wine 1Dropping Daughter off to College:  The whole reason why this Traveling Dad adventure happened was because of my daughter. This fall was the beginning of her freshman year at UC Davis. This prestigious college is located just outside the city of Sacramento, which is the state capital of California. Davis is a long ways away from our hometown of San Diego and it was my Dad Duty to transfer my daughter’s belongings to her new dorm room.

So before I started my 9 – hour drive north, I talked my girlfriend into sharing the long road trip with me. However, my girlfriend is a smart lady. She knows a thing or two about the northern coast of California and she is a big time wine lover. Our road trip was contingent upon a stop in Paso Robles, California. We had one day to spare on our road trip and a wine tour was in the game plan.

wine 5Central California Coast

Paso Robles translates to, “The Pass of the Oakes” and is located in the coastal mountain range of Central California, (between Los Angeles and San Francisco).

This coastal sleepy little town off Highway 101 is famous for some of the oldest vines in the valley. If you are a big fan of Red Zinfandel wine, then Paso Robles is your pallet’s playground.

My girlfriend and I made the most of the time we had there. There are over 200 wineries to visit in the Paso Robles, San Louis Obispo area, so I suggest for you to grab a Wine Tour map and pick your favorite names and locations.

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wine 3There are a variety of hotels in the area to fit every type of budget. TravelingDad stayed at The Adelaide Inn. This hotel reminded me of the “old school” hospitality and accommodations that I remember growing up as a kid. The rooms are clean and the property has all the modern luxuries without the fuss or extra costs. Contact Adelaide for seasonal rates and room availability Toll Free: 800-549-PASO (7276)

What You Should Know Before you Go…

1. When you see the word, “Old Vines” on the label of your wine, you should always ask how “old” the vines are from the vineyard. The older the vines, the smoother the wine is supposed to taste. There is no standard of measurement to post. “Old Vines” on the label, however, I was privileged to officially taste the oldest vines in the Paso Robles Valley: 120 year old vines from Turley Vineyards. It was a treat!

2.Wineries that left a great impression of a wine tasting experience:

Turley Wine Cellars

Chronic Cellars

BridleWood Estate Winery

wine 43. Bring your own Water, Cheese and Cracker Basket. There is nothing wrong with packing your own basket on your tour because most wineries run out of their cheese and crackers early and you need to stay hydrated.

4. If you plan on visiting more than three wineries, take a shuttle, limo or ask your hotel for alternative transportation. Translation: Don’t drink and drive.

5. Wineries are open all year around, however the busiest time of the year is in the fall, early winter. Plan your trip ahead and contact your hotel early for room rates and availability.