Wine Country Hot Spot Inspires Visitors to Swirl, Sniff, Sip & Savor this September
San Luis Obispo offers wine lovers more than just the largest, fastest growing wine region in California to explore during “California Wine Month.” With adventure tours, gourmet cuisine, choice leisure activities, cultural events, and unparalleled California scenery, San Luis Obispo provides fresh new ways to experience wine country, with all of the senses.
Follow the common “S” guidelines for wine tasting to swirl, sniff, sip and savor all that San Luis Obispo wine country has to offer.
Every wine drinker knows that to enjoy a fine wine, one must first let it breathe. San Luis Obispo reinforces this concept, offering visitors cool sea breezes, miles of protected open spaces for hiking, and clean, unpolluted air to help them relax and restore. Before hitting the wine trail, these wine country adventures help visitors “open up”:
· A hike on the Bob Jones City to Sea Trail exposes senses to a serene paved pathway extending through woods, past quaint apple orchards and alongside the San Luis Creek to the ocean in picturesque Avila Beach. Once in Avila, wine tasting at several unique tasting rooms, such as Cuvée, awaits.
· For an exhilarating view of wine country, Margarita Adventures provides a zip line course over the oak trees before touring historic Santa Margarita Ranch and tasting wines from Ancient Peaks Winery.
· The fresh air festival known as the Thursday evening Farmer’s Market in downtown San Luis Obispo bubbles over with live entertainment, arts and crafts, hot-off-the-grill barbecue, and farm-fresh produce—a fun prelude to tasting at Luis Wine Bar, one of the downtown’s newest tasting rooms.
Scientists say the olfactory system is directly connected to the brain, unlike other senses, and that good smells can lift moods and recall pleasant memories. The bouquet of tantalizing scents that abound in San Luis Obispo warms the nose up for wine tasting:
· The healing scent of eucalyptus pervades the Pismo Beach Monarch Grove where visitors can seek out the butterflies that make it their migratory home (peak season late October to February). For the sophisticated palate, the unique flavor is often found in local wines grown near eucalyptus trees.
· Soaking up the scent of fresh, salty sea air is a cinch in San Luis Obispo where surfing, paddling, kayaking and beach adventures of all kinds await. Kayak with SLO Coast Kayaks in Avila Beach to smell a gentle sea breeze and get a close-up view of the seals and sea lions. Afterward, step into the adjoining Port Harford Chandlery and Pub offering beer and wine tasting.
· Sea foodies aiming to pair wines with feasts can follow their noses to clam chowder at Splash Café in Pismo, smoked fish tacos at Ruddell’s in Cayucos or other fine dining options in downtown SLO, like Cioppinot, where corkage fees on local wines are waived.
Wine tasting opportunities abound in San Luis Obispo, with over 200 wineries and tasting rooms both in town and country locations. But for those looking to challenge their palates, there are other ways to wet one’s whistle, too.
· For a change, wine connoisseurs can try the whiskey tasting at Eureka Burger in downtown San Luis Obispo, where the all-American craft whiskey flight pairs perfectly with flame-broiled gourmet burgers.
· To slip some suds into the wine getaway, San Luis Obispo offers multiple microbreweries including Firestone Walker, Central Coast Brewing, Tap It and SLO Brew.
· Complementing wine tasting, olive oil tasting allows visitors to sip or dip to discern the oil’s surprising spicy, savory and sweet subtleties. Central Coast Food Tours takes tasters on an edible tour of San Luis Obispo that includes a comprehensive oil tasting at We Olive.
Finally, San Luis Obispo teaches wine tasters not to gulp down their wine, or their wine vacation. Visitors can explore wine country with all of their senses at San Luis Obispo’s annual California Wine Month event, Sunset’s Savor the Central Coast, September 27 – 30, 2012. The four-day event showcases the talents of winemakers as well as brewmasters, fisherman, chefs, artisanal food producers and many more tastemakers of the area. Enjoy wine and cooking seminars, viticulture and agricultural tours, as well as hot air ballooning, kayaking and other unique ways to see, smell, taste and enjoy San Luis Obispo wine country.
Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the beautiful Central Coast of California, the 37 hotels of downtown San Luis Obispo, CA offers the ideal home-base for experiencing the area’s delicious farm-fresh cuisine, charming downtown shopping district, endless outdoor adventures, and one-of-a-kind historic and cultural attractions such as Hearst Castle, Mission San Luis Obispo, world-class wine country, and the famous Thursday Evening Farmer’s Market.
Find wine-themed travel ideas, wine events, a printable winery map and more at SanLuisObispoVacations.com/vacation-ideas/wine-vacation/UH.