Past Meetup

Road Trip to SLO & Paso Robles: Bubblegum Alley, Missions & Wines

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Please Note: Read ALL the directions below BEFORE you RSVP 'Yes' for this event.

1) I am hosting this Road Trip for both Gay Foodies and Pleasure Palate.

2) You MUST call the Holiday Inn Express immediately and reserve your hotel room. The cost is around $300 for 2 nights (September 15th and 16th): (

Because this is prime time tourist season for wineries, many of the hotels are already booked so don't hesitate in reserving your room NOW!!!

Its always easier to make a hotel room reservation in advance rather than later. After all, you can always cancel your hotel room reservation if you have a change of plans.

3) You do not need to attend every point of interest I plan to visit on this trip. If you want to just focus on wine tasting that's perfectly fine, but you will need to have your own designated driver and car since you won't be able to carpool with me.

4) I will arrange for a carpool - we will either leave from a designated place in Valley Village. Because there will be a lot of driving involved, plan on giving your driver at least $80 to compensate for gas and car maintenance.

6) Because this is a road trip and I need to get along with you for 3 days in a row, in order to attend this event, you must have at least attended a couple of events that I have hosted. If we have never met before, then please do not sign up for this event.

7) Plan on spending a total of $100 to $200 per day for food, wine tastings, wine bottle purchases, any museum admission costs, memorabilia, etc.

I was originally planning a trip to San Luis Obispo and Pas Robles during Spring this year, but other events kept on getting the way so I am hosting it for September, which is prime tourist time since that's when they are harvesting the grapes. We will stop at points of interests along with wineries between the two towns. So come join me in this hedonistic 3 day road trip!

Day One (Sunday):

7 AM - Leave LA (bring snacks!!!)

10 AM - brunch at Rancho Nipomo BBQ at Nipomo :

12:00 PM - Sculptural Slam Exhibit at SLO:

1:30 PM - Shadowrun Vineyards:

2:30 PM - Wine tasting at Clautiere:

3:30 PM - we will take a break and have fine cheeses at Vivant:

Around 4 PM or 5 PM, we will check into our hotel at Paso Robles.

We will then stroll around town until 7 PM

7 PM, we will have dinner at Artisan:

Day Two (Monday)

7 AM - Eat light breakfast and get ready

9 AM -Tasting and tour of Alle-Pia Fine Cured Meats:

10 AM - Visit Mission San Miguel:

11 AM - Visit Thacher Winery:

12 PM - Lunch at Thomas Hill Organics:

1:30 PM - Visit Dunning Vineyards:

2:30 PM - Sheep milk ice cream tasting and tour at Negranti Creamery

3:30 PM - Visit Terry Hoagevineyards:

4:30 PM - Olive oil tasting at Paso Olivo:

5:30 PM to 6:30 PM - go back to hotel to rest and freshen up for dinner.

7 PM - Dinner at Il Cortile Ristorante:

Day Three (Tuesday)

7 AM - Eat a heavy breakfast and check out of hotel

8:30 AM - Visit Bubblegum Alley:

9 AM - San Luis Obispo Mission:

10 AM - Visit Chamisal Vineyard:

11 AM - Visit Sextant wines:

12 PM - Lunch at Morro Bay at Giovanni's Fish Market:

1:30 PM or 2 PM - Drinks and photos at Madonna Inn:

2:30 PM - Visit Arroyo Grande for dessert with ice cream at Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab:

and chocolate truffles at Chocolate Sheep: (

3:30 PM - Head back to LA or...

Bonus Round!!!

Kynski for wine tasting at Arroyo Grand:

Wineries we will try to visit on while we are in Paso Robles recommended by a firend of a friend that lives and works in the area...

East Side: Tobin James – the furthest out on Hwy 46 East. Historic interest (it’s an old pony express/stagecoach stop), neat tasting room with amazing carved wood bars and lots of fun folks. But, you won’t find anything here (wine-wise) that you can’t find at your local grocery. Still, there’s no fee to taste, so this as a first stop to working our way west on Hwy 46 East.

If you love the inky dark deliciousness of Petit Sirah, the East Side has some fine examples. Penman Springs – tiny tasting room & not much atmosphere, but their Petit Sirah will knock your socks off. Nice vineyard views from just outside the tasting room make for good photo ops.

Vina Robles – typical large/grand “tourist-y” tasting room, but they do good wine there. They also have a small art gallery and just recently opened an amazing outdoor ampitheater on their property. Good views of the East Side valley as well.

Eberle – Historic interest because, well, Gary Eberle is a legend in the area - free tours of their "caves". They also have stuff in the tasting room that you won’t find in the store. **NOTE: Before making any purchases, check with the Albertson’s on the way out of town. They carry 90% of what the wineries want to sell you, often for much, much less!

West Side: Castoro Cellars - pretty location/winery/grounds & nice tasting room. Good wine w/stuff not found in the stores. Four Vines - not your mama's tasting room/experience.

Opolo - dear god in heaven, is there anything more magnificent than their Mountain Zinfandel? Nope, didn't think so. They often have locally produced sausages on the grill just outside the tasting room.

Far Out: Justin - because you don't want to go all the way to Paso and say you didn't make it to Justin. High tasting fees, high prices and snobby pouring staff. Don't buy anything there that you like, call Linda (wine mgr. at Albertson's) she'll tell you if they carry it.

Halter Ranch - I must admit, their property is the big draw for me - so beautiful - covered bridge and all. their wine is OK. Tablas Creek - Rhone varietals at their finest w/some rare stuff not found in stores. Calcareous - worth the trip up the hill for just the view alone (see my cover photo) their Tres Violet is tres magnifique!