Central Coast

How does a Frenchman who has searched the world for the ideal place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon grapes end up in Paso Robles? Data. Daniel Daou measures everything. After moving from France to California with a degree in computer engineering, he built many successful technology companies under a company he and his brother created. In [...]

Remember when you first discovered your favorite band and you saw them playing in a small venue where you stood close enough to see the lead singer sweat? And then that band became everyone else’s favorite and now plays in places like the Greek Theatre, and you need binoculars to see them. That’s what it [...]

When I’m traveling along the Central Coast, I spend a significant amount of my time in Paso Robles. There are so many new wineries to explore, and the wine quality is getting better each year. Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande and York Mountain are all part of San Luis Obispo Country, but many of my favorite wineries are [...]

I’ve been traveling up and down the Central Coast for the last few years peddling barrels to some of the top winemakers in California. I’ve discovered some new small projects started by winemakers who work for larger, more established wineries. Driven by their (insane) passions, they couldn’t resist the urge to have a brand of their own [...]


La Cuadrilla means the crew in Spanish. You’ll see these words printed on one of the Stolpman wines, a wine that’s the pride of their vineyard crew. Each year since 1994, the Stolpmans’ vineyard manager, Ruben Solorzano, gives his crew a two-acre block of land to farm on their own. By withholding any instructions for [...]

When I first met Brandon Sparks-Gillis, he was speaking passionately about rocks. He was holding one in his hand – a grayish green-colored rock called Serpentinite. It came from the vineyard where he grows his Sauvignon Blanc in a new appellation called Happy Canyon (sounds like a great place, right?). Brandon often carries rocks around [...]

It’s easy to lose orientation in the Santa Cruz Mountains, looping through miles of thick redwood trunks on narrow, winding roads that rise and fall in elevation. Despite the fact that one of my favorite vineyards is on Memory Lane, I can never remember how to get there and get lost every time I go. [...]

I had a near-perfect day on Sunday.  I attended Big Basin Vineyard’s Spring Release Celebration in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one of just two days a year owner Bradley Brown opens his winery to the public. Bradley’s vineyard is just up the road from the Big Basin Redwood State Park. The views of the tree-covered [...]

Walter Georis takes multi-tasking to a whole new level. He owns a winery, a vineyard, three restaurants and a record label. He is an artist, musician and grape grower. Fortunately he had the sense to hire a winemaker as he couldn’t possibly master one more thing! And it’s an interesting story how he found his [...]

Aero, Irie and Bleecker are important members of the Smith family and fixtures at the Paraiso winery. Aero is an eight-year-old golden retriever who loves bologna sandwiches; Irie is a five-year-old Australian Shephard who sneezes when he meets new people; and Bleecker is a two-and-a-half-year-old Golden Doodle who likes to frolic in the fountain with [...]