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“Stay-cation” in Paso Robles, CA

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Whether coming from San Francisco or Los Angeles, it will take you about 3 hours to get to Paso Robles – but believe me, it is well worth the trip!  This beautiful city is located along California’s famed Central Coast and is known for its great wine and hospitality.

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Start off the day with a delicious breakfast at Joe’s Place (305 Spring Street).  They have great food and large portion sizes to satisfy any appetite (their Joe’s scramble barely fit on the plate)!  The coolest part of the restaurant is the military memorabilia lining the walls in honor of those who have served this country.

 After breakfast, why not try some great wine tasting?  Paso Robles has a very rich history in winemaking and wine grape cultivation that dates back to 1790.  In the 1920’s Zinfandel was the strong influence in growth for Paso Robles.  The 60’s and 70’s brought Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  From the 80’s to the 90’s, it continued to grow in size with various Rhone and Bordeaux varieties.  Today, Paso Robles has over 200 wineries covering 26,000 acres.  Here are some of my favorite places to stop:

 Tobin James Cellars (8950 Union Road) – lots of small town charm and be sure to have their 2010 Petites Sirah “Black Magic” paired with a Tatuaje Reserva cigar

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Rockin R Winery (8500 Union Road) – quantities are extremely limited since they are a smaller facility, but be sure to grab the 2010 Revolution and Europa bottles for the road to pair with your Nat Sherman Banker cigar

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Barr Estate Winery (6950 Union Road) – owned by a great husband and wife team, you can’t go wrong with any of their bottles…my favorite is the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and you should definitely pair with a Mayimbe by AJ Fernandez

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Sextant Estate Winery (2324 W. Highway 46) – great personal service even when it is crowded and plenty of highly rated wines to enjoy…definitely checkout the 2011 “Wheelhouse” Zinfandel and pair it with your Payne Mason Cigar (I recommend DC Maestro #4)

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If you are looking for some great golf, start the morning off with a round of golf at Hunter Ranch Golf Club, one of the best Central Coast golf courses.  It offers unparalleled fairways lined with century-old oak trees, lakes, and natural grasses.  A true golfer’s dream and well within budget, especially if you catch their 9 hole special.

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End your evening with a down-home dinner at Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ (1125 24th Street).  You will definitely want to try their famous stack of onion rings as a starter to share and, to get a taste of all their delicious barbecue, try their Bubba’s Combo.  Ask anyone in town and they will tell you the Big Bubba’s is definitely some of the best BBQ you will find in all of Central California.  Once you finish eating, be brave and ride their mechanical bull (or at least watch someone else do it to get a good laugh)!

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Overall, Paso Robles is a city with welcoming small-town charm, but world class people, restaurants, and  wineries that will offer a great time.

Myron Gooch Sr.

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