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Tasting Paso Robles wines, relaxed and safely 

Tasting at Law Estate Wines.

Tasting at Law Estate Wines.

Trip to Paso includes a stop at three wineries and one restaurant

–Travelling in the age of COVID-19 presents challenges. Where to stay, where to eat, where to sip. It is an ever moving dynamic, calling for adjustments, patience and understanding. Our latest “quick sip” up from the Los Angeles area took us to three wineries and one restaurant. Catching up with old friends, good wine, and most of all, comfortable good times. The safety and comfort of others is ingrained in Paso hospitality, as exemplified by these three:

Law Estate Wines, located about 15 minutes from downtown Paso, up Peachy Canyon, is always a pleasure to visit. We love the modern architecture, the surrounding vistas, and the wines! It was a great morning getaway, to revisit old friends and wines that we haven’t seen in about a year. Law has a variety of outdoor tasting areas, in addition to safely spaced indoor areas. We were fortunate on this slow morning to be treated to a tasting in the library, with Addie. Such a pleasure to re-visit friends and wines. www.lawestatewines.com.

monochromeMonochrome Wines, in Tin City was a welcome stop. On a warm afternoon, sitting out on the spacious patio, Dave McGee (winemaker/owner) poured us his latest selection of white wines. McGee is unique in that he makes only white wines, and so welcome on a warm afternoon. Again, safety protocols in place, it was great to catch up and re-stock some of my whites, which we had depleted over the last many months. www.monochromewines.com.

Tasting at Alta Colina.

Tasting at Alta Colina.

Alta Colina Vineyard and Winery was our last stop. It was hard to believe that over a year had gone by since we had been there last. What a pleasure having the opportunity to visit with Bob, Lynn, and Maggie Tillman, catching up with the Old 900 and Toasted Slope Syrah, Ann’s Block Petite Sirah, GSM and several others. As we were fortunate enough to be the only guests there, we were able to sit inside, comfortable, and carefully distanced, as we sipped, and caught up with one another. Alta Colina offers various outdoor tasting venues-so choose your day, time, and place, and enjoy being surrounded by vineyards and oaks, as you sip back and relax. www.altacolina.com.

Fish Gaucho in downtown Paso prides themselves on featuring modern Mexican fare. It had been well over a year since we have enjoyed this restaurant’s creative menu, and (for me) their Jalapine, fire-roasted jalapeno and pineapple, margarita! A great end to a great wine day and start to a great dinner. Sitting outside on the patio, my wife and I shared an order of carnitas taquitos and enchiladas de pollo tinga, more than enough food for the two of us. The artistic presentation, the aromas wafting up as the plate was served and the enticing flavors “forced” us to clean our plates! What an impeccable ending to this quick trip before we would leave the next morning for home. www.fishgaucho.com.

Lunch at Fish Gaucho.

Lunch at Fish Gaucho.

I can’t state enough that everywhere we went to sip and eat, we were comfortable and relaxed. The “new normal” of sanitizing, cleaning, distancing, protecting, and welcoming is built into the Paso community. Reservations are suggested or requested at most venues, especially wineries and tasting rooms, so please plan ahead. Come on back to Paso again-they are eagerly waiting to welcome you.


Author Don Sonderling is a freelance writer covering California’s Wine Country lifestyle and culture, from the Central Coast up through the Napa Valley and Sonoma. He may be reached at: donsonderling@gmail.com.

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