For the sake of simplicity, Elite Wine Tours Paso’s Instagram has become my de facto blog since it’s the most expedient way to provide ongoing current news and information about what’s going in my world wine-wise on the Central Coast.

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I would like to note that my friend April, who hosted the Wine Tasting 101 video below, fought a long, tough battle with cancer, and has passed on. I leave this video up as a tribute to her kindness, authenticity, and her professionalism.

Writing figures large on my resume- I was a staff writer and photographer for Pacific Coast Sportfishing Magazine for 10 years, and sold freelance articles to an array of regional and nationwide publications. Also did a stint as a technical writer/industrial photographer- creating work and safety instructions, and user manuals for a local manufacturing company. Writing paralleled a similar time line as my wine tours. Basically, this website encapsulates what I’ve learned about the wine tour and livery transportation business over the last 15 years: my experience in my words and photos. I’m also very happy to say I’ve met some amazing, fantastic people, and made some great friends along the way.

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Introducing Paso Robles’ First Fully Dedicated Wine Tour Vehicle

By Avila Beach Wine Tasting, Cambria Wine Tasting, Edna Valley Wine Region, Food for thought, Los Olivos Wine Tasting, Morro Bay Wine Tasting, Paso Robles Wine Region, Santa Maria Valley Wine Region, Santa Rita Hills Wine Region, Santa Ynez Valley Wine Region, Solvang Wine Tasting, Uncategorized, Wine, Wine Tasting, Winery
Introducing Paso Robles’ First Fully Dedicated Wine Tour Vehicle Pictured here: seven of my two-case-capacity cold bags that keep your wine tasting-room temp, even on our hottest days! I’ve been using this cold bag system for many years now. Total case capacity without impinging on the passenger area is 21 cases…252 bottles of wine. Sky’s the limit if you want to put cases in the passenger area! It’s been quite a few years since I decided I was too old, and it was way too much work to move clients’ wine purchases (sometimes several cases) out of the summer heat into tasting rooms and barrel rooms. A search for a simple, cheap solution led me to a restaurant supply company...
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About Transportation Insurance & Safety

By Paso Robles Wine Region, Uncategorized
About Commercial Insurance Coverage and CA PUC Permitting… I carry $1.5 million in commercial insurance and have an Active Class A TCP Permit (Transportation Charter Party), as required by the California Public Utilities Commission: my TCP number is 35785. I am compliant with records, drug and alcohol testing, and all reg’s as they pertain to my type of business. For some strange reason folks seem to really start caring about this stuff only after something serious happens. You can confirm both my active permit and commercial insurance, or that of any other company claiming to have a TCP Permit.  What the public doesn’t know about the transportation business in Paso Robles… For years Paso Robles has been known as the...
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Sprinter Wine Tours in Paso Robles

Tales of a Central Coast Limo Driver

By Solvang Wine Tasting, Wine Tasting
Tales of a Central Coast Limo Driver Back in the day, as you may have read elsewhere on this website, I drove limos for transportation companies based in Santa Barbara County. This piece started as a list I made after a doubting Thomas, whose universe exists mostly way out here in the country a half hour southeast of Paso,  tried to poo-poo my limo stories. I thought this was going to be a lot briefer, but an unexpected walk down memory lane unfurled. Much of our work came from high end hotels like the Four Seasons/Biltmore, Bacara, San Ysidro Guest Ranch, El Encanto (as it was known then- now Belmond), Fess Parker Double Tree, Santa Ynez Inn, Fess Parker Wine Country...
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Wine Tasting 101

By Wine, Wine Tasting
Wine Tasting Techniques Here's a simple guide to help launch your wine tasting career. Tasting techniques are discussed. Wine etiquette is also a key component to enjoying wine among other wine enthusiasts- with the cornerstone principal being no body fragrance of any kind. This can affect the tasting experience of those around you. How to hold the glass There are a couple ways to hold a wine glass. One is to hold it in the midpoint of the stem. The other is to support the base of the glass with your index, middle and ring fingers. Use your thumb to clamp down on the top side of the base, holding the glass securely. Cupping a wine glass with the stem between...
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Hot Off the Press- Article by Kris Williams of Voyage LA Magazine

By Wine, Wine Tasting, Winery
Meet John Ziegler of Intimate Wine Weddings and Elite Wine Tours Paso Kris Williams | Voyage LA Magazine Today we’d like to introduce you to John Ziegler. It started out as a desire to do something different. John came from boat building in Santa Barbara, and an association that started in the late ’70’s with an iconic boat yard in Santa Barbara, creating one-off commercial fishing boats, harbor patrol boats, and high end sportfishing and diving boats. He started working as a staff writer for Pacific Coast Sportfishing Magazine, Newport Beach CA, a year earlier- writing feature articles and the Boat Tech column. Along with working at the magazine for 10 years, he sold freelance articles to an array of...
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Johnathan’s Wedding Proposal

By Solvang Wine Tasting, Wine Tasting
I've known Jonathan as a client almost as long as I've been doing wine tours. And I'm proud to say I've known Krista almost as long as Jonathan has. I'll never forget how she bravely piled into Dave's SUV (another longtime client) as moxie solo chick along with all Jonathan's Chicago and California buddies for a trip up to Paso for some wine tasting. This was Krista's first real outing with Jonathan, soon after they met. Over the years I've driven them double digit times, and it was no surprise when they booked me for a tour in Santa Ynez Valley last summer. The real surprise was getting a call from one of his California pals that I'd driven before, and told I would be a...
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What About The Eastside?

By Paso Robles Wine Region, Wine, Wine Tasting, Winery
What about the Eastside? Some folks are pretty set when it comes to declaring what they think they like in Paso by splitting it in two- using U.S. Highway 101 as the North-South seam that defines Eastside and Westside districts. Seems the Westside wineries garner much of the buzz and press, but I say, “Wait a minute!” Yes the terroir is quite different on the Eastside- flatter, dryer with less green vegetation, and yes, there is less ocean influence which means smaller diurnal temperature swings, but some Eastside vintners say that their terroir has the perfect combo for growing great Bordeaux’s, and many hot weather varietals. And I’m so happy to help prove it. I’ve been doing wine tours in...
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There’s Stills in Them Thar Hills – Craft Distilling Hits Paso Robles

By Paso Robles Wine Region, Wine
A new trend utilizing winemaking byproduct is catching on in wine regions across the nation. Several distilling operations have popped up in North SLO County over the last couple years that use the early bleed off of juice in red grape fermentation to make an awesome array of flavored hooch. Paso Robles is one of the frontrunners in this new style of wine-based spirits- you’ve probably given it a quick thought already, but we’re talking so much more than the traditional brandy or grappa you may be familiar with. For bigger, more flavorful, concentrated red wines, vintners have been removing a portion of juice from fermentation vessels, called saignée, early on in the winemaking process clear back to pre-middle age...
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Garagiste Festival – Hey, I’m Actually Doing Real Work Here

By Wine Festival
After watching four cycles of the Garagiste Festival come and go in Paso Robles and Santa Ynez Valley, plus hearing and reading about the winemaker buzz, I finally realized Garagiste presented an amazing opportunity to become the better-informed unique and boutique wine tour guy. I felt rather stupid for ignoring this incredible 10,000 pound elephant sitting right in the wheelhouse of my wine focus for so long. Who are these Garagiste Cats? The Garagiste Festival is the brain child of serious wine enthusiasts Stewart McLennan, a seasoned stage and screen actor who immersed himself in the wine business over several years, and Douglas Minnick whose love of music and youthful passion compelled him to relocate from Chicago to L.A.- working...
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Welcome to Tin City

By Paso Robles Wine Region
An unincorporated city has stealthily wedged itself between Paso and Templeton! Not a real city- it’s more like an enclave that’s made up of passionate, committed boutique artisans. Over the last two years it’s hit critical mass in meteoric fashion. Tin City has commandeered the spotlight as Paso’s new happening hot spot for a broad swath of folks who enjoy boutique wines, distilled spirits, and of course beer. Barrel House Brewing was the original anchor tenant that pointed towards the future for this 2x2 block zone just off Ramada Drive. Two years back it was hard to tell if this unique zone was just another industrial-leaning hodge-podge of machine shops, supply companies, body shops, and wood fabricators, but gradually small...
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In The Bottle…

By Wine, Wine Tasting
Consider a Decanter When it comes to aerating your wine, a well-designed decanter will accomplish that with great efficiency, and hopefully with the least amount of fuss and muss. Traditionally decanting's purpose was to separate sediment from the wine by leaving it in the bottle as the wine was carefully poured into a vessel of some sort. Decanting also unbinds a tight, young wine, or perhaps enhances the tannin structure of an old wine by getting some air into it.        But before you decant, you must know the wine you're considering for this process. Knowing the optimal way to handle each wine before consumption is key. Too much aeration of any sort can squash-flat the life and verve in a wine in no time. On the...
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