I have been visiting Paso Robles with my family for at least 10 years and every visit reminds me why this growing wine region is so rewarding to visit. The region itself is diverse, with the beautiful coastal town of Cambria to the west, which offers sensational sunsets, beach walks, and a quaint downtown with plenty of restaurants, shops and wine tasting rooms. And, Hearst Castle is just up the road, so it’s easy to make a long weekend or more in the area.
Do you have that one place you drive by frequently and keep saying, we’ll stop next time? It’s not as though you have a compelling reason for the drive by. It just happens. Well, I can happily cross one of those “next time” places off my list because I finally made the stop. And, ironically enough, this time it took a cross-country flight to do it. But it was well worth it.
Summer is just around the corner, and we love our wine country weekends for enjoying the long, warm days and mild evenings. One of our all-time favorite wine regions in Northern California for a weekend getaway is the Healdsburg area. Home to Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and the Russian River Valley, the region is abundant with wineries that showcase a different perspective of this glorious part of the world, and downtown Healdsburg is just about as charming as it gets, with a bevy of boutique hotels and restaurants fit for foodies. Here are five wineries along a stretch of 14 miles to put on your itinerary.
Last month, I received an e-mail notification from Stryker Sonoma. “After 17 years of successful operations, Stryker Sonoma’s proprietor, Pat Stryker, has sold the Stryker Sonoma winery…So it is with gratitude to you, our loyal customers, that we say goodbye. The property sold this week to Foley Family Wines, and the Stryker Sonoma brand will be discontinued.”
Tonight we found ourselves opening a 2012 Moon Mountain Zinfandel from Repris, a unique winery nestled high up on the western slope of the Mayacamas Mountain range in Sonoma. The bottle was in our Fall 2014 club shipment so we thought it was ready to drink and we felt deserving of a splurge-worthy wine.
On one of our last nights in Bend, we had dinner at Jackalope Grill. Our group had received an inside tip from a Bend local, suggesting that we call the restaurant in advance to order its famed elk tenderloin. We heeded this advice, and with our menu selection confirmed, we got to the restaurant early and decided to sit at the bar. Our goal was to order a bottle of wine we could enjoy a glass of while we waited for our table, and one that we could finish with the elk.