Paso Robles is California’s hottest new wine destination. With over 200 wineries and 30,000 acres under vine, Paso (as the locals refer to it) is the state’s largest geographic appellation. Located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles it’s an unusual destination that still feels a little bit off the beaten path.
To get a sense of the history of the area and why it’s become a premier wine destination, take a tour of Calcareous Vineyards with Outback Trail Rides. Rolling hills are covered in tall grasses and huge oak trees: here at 1200 feet above the Salinas valley, you can imagine Paso Robles when it was mostly cattle ranches and almond farms. This is considered one of the best spots for scenic views in Paso Robles.
Outback Trail Rides offers a tour of the vineyards via a traditional horse-drawn wagon, or on horseback. Calcareous is over 400 acres of what was once a 700 acre cattle ranch. Today about twenty-seven acres are planted with wine grapes.
I opted for the wagon ride so that I could focus on the scenery. It reminded me a little of my home state of Texas, minus the cattle. If you want to take photos the wagon ride is a good option.. it’s pretty hard to wrangle a horse and camera at the same time. Not to mention the wagon ride includes a bottle of Calcareous wine.
Your driver and guide Mick (an Aussie with a great sense of humor and accent), will keep you informed and entertained as he guides the horses up and down the hills, stopping frequently to admire the expansive vistas. And to drink more wine, of course. Never fear, you don’t have to be to be a cowboy or even a wine drinker to enjoy a wagon ride with Outback Trail Rides.
Alternatively you can get off the beaten path on horseback. Chose either a one hour ride or add an additional half hour starting at $75 per person. Outback also offers horseback riding on the beach just 30 minutes west of Paso Robles.
Wagon rides are $25 per person and remember, that includes a bottle of Calcareous wine.
Contact: Outback Trail Rides @gmail.com
Calcareous Vineyards is located at 3430 Peachy Canyon Rd.
Many thanks to Travel Paso for providing me with this opportunity to see Paso Robles from a different perspective.