A picturesque wine region in central California is nothing but idyllic for a girls getaway. Paso Robles is quickly becoming a favorite destination amongst millennial wine connoisseurs and epicureans-in-training. When the Dolls first visited the Paso Robles wineries, Caitlin & Danielle knew that a grand trip was soon to come. The Doll duo called up some blogger babes to go on an epic adventure and report back on the best vineyard trips and dining experiences this magical town has to offer. When you wish upon a vine, dreams come true, after all…
Caitlin and Danielle are wearing outfits from Bazar Chicago.
Wine pairs nicely with sunshine and even better with friends. There’s no better experience than going on a trip like this with your BFF! We also brought along some inspirational influencers. Check out our group photos here!
Leading up to the trip, we were warned that the weather forecast was less than favorable and we should anticipate rain, gloom and cold temperatures. The Dolls manifested gorgeous weather and enjoyed blue skies, sunshine, perfect temperatures for vineyard outings. The mountains were covered in a vibrant green and it felt like we had been transported to a European wine town.
Caitlin and Danielle are wearing bow skirts and wine tee’s by T&J Designs with boots by Alcala’s Boutique. Shop our looks here: http://liketk.it/2qw2e
WHERE TO STAY
We partnered with Paso Robles Vacation Rentals to stay in our very own California Dollhouse! This real-life Dollhouse is actually known in Paso Robles as The Gables at the Rockin K and is owned by guitar mogul Gary Kramer. The house overlooks several olive trees and a vineyard. We highly recommend renting a house for your stay. There’s nothing better to come home to after a day of vineyards.
Caitlin and Danielle are wearing looks from Fabrik in Wicker Park
The Paso Dollhouse Details:
- 5 bedroom 3.5 bathrooms 1 apartment
- Gourmet kitchen & indoor dining
- Outdoor wood burning pizza oven
- Solar heated infinity pool overlooks a vineyard and olive orchard
- Outdoor dining
- Backyard bar and BBQ
- Outdoor living room with fireplace
- Veranda Porch with wicker furniture and rocking chairs
- Doll/Man Cave, which features a noteworthy collection of custom Kramer Guitars, a pool table, a big screen TV, and a large old-fashioned bar
Caitlin and Danielle are wearing looks from Fabrik in Wicker Park and boots by AMIClubwear
Paso Robles Vacation Rentals has over 80 homes to choose from and can accommodate almost any group and budget! Their team was timely, professional and accommodating… Just ask for Bryan Bonneli and tell him the Dolls sent you!
WHERE TO SIP
The Paso Robles American Viticultural Appellation (AVA) is home to more than 200 wineries and 32,000 vineyard acres focusing on premium wine production. There’s a reason wine makers have settled into Central California! The distinct microclimates and diverse soils, combined with warm days and cool nights, make growing conditions ideal for producing more than 40 wine varietals from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, to Syrah, Viognier and Roussanne, to Zinfandel, the area’s heritage wine variety.
Gary Kramer Wine Cellars
It only felt appropriate to start our tastings at Gary Kramer Wine Cellars to enjoy the wine and olive oil that is being created on the land at the estate where the Paso Dollhouse resides. We were pleasantly surprised to meet Mr. Kramer and enjoy our tasting with him. He shared with us the history behind his guitar legacy and how his wine endeavor came to fruition.
Newly opened in 2016, the wine cellar is a remarkable place for lovers of music and wine. This unique tasting room houses over 50 of the guitars Mr. Kramer designed; these guitars revolutionized the music industry and their phenomenal energy is felt throughout the cellar. The wines were impressive to the taste and each pour was pleasing in it’s own way. These wines satisfy pallets of casual and sophisticated wine drinkers alike.
It’s of no wonder that Gary Kramer’s guitars and wine have an outstanding reputation of being high-class and high-quality. The Vineyard only produces 7,500 bottles per season and is not found in retailers, which allows the team at Gary Kramer Wine Cellars to focus on a quality grape-to-glass experience. Lacrime di San Miguel, is the name of Mr. Kramer’s line of olive oils which only uses olives from his orchard but the original olive branches have origins from Italy, Sicily and The South of France.
Gary Kramer Wine Cellars provided us with an artistic and sophisticated experience.
We were treated to an afternoon with Jason Haas, the vineyard General Manager and Operations Director at Tablas Creek, who educated us on the limestone-rich 120-acre organic estate vineyard. Tablas Creek is located in the hills north and west of Paso Robles where warm days and cool nights allow the vines to gracefully ripen the Rhône varietals they grow. The vineyard claimed its organic certification in 2003.
We are forever grateful that Jason kindly took time from his busy day to sit and have a wine tasting and lunch with the bloggers and gave us the opportunity to pick his brain with questions about the history of the Vineyard. Every Doll could pick up on his intelligence in the wine industry and most importantly that his passion for wine is rooted deeper than any grape vine we encountered during the trip. After lunch, Jason walked us around the Vineyard with a tour of a magical magnitude.
Tablas Creek Vineyard is home to wines that have gained national and international recognition for their unique taste and exquisite blends; they have so many awards and different recognitions it’s hard to count them all. Tablas Creek’s differentiator has to do with the limestone surrounding most of the vineyard. The rock absorbs water and slowly releases it over time to keep the vines hydrated for a promising harvest. Caitlin, Danielle and our Blogger Dolls enjoyed special appearances made by animals that live on this vineyard. Tablas Creek is home to alpacas, donkeys, sheep and dogs that help create a safe environment for the vines to thrive.
Without a doubt, our most memorable vineyard experience in Paso Robles was at Eberle Winery. Eberle Winery and Vineyard officially opened in 1984 and about 10 years later, Gary built the first wine caves in Paso Robles. These caves are a giant 16,000 square feet and illuminated the most enchanting scene before us that we could have ever dreamed of… There was a fairytale wine tasting set inside the above mentioned caves in Paso Robles. The table sparkled by candlelight and strung lights outlined wine barrels, candelabras stood tall to illuminate the room. The acoustics in the caves are unimaginable; we sipped delicate and full-bodied wines to the tune of magical hymns chanted by monks. At some point we lost track of time. Maybe it was a perk of no cell phone service that helped us live in the moment, or it was the Eberles’ welcoming vibrancy that made us all feel like family. Papa Eberle sat at one end of the table sharing life stories, while Momma Eberle sat at the other end and filled our minds, bodies and souls with very uplifting and inspirational words of wisdom. We have been utterly inspired by them both.
Gary and Marcy Eberle, the husband and wife wine duo, or as we have coined them the Queen and King of Paso Robles, take couple goals to a whole new standard. Mr. Eberle has a degree in Enology, which literally translates to the study of wine. He earned his degree at U.C. Davis and in 1973, headed to Paso Robles. Gary is known as the pioneer of Paso Robles and launched his career at his family’s winery (Estrella River Winery) but soon acquired his own 64 acres of land that is now known as Eberle, a German word meaning small boar. He released his first wine in 1979, which is a Cabernet Sauvignon wearing the vineyards iconic boar logo. We learned that many presidents of the United States of America have enjoyed Eberle wines.
Caitlin and Danielle are wearing looks from Fabrik in Wicker Park and boots by Alcala’s Boutique.
We hope to make it back to Eberle Wineries as an annual trip, but until then we plan to join their wine club online! Our recommendation is to try the Cabernet – it’s the wine that inspired Gary to launch his winemaking career.
The Historic Halter Ranch is a vineyard and winery located in the heart of the Paso Robles’ Westside Adelaida District, it’s down the road from Tablas Creek. The Ranch dates back to the 1880’s and was owned by Edwin Smith, a businessman from New Jersey whom transplanted to San Francisco and soon resided in Paso Robles. Mr. Smith built a Victorian farmhouse on the 3,600-acre property, where he sold livestock and carried out other business endeavors. In 1943, portions of the property were sold to different families. The MacGillivray family purchased some of the land and would introduce grape vines to the ranch in 1996.
In June, 2000, Hansjörg Wyss purchased 900 acres of the ranch, renovated Mr. Smith’s historic farmhouse, and began enlarging the vineyard to its present 280 acres. Born and raised in Switzerland, Hansjörg believes Paso Robles is the best place in California to pursue his dream of producing world-class grapes and wines.
When you arrive to the vineyard you drive past what is still the original Victorian farmhouse and known today as a landmark of Paso Robles. The Victorian landmark is much different then the modern winery that lies ahead. The new building is super modern and super environmentally friendly. The Vineyard re-uses rainwater to aid in the wine making process. All rock found on the vineyard is harvested entirely from the vineyard. All parking and paving systems are made of 100% recyclable material. The subterranean barrel storage caves employ natural cooling and humidity provided by the limestone hillside. Frame over roof design and insulated paneling increases the overall cooling efficiency of the winery building.
We wandered the new state-of-the-art wine facility, with our tour guide Mr. T and were blown away by this gorgeous building and all the intriguing facts Mt. T shared with the Dolls. The cooling system is one of our favorite features. The night cooling systems take advantage of the large local day to night temperature swing in Paso Robles. The system pulls in chilled air overnight and keeps out warm air during the day. Concrete masses in the floor and walls increases the efficiency of cooling systems.
A Doll favorite included giant tables made from large trees that once grew on a neighboring property, we were fortunate enough to have a tasting at a giant oak and walnut tree table. This made us all form deeper connections between themselves and the earth that the vines and wines are harvested from.
WHAT TO SEE
Caitlin and Danielle were driving back to the Paso Dollhouse when one noticed a museum sign and the Dolls decided on a whim to go check it out. We found ourselves at Estrella Warbid Museum and were filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude as they approached military aircrafts, vehicles, missiles, munitions and vintage, classic and historical vehicles. Cait and Dani were instantly drawn to the World World II fighter plans and bonded over the fact that both their grandfathers flew these types of planes in WWII. While they were stationed in different places and did not know each other, to their knowledge; it would make for an unreal connection.
The dolls continued to explore Dick Woodlands extraordinary car collection, 17,000 square feet of cars to be exact. We’re not even sure extraordinary is a big enough word to describe what we saw and felt. Mr. Woodland just so happened to be on site for a special event and walked us around pointing out his favorite cars, including the first one he ever purchased for $50.
Needless to say, an impromptu photo shoot of the Estrella Warbird museum quickly found itself into our “itinerary.”
You can find a list of all the planes and cars on display here:
Caitlin and Danielle are wearing rompers and fringe sweaters from Fabrik Wicker Park with Alcala boots.
WHERE TO DINE
We all know that no good story ever started with salad… There are a wide variety of world-class chefs in Paso Robles that create endlessly delicious experiences. Known for incredible local ingredients and innovative fare, Paso’s impressive collection of restaurants and eateries rival those of any big city, served with a side of Paso’s maverick flair… and if your Dollhouse is just too beautiful to leave, the exquisite chefs will come to you.
Catch Seafood Bar and Grill is one of Paso Robles’ newest dining establishments. The restaurant is owned and operated by long-time local chef Chico Mora. Catch offers brunch, lunch and dinner, so there’s a meal for everyone.
Chico Mora dined the Dolls with the best and freshest seafood Paso has to offer. This new hotspot offers an open concept, where you can watch your food being prepped and prepared on the other side of a luxurious bar.
The menu is filled with so many delicacies from delicious fresh seafood, scampi, calamari, oysters and pasta to fabulous cuts of steak and lamb.
The Catch Seafood Bar and Grill is located at 836 11th St, Paso Robles is open seven days a week for lunch from 11 .a.m. to 2 .p.m. and dinner from 5 .p.m. to 9 .p.m. and Saturday and Sunday for brunch from 7 .a.m. to 2 .p.m. For reservations call (805) 239 3332.
Trumpet Vine Catering
While our days were spent out and about experiencing all the vineyards in the area, we decided to host our remaining dinners at our beautiful Paso Dollhouse. This was one of the best decisions of the trip!
After we returned to the Paso Dollhouse after a long day of outings, Trumpet and Vine Catering Owner and Chef Jennie Sturgeon and Executive Chef Justin Picard greeted the Dolls. From our initial contact with Jennie and throughout the dinner, Jennie’s passion for quality is easily recognized. It’s no wonder that the dining experience created by Jennie and Jason exuded all our expectations. The love for their trade was felt in each delicious bite.
Sonoma Foise Gras Toast, Blood Orange Marmalade
Mushroom and Avacado Toast, Olixir Olive Oil
Nigiri Style Cayucos Red Abalone
Coriander crusted yellowfin Tuna
Purple Potatoes, Green Beans, Hard Egg
Blistered Cherry Tomato
Charred Lemon Aioli
Pork Two Ways
Brined Pork Loin and Crispy Pork Belly
Creamy Polenta, Roasted Sweet Peppers
Caramelized Shallot, Herb Salsa Verde, Chili Oil
Winter Vegetable Cavatelli
Crispy Sage, Brown Butter, Pecorino Romano
Pasolivo Tangerine Olive Oil Cake
Trumpet and Vine Catering came to fruition in 2000 and has been creating memorable meals for events ever since. They were awarded Wedding Wire’s “Bride’s Choice” award every year since 2009.
Steins BBQ & Catering
Between the breathtaking vineyard views, the infinity pool and the large grills, the backyard at the Paso Dollhouse left the Dolls craving an at-home BBQ. Stein’s BBQ and Catering fulfilled that craving and took the experience to a whole new level.
Stein’s BBQ and Catering originated in 1981 and is known for creating lasting impressions and delicious memories, they cater events of any size, from small gatherings to large weddings. They stand by their slogan, from Nosh to Posh.
Chef Brian & Nancy Stein are very gracious hosts and created a menu that had the BBQ Gods and Goddesses mouths watering. The steins are a family affair and we enjoyed spending time with them and their children. Their daughter-in-law, Sarah brought some fabulous wines from ONX Wines that paired with the dinner flawlessly.
The Stein’s have been cooking up authentic Santa Maria Style Red Oak Pit BBQ for over 35-years and are giving folks anywhere the chance to try and recreate their taste with their custom blended spices, check out their California Blend and Love Rub Blend PitMasters Choice – They donate a portion of the proceeds to charitable ministries which just adds to the long list of why we adore the Stein Family.
Brian’s Stuffed Mushrooms
Grilled Tri-Tip or Top Sirloin
BBQ Chicken Quartered
Stein’s Famous Beans
Sweet Butter Parmesan Garlic Bread
Oak Fired Artichokes with our Balsamic Baste
& Curried Aioli
Roasted Vegetables with Garlic Butter Sauce
Nancy’s Salad featuring Field Greens, Feta, Dried Cranberries and Candied Walnuts dressed with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Gouda Mac & Cheese
Nancy made us Zinfandel brownies that were consumed at a rate that was impressive possibly under 5 minutes; they were so unique and tasty… I think we licked the crumbs.
HOW TO GET THERE
This lovely wine town is conveniently located about 30 minutes from the San Luis Obispo airport. Transportation is simple and stress free, Cru Limos made sure that everyone made it safely to and from the airport during our stay.
When planning any type of trip, most would claim the magic is in the itinerary, but Caitlin and Danielle know that each moment that isn’t planned are the ones that create memories to last a lifetime.
When you wish upon a vine anything is possible in Paso! Paso Robles offered more enchantment then we ever dreamed possible. Until our next blogger trip, CHEERS!
A very special thank you to Katie Kinney and Ashley Barba – our two fantastic friends and photographers who joined us on this trip. We love you both dearly and are excited for more adventures to come.