Yes Way in CA
One of our favorite activitiés is driving up the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to wine country to explore the region’s many delicious rosés. We liken the Central Coast of California to the Provence of America for being situated beautifully between the mountains and the sea. The breezy ocean air and warm inland climate impart a flavor to the rosés that call to mind those from South of France while also being distinctly Californian. And where there’s good wine there’s good food, a priority when traveling anywhere! These are the highlights and tips from our brief but wonderful trip last month.
The recently upgraded roadside motel, Skyview Los Alamos, is reason enough to visit Santa Barbara wine country. The decor is eclectic and modern, the rooms superbly comfortable, and they have possibly the most instagrammable pool ever. Make sure to stay in for a night and eat the local trout at the hip hotel restaurant, Norman’s.
For breakfast in Los Alamos, we were recommended Bob’s Well Bread. Mikey Giugni of Scar of the Sea said it’s, “the best bread and breakfast in between LA and SF.” Mikey wasn’t lying. We have two words for you: Kouign Amman.
Visit Demetria Estate for gorgeous vineyard views and topnotch still and sparkling rosé made by Australian winemaker Harry Waye, who we’ve jokingly given the middle name “Yes”. Before heading there we picked up delicious sandwiches at Panino in Los Olivos and picnicked over a tasting on the lovely patio. The bucolic road from Los Olivos to Demetria is out-of-this-world gorgeous.
We had the great pleasure of meeting Andrew Jones of Field Recordings at his new vineyard in Paso Robles. Andrew is known for making those delicious Alloy Everyday rosé wine cans and recently collaborated on a canned rosé and grapefruit spritzer, Foxie, with our buddy Josh from Hoxie Spritzer. Andrew’s wine is laid-back and delicious with the best California vibes. Stop by the tasting room and try/buy everything.
On the drive back down from Paso Robles we stopped to meet Gina Hildebrand, a winemaker and farmer currently transitioning the Chene Vineyard in the Edna Valley to biodynamics. It was amazing to catch up the young winemaker, cool and confident among the vines where she will make Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Gina also has her own label that she started last year, Lady of the Sunshine (which perfectly captures her vibe) and is releasing a Sauvignon Blanc in July from the organic Coquelicot Vineyard in Solvang and then a Pinot Noir in August from Lindsley Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains. “The goal with Lady of the Sunshine is to work with organic or better vineyards and make wine with minimal intervention that are transparent and pure,” she said. We can’t wait to follow her career and try all of the wines she has coming our way.
After our walk through the vines we stopped nearby for a quick stroll on Pismo Beach making it back to the hotel in time for sunset. Our top tip for any trip to California Wine Country is having your wine and destination pre-planned to perfectly catch and thoroughly enjoy the sunset. You might even end up spending the whole day selecting the wine…
All photos by Sara Kerens