Monday, November 24, 2014

Moving OUT of my Comfort Zone

The Santa Ynez Valley and Los Olivos Experience

It's been way too long since my last post.  And no, I haven't given up Wine or Paso!  I attended the Paso Garigiste Grand Tasting a few weeks ago.....which was in a word:  AMAZING! FUN! EXCITING! EXHILLERATING! (OK...4 words). Please follow the link below for my recap in the Paso Robles Daily News.   So many of my good wine friends pouring, so many new wineries met....and as they say, so much (fine) wine, so little time!
                                                     (Click n sip)!

 (and please see below for a link to some of my past SLO Visitor's Guide articles).

Meanwhile, a lazy Sunday afternoon yesterday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. My wife, having a birthday luncheon with her sister and mother left me alone. So what to do?  Call up Dana and Matt and say:  ROAD TRIP?!?!  Something NEW!  Something OUT of our ordinary Paso trip and out of our comfort zone.

So...into the car we went, up to the Santa Ynez Valley...and Los Olivos for some....what tasting!   A pleasant and easy 1-3/4 hour drive.  And there we were!   It's been awhile since I've been to Los Olivos.  The little town now thrives with about 50 tasting rooms!  Amazing the variety that is there.  A little tasting, a little lunch, a little more tasting....and an easy  drive time for dinner.

Whereas we tasted at 6 different tasting rooms.....two stood out as exceptional!
STOLPMAN Vineyards, with a wonderful lineup, but their (IMO) standout was their 2011 L'avion 100% Sanya Ynez Valley Roussanne.  This is just an amazing wine.   Smooth, supple, a wonderful mouth feel, honey, and just overall YUMMY!  Can't wait to open it with some very special people.....soon.  I had tasted STOLPMAN about 6 months ago at the Lompoc Ghetto.....and glad to get reacquainted!

And then....we met Emily, at the LARNER VINEYARDS Tasting room. Well....our first sip and there were instant smiles on Dana, Matt's and my face. This was an OMG moment!   And we had just started....sipping their 2012 Ballard Canyon Rose!  Smooth, elegant, zippy, fun.  We all thought the same thing:  TURKEY DAY coming up!  And this will go SO well with the Thanksgiving Turkey.   We were then treated to the Larner Syrahs.  OK.....truth be told, we are all Syrah addicts.  And Larner's Syrahs:  OH YEAH!   One of the very nice things about the wines being poured in the TR is that they are 2010's (and a 2009)!  These baby's have been given time in a bottle....and it shows.

Being walked through a tasting by Emily, their TR manager,  just adds to the experience.  Full of personality, passion and enthusiasm and knowledge about everything Larner, you know the moment she greets you in the small, intimate tasting room, that you are in for a special treat!  And it was!  Thank you Emily!

Such a great day, making new wine friends and stepping a little out of our normal comfort zone.  We will definitely start finding time to spend up in the Santa Ynez Valley, sampling the plethora of wines from soooo many excellent, small production wineries.  It's kind of nice that all you have to do is park your car and start walking.  SO many wines, so little time, but more time to look forward to in "the Valley."

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Until the NEXT wine time!

Please click below to view some of my past articles in the SLO Visitor's Guide.

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