Wine & Beer

Planning a perfect weekend in wine country? Try SLO County, new travel book says

What happens to wine grapes after they’re harvested?

Freshly harvested Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec grapes wait to be processed at the Halter Ranch winery in Paso Robles.
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Freshly harvested Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec grapes wait to be processed at the Halter Ranch winery in Paso Robles.

Lonely Planet is raising a glass to the Central Coast wine scene.

The Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo wine regions are showcased in the latest book from the popular travel guide book publisher.

“Wine Trails: United States & Canada” invites readers to “plan 40 perfect weekends in wine country.” The 256-page book, available Oct. 16, explores North American wine regions ranging from the obscure to the obvious — including Portland, Oregon; Walla Walla, Washington; Colorado’s Grand Valley and New York’s Finger Lakes region.

California dominates the list of can’t-miss destinations for wine lovers with 14 entries. And two are devoted to the Central Coast.

Chamisal Vineyards, Center of Effort, Talley Vineyards and Qupé are among the local wineries that earn mentions in the entry for San Luis Obispo, which also covers businesses in Arroyo Grande and Santa Maria.

“It’s hard to find a more ideal region to enjoy the California landscape than this,” the book reads, praising the area’s white-sand beaches, mountain trails and bohemian coffee shops. Local attractions such as the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa in Avila Beach and Morro Strand State Beach in Morro Bay also get shout-outs.

Paso Robles, meanwhile, earns nods for its ranches, restaurants and Rhone-style wines “bursting with flavor.”

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“Wine Trails: United States & Canada” salutes a number of wineries in Paso Robles, Santa Margarita and Templeton — including Ancient Peaks Winery, Halter Ranch Vineyard, Deovlet Wines and Tablas Creek Vineyard & Winery. Also mentioned are Hearst Castle in San Simeon and the Ravine Water Park in Paso Robles.

Lonely Planet’s book arrives in the midst of major buzz for San Luis Obispo County’s wine scene.

In January, Wine Enthusiast magazine named the San Luis Obispo coast as one of its top 10 wine getaways of 2018.

In September, Forbes magazine toasted Paso Robles as a top California spot for family-made wine, while USA Today named Paso Robles’ Garagiste Wine Festival the best wine festival in the country.

A birds-eye view of Derbyshire and Stolo Family Vineyards on the North Coast of SLO county. This land could become part of the SLO Coast AVA if approved.

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