We left Orange at 5am, ate at a truck stop in Lebec so we could arrive at EOS on the west side of town, for our arranged 10:30am tour. The tour ended up as a conversation with the assistant wine maker as my buddy, a microbiologist, talked yeast with the wine maker. After we learned more about yeast than any of us needed to know, we went down and sampled all of their really nice, food friendly, very drinkable wines. We walked away with many of their desert wines and bottles of their better whites and reds. Other stops in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo included the following:
- Cass Winery: Wines were so so, but the rural setting along with the sit down tasting on the patio along with a very nice cafe made the whole experience wonderful. We enjoyed a very nice cheese plate ($17) while we sipped our wines. I felt guilty not buying any of their wines as the whole experience was worth more than the cost of a bottle.
- Eagle Castle: A castle looking building built as a huge tourist and bus trap. The most fun we had their was watching a mini bus tour guide who reached the breaking point while dealing with an unruly, drunk tour group.
- Tablas Creek: We enjoyed a private tasting of my fall shipment and along with the wine, they served various types of food (tomato salad, green salad, sliced smoked ham and beef stew) that complemented each of the wines served. All wine tastings should be done this way.
- Claibourne & Churchill: They are in Edna Valley, and although they were out of many of their wines, the ones we tasted were very good. They are releasing their new wines next week and I think I might have to get some.
- Kynsi Winery: A very small family run winery housed in an old dairy. It was fun to see sisters argue over the phone. I am willing to go back just to see if things change. Wines were good but nondescript.
So, six wineries in two days. California has 4,800 wineries. I am looking forward to many more adventures.