merits of such intense viticulture and the orderly tidiness that now characterizes much of the scenery, few would contest that the region is home to some of the best wineries in the state.
As the wineries have grown so has the breadth of wines now grown with the historical Zinfandel now co-existing with Syrah’s, Grenaches and Tempranillo varietals. As a white wine imbiber who shuns chardonnays I have been thrilled to see that Sauvignon Blanc and Viogniers are gaining audience awareness and acceptance even amongst those who are fond of their oaky siblings.
However what I had not realized until this visit was how the wineries have now sought to attract custom by serving gourmet meals often locally sourced. The case in point was to be found on Vineyard (aptly named road in the Adelaida district) when we stumbled upon Opolo Winery in search of lunch and for a very modest sum feasted on roast lamb tacos served with tomatillo and red salsa and corn tortillas. The roasted meats all paired wonderfully and surprisingly with their Albarino white wine which was full bodied with slightly sweet citrus tones. The view from the wineries hilltop marquis was also stunning and the breeze it offered was a welcome relief for what proved to be one of the hottest Sundays this year.
If you are planning a trip to Paso Robles you may help navigating your way through the200 wineries it now boasts but help is on hand courtesy of www.pasorobleswineries.net where you can download a complimentary map.