Wines, Pines & Coastlines

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A couple weekends ago we headed up the central coast for some much needed R&R.

For Christmas Tyler's parents got us a little getaway up to Cambria.  It is one of the sweetest and most charming towns I've ever stayed in.  The jagged coastal cliffs and rolling green hills make you feel like you're sitting on the happy side of a Steinbeck novel.

We started the trip early on Thursday morning and made it to Santa Barbara in time to stop for a lovely breakfast at Crushcakes.  I was soooo tempted by their red velvet pancakes!


We walked around SB for a bit and then got back on the road.  We stopped again in San Luis Obispo for some wine tasting and lunch.

Edna Valley Winery
Firestone's Infamous Tri-Tip Sandwich
We loved Saucelito's tasting setup!
With full bellies we headed out for the last leg of the trip and around 5 we nestled into our cozy lodge in Cambria.  We explored the sweet little town (which mostly shuts down at 5 pm!) ate a fabulous dinner at the lodge, got some famous Olallieberry pie at Linn's, and sang Karaoke!

Downtown Cambria

Tyler is in shock that I somehow got him on stage
The crowd was all senior citizens who cheered us on for an encore.  For the good of everyone involved, we didn't oblige.

The next morning we headed north a bit to see some elephant seals.  It was mating season and oh my! What a sight they were.

Sweet, sweet lovin'

We then drove south to Los Olivos where Ty surprised me with a tour of Rideau Vineyard followed by a wine tasting class.  Rideau's tasting room is in an old adobe ranch house that was redecorated in an elegant New Orleans French style.  They are known for their Rhone varietals and have a beautiful picnic area that is available for sipping and snacking.



Next we hit up Lincourt, where I tasted one of the best Chardonnays I've ever had... unfortunately it was $55 a bottle!

The last place we tasted was Firestone, where we took another (free) tour.  What a contrast this was from Rideau!  Firestone is such a large winery and thus their operation is much more expansive (and less personal, in my opinion.)  They do have a great free club membership, however, which gets you discounts at all of their sister wineries.

We ate dinner that night at Root 246 which uses all local ingredients and is a great farm-to-table option for novice foodies like us.  We passed on the wine in favor of fun cocktails.


We stayed at the Hamlet Inn which was a great, cheap option in the heart of downtown Solvang.  I would recommend earplugs if you stay there though, as it is right on the main drag.  My favorite part about this place is that they let you take their cute little beach cruisers out for free!  We took advantage of this on Saturday morning when we explored the cute little town of Solvang.  Though touristy and a bit kitschy, I love Solvang because it seems so genuine and honest.  It's not trying to be something it's not. We loved chowing down on Danish pancakes and ebelskivers and browsing the numerous quirky gift shops.

When Tyler's really happy trees sprout out of his back



Ebelskivers!
The cutest cow I ever did see

It was a fabulous weekend and such a necessary dose of relaxation.  I highly recommend visiting the central coast if you like wine.  One of the best parts about Los Olivos is that most of their tasting rooms have 2 for 1 coupons.

Thanks for reading!