Lush, green and gorgeous road trip alert - the recent rains (March 2011) have made the Paso Robles wine country a gorgeous destination right now, particularly the "Far Out Wineries" in the western part of this new wine growing area. http://www.faroutwineries.com/
We spent our time at Thacher Winery getting to pick up our case of the now sold out recent SF Chronicle award winner Zinfandel 2008 Triumvirate Reserve and got a personal tour by the owner and tastings of what was not only bottled but samplings of what was also work in progress - and there is a port coming along in the next few years that just might change American imbibing habits. They are still pouring tastings of their 2007 Zindfandel Triumvirate Reserve, so get there before this runs out too.
They have an opulent trough of walnuts for palate cleansers with picnic tables and a garden setting for your own take-along lunch on this former ranch property. Lots of happy road trippers coming and going on this back country route and it just could not have been a prettier drive this time of the year. Drink and drive responsibly!
We finished our trip at Moonstone Grill in Cambria because the sunny day and wild sea begged stopping at this setting, food was satisfying enough with standard cafe menu items. Lightly battered calamari appetizers, clam chowder in a bread bowl, fish tacos and fish and chips - all very okay, fast and friendly service, but the main menu item here was the feast for the eyes.
8355 Vineyard Dr, Paso Robles, CA