We couldn’t be luckier here at LA ISLA . . . our office has the optimal location, here in the beautiful town of San Luis Obispo, California, almost perfectly in between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The weather is outstanding 98% of the year and we have the most incredible mountains, hills, beaches and rocks (for rock climbing that is) within 8 to 15 minutes from our headquarters. As if that wasn’t enough, we are only 30 minutes away from Paso Robles, which many consider the capital of the central coast wine region; which is the state’s largest! The central valley stretches for over 300 miles and produces 75% of all California wine grapes. Ahhh . . . what a treat. Needles to say, our weekends scream “wine tasting” more often than not.
In a recent “discovery” trip to Paso Robles I ran into Adelaida Cellars which is located in west Paso Robles in the town of Adelaida (pop. 700). I was so impressed by their wine and super friendly staff, that I decided to dedicate a blog post to them.
In 1964 Doc Stanley Hoffman planted some of the region’s first cabernet sauvignon. His winery at the time, the Hoffman Mountain Ranch Winery was the first large-scale modern facility in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties to plant pinot noir as well. Here is an image that we took of a 1975 Hoffman Vineyard’s Doctor’s Reserve bottle (empty . . . someone had the good luck of drinking it many years back). The bottle is kept at the back of the bar like a prized trophy, as it should be. Adelaida’s awesome wine tasting guide was kind enough to let us see it up close. Their tasting room is what I would consider small but very warm and inviting. It was raining when I visited (yes, that was one of those 2% days) and being at the Adelaida bar definitely made me feel at home and very warm. Their staff was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor – which I love, and their choice of merchandise at the store behind the tasting area had just the right items to peek your interest. I particularly loved how they had a “picnic items” section; so convenient!
The time came to taste some of Adelaida’s wines and this was when I fell in love with their cab! It was to die for! I must say that their zinfandel was also supreme. I usually am not a huge zin drinker but I found Adelaida’s to be particularly compelling. A wine they weren’t serving and which happened to be their least expensive caught my attention. There were five bottles behind the counter and after asking the staff about them they indicated the wine was their “tuesday or picninc” wine. They call it their Schoolhouse Recess Red; a mix of pinot noir, cab franc and three other grapes. I was allowed a taste and immediately purchased three bottles. It was perfect as a weekday table wine and I enjoyed it for three consecutive days after my visit (not by myself). It’s non-pretentiousness and its berry flavors accompanied my vegetarian fare nicely.
After delighting myself with their tasting options, I was invited by a staff member to see their “back office”. It was what I expected from Adelaida, a well ran operation with an air of hard work and a pure love for the art of wine making. Their stacked barrels were fun to see and the cleanliness of the place was impressive. I was also thrilled when I saw they had their own version of ice wine – in California! I tasted it but had to pass on getting a bottle. I had been spoiled with British Columbia ice wine not too long ago and it just didn’t compare. Everything else at Adelaida made up for this tiny hiccup though.
Well, in the spirit of keeping this concise, I would strongly suggest you take the time to visit Adelaida if you are visiting Paso Robles, or if you are not but are driving north or south on route 101, take the 15 minute detour and drop in for a tasting. You will not be disappointed. To learn more about Adelaida, please visit them here: www.adelaida.com .