In an ongoing series, Keren Weinstein, our Guest Life-Balance Editor, took a much needed trip. More than the need to go on vacation to a new locale, she wanted to find her own sense of balance and thus Project Detox began. Last time, we headed out on a road trip. Today, Keren shows us that a tour in wine country is a must.
Pictures taken by Keren Weinstein in Paso Robles Wine Country.
"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance” Benjamin Franklin
What’s great about road trippin' is having a plan and going with the flow. It is exploration with freedom and relaxation.
In San Luis Obispo (SLO), local wines were big on the menus and wine tasting bars boasting local wines seemed to be everywhere. I was very close to the central CA vineyards. I could almost taste it. Next stop – wine country. I HAD to experience it.
It seems as if wherever you stand in California, a vino experience is lurking around the corner. If you are not surfing or hiking, you are drinking in the life balance. Either way, the good life is embedded into their every day culture.
True. I am a wine enthusiast. I simply Love a glass of great (red) wine.
Wine is Vintage. Modern. Biblical. Royal. Spiritual. Relaxing. Healthy. Celebratory. Elegant. Fun & Delic! They don’t call it “the mommy’s sippy cup” for no reason!
Like The Meal of the Moment, wine tasting (& even drinking a glass of wine at dinner or night out with friends) is a form of Mindful Eating. You acknowledge. Smell. Taste. Savor. Enjoy. Time freezes and then moves at a super slow speed. You live in the moment.
But tasting it at the vineyard--where you can learn the art & history of its making, actually see, smell, taste the grape itself, feel the energy of the wine--is unmatched. You truly experience the Experience.
Vineyards and wine countries are good for [my] heart. I may ‘love’ wine, but I am ‘in love’ with the environment with which it is harvested & made. Wine country regions are all unique. They have different grape varietals, experiences and vibes and can range from small family owned boutique style to large commercial corporations. But one thing they all have in common is that it is always an amazing life-balancing experience with grape perfect weather, beautiful landscaping, what seems like endless fields of grapes on vast rolling hills or some sort of a stunning backdrop, local produce or flower farms nearby, scent of lavender, olive groves, gourmet olive oils, bread and cheese.
It’s a relaxed atmosphere. You kick back and have fun. Smile from the heart.
Yes, I do agree with the saying that life is simply too short to drink bad wine. Obvi, if you can get to any of the other majors like Napa, Tuscany, Rioja Bordeaux or a region that harvests the varietal you love, you are ensured a wine tasting experience full of elegance and complexity (and of course cases of wines you just have to buy and take home). But wine country as an experience can be had and appreciated in virtually Any vineyard. And how great to go off the beaten path and discover amazing spots, wines, boutique style tasting rooms, lavender farms, locally made soaps, art, antiques.
Wine country rates very high on my list of places to visit and things to do for life balance. Especially when you are on a detox trip away from the city, work, business, children, husband. Even if you are going ‘just for the experience’ and cannot drink the wine because you are either pregnant, kosher, the designated driver, etc, you should still go for the sake of win(e)ding down.
Paso Robles Wine Country Experiences on Project Detox.
The ride to Paso Robles from SLO (which actually means "pass of the oaks") was filled with beautiful clusters of oak trees lining the streets and rolling hills. With the windows rolled down & my Chanel Sunglasses on, I looked out onto the scenic vineyards, breathed in the fresh air and instantly felt the benefits.
With over 170 wineries in Paso Robles, I was not short of places to go and things to do. Just short of time!!! I discovered a lot of hidden charms. First off, I learned that Paso Robles was rich in tradition of health & spa and was in the 1880’s a sought-out health resort destination known for its bath houses and mineral hot springs along the Camino Real trail. I discovered an area with great Paso wines West of Highway 101 as they are close to the Pacific Ocean & are planted in limestone soils (as with some of France’s finest vineyards). Found vineyards with wines made by the “Rhône Rangers” (focusing on grape varietals of the Rhône Valley of France). Lots of family-owned boutique style wineries tucked away in the end of winding roads. Commercialized vineyards with colorful landscaping that sell amazing wine enthusiast inspired products and gadgets in their Boutiques.
Breathtaking picnic options and bring-your-own-al-fresco-dining spots (OMG Eating outdoors! My absolute fave.) that make you feel like you are living the moment in an oil painting.
One ‘wrong’ turn and we ended up following a winding road to the best time we had in Paso Robles. Cass Vineyards & Winery was a great experience and departure from the standard winery. A family friendly vineyard (owned and run by the Cass family) that not only grows ENTAV certified grapes to make their Estate Grown wine, but is one of the rare places that actually has an onsite Café (indoor and outdoor seating) serving lunch pairings in addition to the cracker-cheese-chocolate in most wineries. The music and vibe was fun. Young. They host events with live music and have cooking & wine classes. Their space is merchandised with homemade cheese, jellies and local products, from food to art and music. I was having genuine fun. The secret to aging to perfection!
Don’t say you didn’t hear it from this grapevine.
It’s never good to keep things Bottled up. ‘Any day is a reason pop the cork…and breathe’.
Keren Weinstein is a seasoned professional in Fashion & Beauty with over 12 years in Integrated Marketing, Advertising and Celebrity Fashion Styling