|Barrels of fermenting wine at Claiborne & Churchill.|
In this neck of the woods, cool-climate grapes such as albarino, riesling, chardonnay and pinot noir wind across the landscape, sheltered by the imminent mountain range and graced by the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific Ocean. Over these two days I explored my own backyard, visiting several wineries in the Edna Valley wine region (and yes, I sipped and drove responsibly!).
This event happens but once a year, and when it rolls around...I love to be there!
Notice the view from Tolosa Winery on the second day of summer. Yep, brilliant.
Did I mention the food? At Edna Valley Vineyards, innovative delicacies prepared by Chipwrecked in Pismo Beach provided crunchy amuse-bouche for the tasters. The handmade potato chips pictured above, topped with lavender salt, goat cheese, honey, and sliced pears and strawberries were delicious and oh-so-amusing to the mouth.
At Tolosa Winery, the pizza served by Bella Forno Wood Fired Cuisine topped with sausage, arugula and cherries was not bad. Not bad at all.
But let's not forget the wine. Tasting new (and some older) releases at the neighboring Edna Valley wineries does a palate good. And since every palate is unique, I let my senses guide me and brought home a few bottles. As they say: The best wine is the wine you best like to drink.
Hospitality goes a long way. When you visit a family-owned winery in this region of the world, life is good. The down-home friendliness and careful attention to their finished product just can't be beat. Wolff Wineyards offers panoramic views of their estate grown chardonnay, pinot noir, teroldego, syrah, petite sirah and riesling from their tasting room—and chances are good you'll meet a family member when you stop by.
How 'bout them grapes? If quality wine truly stems from quality grapes, then the Edna Valley soil, rich with sandstone, shale and limestone, gets the budding varietals of this region off to a propitious start.
On Sunday, "June Gloom" pushed aside the blue skies, but this serene view at Kynsi Winery seemed to meld with the gray horizon.
All in all? Not a bad weekend.