Family Tips for Event Season at the Wineries


The vines are growing that grassy green first growth of the new season and that means special event season has started at the wineries! Sure, people get married at wineries, I did (and it was the best), but what I’m focusing on here are the events that are open to the public: Wine Festivals, Concerts, Cooking Demonstrations, Food and Wine Pairings, BBQ’s, Art Shows. even Plays and Melodramas. If you are lucky, you may find a winery or region that is showcasing many of these attractions on the same weekend.

20120506-b-paso-robles-wine-festivalFestivals and Concerts
Wine Festivals that are taking place at a central location are really more of an adults only event, but there is usually much going on at individual tasting rooms as well. These events sometimes cost a few dollars, but you can typically get a discount for the designated driver. Check in advance to find the wineries that are the most welcoming to kids and make the wines you prefer. Then you can pick and choose where you will eat and where you might want to stay for the live music. Many wineries have complimentary live music on the weekends. The kids really love concerts, the energy is palpable and we love to expose them to different styles of music. Get there early enough to find a spot under some shady trees. I suggest sitting near the back of the crowd. That way the kids can get loud and dance around and you won’t spend the afternoon apologizing. The businesses really appreciate the courtesy and you will have a more relaxing time of it.

Be Prepared
Always bring lots of water! Take snacks for the kids as well, you never know if they will like what is available to eat or when the caterer will run out of food. Keep some sweatshirts in the car just in case a cool breeze starts blowing off the Pacific. Hats and sunblock are mandatory at any outdoor event on the West Coast. Bring folding chairs, a blanket if the show goes into the evening. Is it picnic style? Some wineries allow you to bring your own sustenance. Just don’t bring your own wine! Speaking of, I aways buy a bottle to support the winery and if we really like it, more to take home. Remember, most wineries discount by the half and full case. I know of a few that take a little more off with a multiple case orders as well. If you are smitten, try their Wine Club. You’ll be given a heavier discount and receive wines delivered to your door (most states) several times a year.

It’s about Family Fun
          Don’t forget to stop by to make your winery event choices painless and easy. With a little pre-planning and preparation, you will create a memorable event for the whole family.

April 24, 2014 |

Paso Robles Wins Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Region of the Year Award

Eberle Vineyards

A beautiful view of Eberle’s Estate vineyard in Paso Robles, Ca.

Congratulations are in order as the Paso Robles wine region has finally received the deserved recognition that many of us have acknowledged for years.

The wine region grows over forty varietals in the fifth largest American Viticultural Area in the country. Blessed with a  long growing season peppered with hot days ensures peak ripeness and the cool evenings help retain the acidity ultra premium wine grapes require. Over the past year the region has added 11 sub appellations to better reflect the variance of climate and terroir. This demarcation can greatly serve both the winemaker as he knows what grows best in what location and the consumer, so one can focus the search for a favored varietal and flavors a specific terroir imparts.

Of course we care about quality and innovation, but we will always apply the family focus to Family Friendly Wineries, in essence giving the vacationing family the chance to visit an oasis on the sometimes bumpy holiday road. When visiting a winery tasting room we want to be welcomed as potential clients and not having to feel like we are walking on eggshells. Parents have enough stress in our daily lives without accruing more on vacation! Many of the Wineries in this innovative and creative region are very appreciative of visiting families and are happy to make sure the whole of the family is entertained, not just the adult guinea pig sampling the wine. Eberle winery, mentioned in the article is one such establishment. Gary Eberle was one of the first winemakers in the state to plant Syrah when everyone else was lost in a Cabernet/Chardonnay stupor. Younger and smaller wineries, many which are members of the Garagste (renegade small-lot wine makers) are equally inviting. The Vines at the Mary Crest encapsulates this renegade spirit with zestful charm.

As with many other wine regions, Paso Robles is endowed with a plethora of delectable eateries as well as a wide range of lodging options. There is a burgeoning craft brew movement as well, but we’ll save those details for another posting.

Whether you are on a family vacation or just passing through, make Paso Robles one of your destinations or pit-stops, you’ll enjoy the quality of the hospitality the Paso Robles wine region can offer.

November 14, 2013 |
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