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Paso Robles, the other California wine country, is quickly stealing the wine limelight from Napa and Sonoma

 

A perfect plate at Artisan
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Paso Robles, the other California wine country, is quickly stealing the wine limelight from Napa and Sonoma. Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the heart of California and at the border where northern San Luis Obispo County and southern Monterey County meet. That should give you some sense of the beauty that abounds. With these natural aesthetics it’s easy to see why folks like Hearst built a castle in nearby San Simeon back in the day.

 

El Paso de Robles - the city’s full name -  in San Luis Obispo County contains a total of 19.4 square miles. This idyllic region has long been renowned for its thermal hot springs that date back thousands of years before the Mission era.  The Salina Indians and later Mission Fathers congregated in the area for therapeutic springs and mud baths. As far back as 1795, Paso was referred to as California’s oldest watering hole.

 

Of equal relevance and a storied history are Paso’s vineyards dating back to 1791 when grapes were introduced to the soil by the Spanish conquistadors and Franciscan missionaries. The rest is history. Commercial winemaking was then introduced to the region in 1882 when an Indiana settler planted vineyards and established the Ascension Winery and what is now York Mountain Winery.

 

Many notables pushed this industry along through the years. A famous Polish statesman and concert pianist became enchanted with the area and planted Petite Sirah and Zinfandel on his Rancho San Ignacio vineyard in the Adelaide area in the early 20’s. The most recent of booms, an absolute explosion in the last two decades, has now provided the area with over 25 varietals of grapes and over 250 wineries.

 

Subsequently the region's agro-tourism today is top notch. Unlike the other busier wine regions in the area, Paso still feels like you are on an old evocative country road discovering a local gem and quite possibly with the vintners themselves in their kitchens, wineries or in their on-site restaurants. This level of luxury and intimacy is hard to capture.

 

Several other tours are available in the Central Coast and Paso’s region from biking to hiking and several culinary tours as the cuisine has matched the award winning wines of the region.

 

In between the hedonistic haunts, you can rest your well pampered head at Hotel Cheval, the go-to for luxury accommodations in town. Sophistication and romance reign at Hotel Cheval. Whether you’re there for your honeymoon, a romantic rendez-vous or a wine adventure, you are sure to fall in love with and be inspired by Paso and The Central Coast--just as Hearst was.

 

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