On a recent trip to the central California coast, I visited my good friends Curt and Martha. Before a day of decadent tasting of the great Rhone varietal wines of Paso Robles’ west side, we stopped at the Templeton Farmers Market. Though we were committed to a dinner of roast beef, root vegetables, and a spring salad, we were inspired by the lovely artichokes that were just harvested early that morning. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out the recipe I posted on my companion website, Tasting Adventure. It’s a nice fresh spring Artichoke Risotto, easy to prepare, and takes the best flavors of the artichoke and plants them from your table to your palate.
When in Paso Robles, I tend to gravitate to the westside wineries, not only because they are closer to Curt and Martha’s home, but for the most part, I find the wines more interesting and the environment more aesthetically pleasing, to my taste
anyway. I was happy to see that the people behind Bill Armstrong and his fairly new Epoch Estate Wines purchased the old York Mountain Winery which Martin-Weyrich drove into bankruptcy along with all of their other over-leveraged properties and projects. Best of all, they took the sterile and ugly “trailer” that Martin-Weyrcih used for a tasting room and made it into a warm, inviting environment resembling a lounge than a tasting room. I look forward to visiting the newly renovated York Mountain Winery building and hope they ultimately move the tasting room back there.
While on the trail, we visited Denner Vineyards which just released their 2010 Denner Vineyards Viognier, light and golden and perfume on the nose and viscous and dances in your mouth with tropical fruit flavors and a hint of butterscotch. We slipped by Tablas Creek Vineyards, where we indulged in what I believe is perhaps the best rosÃ© in California, made primarily of MouvÃ©dre the 2010 Tablas Creek Vineyard RosÃ© with its color of rich cranberry. With spice, apricot, and sour cherry flavors, it’s the perfect summer wine. Stock up now.
With each visit to Curt and Martha’s Casa de las Vistas, I find myself leaving the area before I really settle in, where the camaraderie, good food, wine and endless brainstorming of ideas and dreams quickly fade as the 101 freeway beckons me to head southâ€”until the next trip.
A trip to Paso Robles Wine Country isn’t complete without a picnic lunch from the veritable and fresh Farmstand 46.
The Behaug, a roast beef sandwich with aged cheddar, red pepper, sweet onion, and horseradish on toasted rye!
Raisins, beets, and greens. Nothing like eye food at the Templeton Farmers Market.