Sunday, June 24: We drove up to Paso Robles. We visited three east side wineries (Silver Horse, Maloy O’Neill, and Chateau Margene). Silver Horse is in town of San Miguel, north east of Paso Robles and was reached from Highway 46 over some narrow, winding country roads. The tasting room was large and attractive, and there were few other visitors during our time there, so we received lots of attention from our hostess, a student intern from Cal Poly in SLO. We liked best and bought the 2006 Albarino (white) and 2004 Sage (red blend -very smooth). It was also quiet down the road at Maloy O’Neill. The place was nice enough, and had a great view, but was not quiet as spectacular as advertised in a Paso Robles winery guide we’d bought. The wines we liked best and bought were a 2004 Petite Sirah (red) and a 2006 Chardonnay. We also had some crackers and various dips to taste. Chateau Margene is south of Paso Robles, almost to Atascadero. It is a small, family owned place with a simple tasting bar in the same building where the wine is stored. We were served by the owner’s son. They had a couple of wines not advertised on their website for sale only at their tasting room. We enjoyed the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon very much and bought a bottle. We spent night at Summerwood Inn (see separate review). It is very nice and classy, and they added a bottle of their house table red wine (2003 Vin Rouge) as a gift. There was wine tasting and appetizers in hotel lobby (Summerwood wines) that evening, and dessert later. We had a light salad dinner at the Chili’s restaurant nearby, as we weren't terribly hungry. We went for an evening stroll down the lane from the inn, with vineyards on both sides of the road.
Monday, June 25: We had a late (for us) breakfast in the dinning room at the Inn. We then visited wineries off Highway 46 West and west of Highway 101, down windy country roads in the woods (Justin (tour reserved at 10:30 am), and Halter Ranch). The Justin tour of the grounds and caves was educational, but with a group. We enjoyed the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2006 Chardonnay the most, and bought a bottle of each. Unfortunately, they were sold out of their award wining red varietals, and we didn’t even get to taste those. Halter Ranch was nearby included an old Victorian house, thought the tasting was in a smaller building next to it. It was quiet while we were there. We liked and bought their white table wine (2006 Ranch White), and 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. We drove back to hotel room for rest and a late picnic lunch. Late in the afternoon, we drove to Linne Calodo and then Midnight Cellars for tasting. Linne Calodo’s tasting bar was also in their rustic wine storage building. It was the busiest place we’d been to so far, as the tasting bar is small and couldn’t hand the 10 people there well (with one hostess). We enjoyed the wine, though, and bought their 2005 Leona’s (a red blend) and their 2006 Contrarian (a white blend). Midnight Cellars was quieter, with just one other couple joining us mid way through our tasting. We talked a lot with the hostess about her experiences moving up from Orange County and buying her own little vineyard. We liked best and bought the red blend 2004 Gemini and 2004 Petite Sirah (Eclipse). We had wine tasting and appetizers again in hotel lobby. We skipped dinner but went to Templeton for ice cream and chocolate at Herrmann's Chocolate Laboratory & Ice Cream Parlor. We also stopped at the Olive House in Paso Robles for olive oil tasting -something different.