So we all know how we like to start our day with bubbly at Views and Vintage and let me tell you we found THE place to go for delicious sparkling wine that will leave you wanting more. This post is focusing on three wineries that are located East of the 46. A lot of Paso Robles wineries are on the West side of the 46 but we feel these three are ones that are worth taking the time to spend on the other side of the highway.
We started our day out here for our East of the 46 day and let me tell you, it was some of the best sparkling I’ve had the pleasure of tasting at a winery. This is a small production winery where they only do 2,000 cases of wine a year. They don’t sell retail and you can only purchase bottles at the winery or online through them. RAVA processes their sparkling wine methode traditionale up in Monterey (just a couple hours away). Our server was friendly, super knowledgeable and passionate about the wine which always makes for an incredible visit. We booked a reservation for our tasting and it took us about an hour and fifteen seated to go through the wines and was only $20/pp for sparkling. What I loved about this was that our server had other tables but never rushed us and sat with us through the glasses and thoroughly described what it was that we were drinking.
I want to note that while I love sparkling wine – my palate is not super refined and often times I’m not a fan of blanc de blanc or blanc de noir sparkling wine… this was not the case at this winery. Their 2017 Blanc de Blanc was velvety and creamy with floral and apples notes that were invigorating, but the real surprise here was how much I LOVED their 2016 Blanc de Noir. The Blanc de Noir only has 6g of sugar and I was expecting to hate it, it was dry but in the best way and the honey flavor in it – you guys it was so so good. We tried 5 total sparkling wines and though those two were delicious their good ole’ fashion 2016 Brut is what stole my heart and wallet – it was fruity with notes of nectarine, lemon and stone fruit and honest to god the best Brut I’ve had in a VERY long time. At $39/bottle the Brut isn’t the most expensive but certainly not cheapest but I will say it’s worth every single penny and then some.
Even if you don’t plan on spending time East of the 46 on your trip – this is one to start your day and to start your day off right!
Pear Valley Vineyards
This is another smaller production vineyard that produces 8,000 cases of wine a year. You guys, the drive in was sooooo pretty with the vines on both sides of your car just surrounding you, it’s everything you want when you go to visit a winery. The entrance of the building was equally beautiful with the trellis over grown with grape vines and bundles (of table grapes!) and small little rose garden out front. With COVID restrictions their tastings were being hosted outside and they were keeping social distance standards so well here! One of the things that I loved about the outside tasting area was that they had a swing that you could enjoy your wine on while relaxing with their incredible view. Did I mention that this winery has one of the best views east of the 46? If you make a visit to this winery please please please make sure you make the trek up the stairs outside that lead up to the Oak Tree. Once you’re up there you’ll thank us because the views are stunning – it was clearly used as a wedding venue spot pre-COVID (they’re no longer hosting weddings) and it is just so picturesque (and a great proposal spot if you’re looking for one!)
Okay so let’s talk about the wine, you know it’s good when your notes say things like “so good”, “slam dunk” and “yes, yes, yes!” next to the wines. What I really love about this winery is that their tasting reminds me of Temecula where you can pick and choose which wines you want to try from almost their complete portfolio of wines and you’re not just limited to their set menu. I’ll just jump right in and start with their “Inspiration” which is their version of a GSM blend that I was a little skeptical on at first because it is heavier on the Syrah (and I’ve found throughout the trip I preferred the ones heavier on the Grenache). With notes of berry, anise and violet and its silkiness this was one of our favorites – it had both “so good” and “slam dunk” next to it. Next up on our try list is the 2017 Malbec – ughhh this was really good and I regret not buying a bottle of it so I may just have to go back and order one. Their Malbec has distinct notes of candied cherry, milk chocolate and raspberry liquor and it is silky velvety perfection in your glass. Last but certainly not least for noteworthy wines to try there is their Rosé, it’s grenache based with notes of strawberry and watermelon and it was so incredibly refreshing on such a hot day (did we forget to mention that this autumn trip was 100 degrees the entire time we were there, yikes!). The notes next to this were “Lovedddddd this” and “BUY A BOTTLE” in all caps, and we did indeed buy a bottle of this gal, she was so good.
Also I just want to say that everyone that works there was so incredibly amazing and friendly, one of the best winery experiences for service. Be sure to make a reservation!
Alright so this makes me a little sad but we were running so late that we didn’t get to do a tasting here, but we were able to do a glass of wine. I’m just going to tell you about some of the research I did on this place before going and you’ll see why we will for sure be coming back and making this one of our first stops so that we don’t miss it again. They have so many different experiences that they offer like olive oil pressing, horse back riding, garden to table cooking demo, wine-maker training, sipping like a sommelier and so much more that are all part of their Camp CASS and geared towards larger groups. Their restaurant menu also sounded so delicious and we will be coming back to give their restaurant a try as well.
Alright so coming into this winery we went straight to the tasting room to get a glass of wine and behind the bar is Richard Branson. Just kidding, but honestly he looked so much like him even the staff were joking around about it. Turns out even though it was not Richard Branson he was a pretty important person, Steve Cass, the owner! I LOVE going to wineries where you actually get to meet the owners and they’re such down to earth good people and this is one of them. The girl that served us was super fun and bubbly and genuinely enjoyed her job so much it made me want to work there. We ended up ordering a glass of their rosé and it was fruity, light, crisp and so incredibly refreshing on a hot day. While we were sipping on our wine our girl came back over and started chatting us up and then told us about their “Mr Blanc” white blend that recently won gold medal in an international wine competition… she also graciously poured us a heavy taste of it – so. incredibly. delicious. It was fermented and aged in 100% stainless steel with malolactic fermentation inhibited (to preserve the acidity of the wine) making it super refreshing. For sure a must try when you go to visit and if the only two wines we tried were both incredible we can’t wait to come back and do a full tasting here!