The Pleasant Valley Wine Trail is the newest group of Paso Robles wineries and businesses joining together to provide visitors with one easy route to premium wine tasting and olive oil sampling.
On a crisp winter day, a friend and I meandered down the country roads to visit a few of the wineries located on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail. The wineries we visited are all small producer family owned and operated so not only was I able to taste some award winning wines and olive oil, I met the people who pour their hearts and souls into the land to produce a dream come true, their own wines!
Ranchita Canyon Vineyard is owned and operated by Bill and Teresa Hinrichs. I met Teresa and as she lead me to the tasting room which is also a barrel room. It was cold that afternoon but as Teresa spoke about the wines Ranchita Canyon was producing, her warmth filled the room. After tasting a 2007 Zinfandel, 2005 Cabernet Franc, 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, it was very difficult deciding which wine to purchase. We choose the 2005 Cabernet Franc and the 2006 Sauvignon Blanc.
Ranchita Canyon Vineyard
3439 Ranchita Canyon Road, San Miguel, CA 93451. 805-467-9448
Winery Open Friday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m
Tackitt Family Vineyard is owned and operated by Leon, his wife Cindy and his father Boyd Tackitt. Leon’s grandfather had started the small vineyard back in 1970, planting Gewürztraminer vines. “With my retirement from a 28-year career in the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal community coming into view, my wife and I saw our modest family vineyard as a wonderful possibility. In the summer of 1998, Cindy and I decided to take what my grandfather had started to the next level, and Tackitt Family Vineyards began.”
The tasting room is also in the barrel room. The Tackitts are in the process of building a
tasting room just below the barrel room. We had to try the Gewürztraminer. Cindy brought out a small tray of cheese and crackers. My friend remarked that this wine would go really well with Thai food. Leon’s face lit up and his eyes sparkled. It was like Leon was saying without words, “you understand my wine.” We also tried the 2005 Merlot and 2007 Swisscolena Zinfandel. Again we were faced with a hard choice and purchased the Zinfandel.
Tackitt Family Vineyard
6640 Von Dollen Road, San Miguel, CA 93451.
Please call 805 296-0866
Terrace Hill Olive Oil is owned and operated by Uwe and Martina Henze. Martina told me that you “retire to do the things that you love”. Martina was born in France, has lived in many U.S cities including NYC. Her husband, Uwe, was born in Germany, was a chef in Europe and the U.S. and keeps his eye on the olive orchard. Although Martina was born in France she has, over years come to love to culinary experience of Italy and Spain and this shows in her olive oil produced on site.
The olive oil tasting room is right next to their house. The view from Terrace Hill Olive Oil Co is reminiscent of the hillsides in Tuscany. As the olive oil produced are award-winning Tuscan varietals olive oils and flavored oils. The olive oil is the best I have tasted. I learned the correct way to taste olive oil. You do not dunk the bread into the small cup. When tasting olive oil, you pour the small tasting in your mouth and breathe in so the oil coats the inside of your mouth and let it linger. We could not leave without purchasing the Estate Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Terrace Hill Olive Oil
Hours of operation: Saturday and Sunday from 11a.m. to 5 p.m.
2620 California Poppy Lane, San Miguel, CA 93451 805-467-1906www.terracehilloliveco.com
I am not going to go into detail about the specifics of each wine because I believe that each person is their own connoisseur of wine. I will say that the area produces excellent Zinfandels and the wineries are experimenting with different varietals, such as Cabernet Franc and Malbec. I will tell you that we thoroughly enjoyed all of our purchases. We plan to go back to the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail to try the other wineries.
This is just a small sampling of what is happening all over the Paso Robles countryside. People doing what they love — a passion, understanding and commitment to the land that surrounds them. Their labors have produced award winning wines and olive oil. To have a sense of the land and the growing process completes a cycle, creating a oneness with the original pioneers of the Paso Robles Region.
Two Wine Tasting Tips I would like to share with you. Research the wineries before you go. You know what types of wine you enjoy or would like to try. If you are new to the Wine Tasting experience, I would suggest taking a guided wine tour. The guides know the Paso Robles Wine Region very well and can make suggestions based on your likes and dislikes.
by Debbie Nagle