It’s so hot, forget frying an egg on the sidewalk. Eggs are frying inside the hens! Freshly-washed hair and linen becomes swampy in seconds. In this triple digit heat, doing anything outside—taking out the trash, walking the dog—feels ten times harder. All you want to do is nap, and that’s no way to spend the summer. That’s it! It’s time to escape to the far Western edge of Paso Wine Country, if only for an afternoon. Let the cabernet sauvignon grapes relish the heat—you’ve got to cool off, big time. Follow our lead toward the sea and coastal tasting rooms. We’ll be gathering around a few choice chilled bottles at these cooling weekend oases.
Cayucos is one of those rare California beach towns: Quirky, slow-paced, with authentic, laid back character. Steal away a sunny afternoon, hit some low key antique shops and grab a smoked salmon taco from Ruddell’s Smokehouse. Next stop: Cayucos Cellars, where a stable of chilled whites and rosés beckon you to live the beach life.
Chill pick: Cayucos Cellars 2010 Chardonnay is like a breath of fresh, sea air and has this sexy tart-sweet pineapple thing going on (It’s as reviving as keeping your moisturizer in the fridge).
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/CayucosCellars
The town of Harmony, pop. 18, is on the up-and-up! Check out the renovated cobblestone streets speckled with coastal moonstone and snap a ‘gram outside the revamped post office, which has been brought back to its former glory in recent months. Next stop: Climb the scenic hill to Harmony Cellars, where the wine is as cool as the constant sea breezes. Tip: Stop by during the tasting room’s Twilight Hours events, held each Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Food trucks! Music! Friends! Relaxation meets refresh. Time to press pause and celebrate!
Chill pick: Harmony Cellars 2015 Vibrante, a crisp tank-fermented blend of chardonnay, white Riesling, and muscat canelli that’s all green apple-meets-citrus. Hmmm…Might want to take one to go for your next pool party!
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/HarmonyCellars
When’s the last time you ventured to calm Cambria with nothing to do but enjoy lunch and see where the afternoon takes you? Stop for a bite at farm-to-table original Robin’s Restaurant and see what it feels like to turn your iPhone off for a few hours (or possibly an entire day!). With grapes grown just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, Cutruzzola tasting room is coastal to the max. Time to bask in the glow of nothing to do but sip.
Chill Pick: With intense notes of lime and orange blossom, this vibrant, elegant and creamy 2012 Riesling is the equivalent of a luxurious spa day, minus the ginormous price tag.
Mapping & Directions: speedfind.com/Cutruzzola
Hearst Ranch Winery
A meandering drive up Highway 1 is not complete without a visit to serene San Simeon, home to gorgeous Hearst Castle. Speaking of that uber-popular destination, a tour through epic gardens and sun dappled terraces would be pretty lovely right about now. Who says tourists get to have all the fun? Next stop: The Hearst Ranch Winery tasting room nestled in Sebastian’s old time general store (est. 1852). Your day is all about opulent meets quaint…and, come to think of it, isn’t that what the Central Coast is all about?
Chill pick: Summer calls for a playful, approachable wine that you need not fuss over. Simply chill to 50 degrees and take a moment to savor the gorgeous blushing beauty in your glass. Oh, 2015 Hearst Ranch Rose “Julia.” You truly are our sweetest summer crush!
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/HearstRanchWinery
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers.
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping.