After a good nights sleep I was overjoyed to wake up to the sound of chipping birds, and blue sky ! California style! Today was wine tasting day. Brynn’s dad was busy outside in the garden doing all his chores. He adored a wonderful bright blue "gas station Johnny" jumper suit , with huge rubber rain boots and a fishing hat. It was worthy of a photo which will be posted later. Brynn and I left at 10am, with a partially packed lunch ( more to add later.. ) to a short coastal visit and drive.
We drove to the "Morro Strand" where I experienced actually walking on a beach from paradise.
I collected some souvenirs, some rocks and drift wood. We then went to the local supermarket called "Spencers", to buy some sandwiches. We both choose lovely turkey. Our next destination was an old scenic road called "Old Creek Road". To our disappointment the road was closed due to landslides. But that didn’t stop Brynn ! She broke the barriers and barreled up the hill, determined to get thru to Hwy 46, at the top of the hill, where we were last night. BUT ! no go, we were forced to turn around after traveling about 5 miles ( 10km) by many yellow men with hats and big tools ! ha.. ha.. ha.. So.. back we went.. a 45 minutes detour ! Darn, but we did get to see the wonderful water reservoir, "Elephant Rock". So back to were we started. We drove back to Cambria, and took it over the hill to Hwy 46. It was gorgeous . York Mountain road, where the "York Mountain Winery" was located was our first stop. Here I had my first taste of California Gold ! We were able to taste several red wines. And for Free ! The Wine attendant gave me a crash course in wine tasting. I had to first swirl the wine around in the glass, then smell it at the same time. I then was to drink a small sip, and put it under my tongue, and in the sides of my mouths to accept the full bouquet. It was an experience I’d never had before. I then had to pour the rest of the wine into the appropriate wine spittoon that was provided. For one does not drink more than one or two sips. I then had to take a bit of a cracker to clean my palette. The next wine was served… same ritual.. I actually was able to begin to detect the fruitiness, or the woodiness or Smokey flavors as well as crispness or dark bold colours in the wines as well. We tasted in total 4 different red wines, which totaled about ½ a glass of wine. Brynn bought the both of us the one we liked the most, the Cabernet, from 2004. Continuing on down around this windy road, we caught the next road which was the main winery road called "Vineyard".
Nothing need be said about that word. We saw vineyard after vineyard, it was wonderful. Brynn had of course researched which ones to go to. We were to drive to the farthest winery called "Justin Winery". The weather was more perfect than perfect by this point.
Here we decided to have our picnic....
The sun caressed our skin like a blanket of warm velvet and soothed our souls. After lunch we went inside the main house to the tasting room which was handsomely appointed with French mustard yellow walls, and racks of wine.
This is the real tasting began. No bottle of wine less than $40US .There was such an obvious difference in the two winery in product quality. Brynn and I were slowly becoming snobs !
Joining the wino troops of Yuppies traveling down from San Francisco and up from L.A. pretending that they knew what the hell they were doing too ! But really what we all wanted to do was get drunk for Free ! with that in mind I purchased a $50US bottle of wine ! And no we didn't get drunk ! as we were coached earlier in the day how to wine taste the proper way, and threw out about 1 full glass of wine back into the spittoon.
I will leave the expert taster my sister Ineke to decide if it was well worth it ! It was getting late in the afternoon, and Brynn wanted to stop at the one and only "Olive Branch" olive oil making farm in this area. It was open and 2 sweet dogs, a black lab and a jack Russell welcomed us at the gates. From wine tasting to olive oil tasting we were bringing to feel the need to pop a TUMS or two for our now upset stomachs.
So the tasting time was over, after purchasing a lovely Orange flavored Olive Oil, more expensive than the first bottle of wine we purchased earlier today. The drive out of wine country on Peachy Canyon road was a splendid taste of the natural world, for all we saw was indeed nature, no houses and no cars. One last taste of nature was the wonderful sight outside the car window of 2 Deer grazing the along side the road.There were about 10 feet away from me,they were started by us, took a pee and ran off into the forest. Wine country ended abruptly by entering the township of Paso Robles, a cowboy town. It’s a good thing we did get into town, as I needed to go to the store to buy another Videotape, as the one in the camera was finished. Michaels house was now the next and final destination for today. Arriving there at about 5pm, he was not home yet. Brynn went inside to practice on her violin, and I sat out side on the drive to soak up the last days sun rays. Michael biked up to the house at about 5:30, and immediately started the chore of cleaning and preparing the BBQ for this evenings dinner of Chicken.
We had a wonderful dinner together, and by now Brynn and I were very tired and exhausted and decided to make our way home.