Exclusive Elite Wine Tour Experiences,
These unique happenings are not advertised to the general public. This is just a handful of the under-the-radar experiences I am able to offer.
Here’s a handful of some of the most amazing wine experiences around:
Cabernet Sauvignon Clonal Barrel Tasting,
I am very pleased to offer the unique opportunity to taste Cabernet clones individually from the barrel at a highly respected Paso winery. This is a first in this region, and a unique chance to experience this Paso Cab Collective founding member’s vision and passion for the king of all French grape varietals in our North San Luis Obispo County terroir. Tasting also includes extensive bottle tasting. Tasting cost is $40 per person, and waived with two bottle purchase. Subject to availability of the winemaker.
Rangeland Wines Ranch House Tasting & Adelaida Springs Ranch Picnic
Laird Foshay’s 1,600 acre Adelaida Springs Ranch supports 40 acres of Cab, Zin, Syrah, and Petite Syrah, grass fed beef and lamb clubs, and lots of outdoor activities, just 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean at 1,700 feet elevation in the unparalleled beauty of oak woodland draped across the southern spine of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Laird sold much of his fruit to iconic local wineries like Justin, where it was used in the famed Isosceles blend. His wine program is now in high gear.
After you taste through Rangeland’s amazing food friendly wines at the ranch house, we head out to secluded distant reaches of the ranch for an old fashioned picnic. I spread a 12′ x 15′ heavy drop cloth on the ground, and place a tablecloth in the middle. You provide the goodies. This is truly a natural paradise chock full of incredible views of flora and fauna. I feel quite fortunate to have the privilege of sharing this beauty with my clients. There are literally hundreds of places to picnic.
Many activities are available on the ranch. Guided tours in the vineyard or through the ranch are conducted by Laird or ASR staff for $10 per person. Black tail deer and turkey are found in abundance on the ranch, and hunting is available through a professional guide service. Check Rangeland Wines’ website for prices and seasonal availability. 72 hour advance booking, subject to availability of proprietor. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy great wines, and the Central Coast outdoors like you have never experienced before!
St. Hilaire winery tour
John Anderson is a local retired orthodontist, who custom farms six acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, plus an allotment of premium Dusi Zin fruit, producing about 200 cases per year. John brings the same passion and precision to winemaking that he brought to his dental practice. His wines are fantastic by themselves or with food.
The vineyard tour includes discussion of vine characteristics and terminology, block orientation, canopy and trellising, cover crop, irrigation, and overall sustainable farming practices. After a short walk through the vineyard, it’s on to the barrel cellar to participate in a magical unprecedented, unique experience that delights my clients over and over again. If you are interested in home winemaking, John is the guy to show you the ropes. 96 hour advance booking, subject to availability of the winemaker.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE TASTING GUIDE
You can have the benefits of my 1,300+ wine tours’ experience with the click of a button for free. After doing hundreds and hundreds of wine tours in the San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County wine regions, wineries made the list by extremely broad and un-scientific consensus. They have produced positive approval most of the time. It’s primarily about the wine, but setting, architecture or personnel may also fall into the mix. Along with the best wines, I know where the wine values and best wine deals are too. I’ve made Tasting Guides for each wine region in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, including Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail and environs. All wineries are laid out in a geographically logical format that makes navigation around the wine country easy, simple and precise. They’re the perfect traveling companion along with each area’s winery guide and map available at any winery.
There are a host of reasons why wineries make the list, and not necessarily anything wrong with those who didn’t. Those listed consistently please. Serious wine enthusiasts are encouraged to make tasting appointments one to two weeks in advance. Please note that wine tasting is very subjective.
Just fill out the fields below and send in your request. You have my sincere promise that I will not bombard you with junk emails. What you will receive is useful information to enjoy every time you visit San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara wine country. That’s what this is about. Nothing more, and nothing less.
So Many Stellar Food Options
I’ve got numerous food options I’ve used dozens to hundreds of times with great success on my wine tours. After one or two stops it’s a good idea to enjoy some solid food as a foundation to temper the flow of one ounce pours happening throughout the day. Light nibbles just don’t cut it. A sit-down break to enjoy good substantial food is the perfect buffer to balance your tour. I set your meal up on clean tablecloths with complementary bottled water. The goal is to finish the tour with a happy, carefree glow, and be able to sail on, enjoying your evening.
Here’s what you need to know:
Calling your orders in the day before is great! Prepay and I’ll pick it up on my way to your location if logistics allow.
Food the day of your tour:
When we begin your tour the time range for lunch is determined. Before I drop you off at the first or second winery, or as cell service permits, food is ordered to go. I can also reserve a table for you at a dining establishment. I go pick up the food, return to the winery, pick you up, and head to the next wine tasting stop. Wherever you decide to eat, you cruise into the winery to begin your wine tasting. Many wineries are happy to do your wine tasting at your picnic table. While you’re beginning your wine tasting, I’m setting up your picnic.
Events and Seasonal Eats:
I stay on top of dates when wineries are putting on a happening food feat, or food and wine pairing, or unique event. Some wineries offer cheese or hors d’oeuvre style pairings as part of the tasting. Ongoing weekday after hours happenings with wine by the glass and entertainment are very popular with locals on summer season evenings. The smell of pizza ovens comes to mind at Opolo, Hope Family Wines, and Calcareous. The indigenous beef burger feed on selected Saturdays at Oso Libre in the summer is awesome. I love the smell of red oak searing meat Santa Maria BBQ style!
For the Beer Crowd:
There are many excellent wineries close to cool micro-breweries. Several wineries are distilling these day as well- spirits and wine are served just steps away from each other. Drinking beer openly at a winery can be a very touchy situation, as it is a violation of their bond (federal), and also a violation of their liquor license (local)…as is opening product from another winery on the hosting winery’s premises. I’ve seen both wrath and embarrassment simultaneously a couple times.
I have many ways to handle beer at wineries, which can be pressed into to play at the appropriate time. Just let me know what you’re thinking on this, and I’ll provide a solution so everyone’s happy. Other options include dining-in at a deli or restaurant with an extensive beer selection (Firestone Tap Rooms in Paso and Buellton are awesome!), or going to a scenic, secluded picnic spot in the wine country.
If you want to bring your pet along, that’s cool with me. Just let me know in advance so we can plan accordingly.