Beach. Wine. Divine!
Tasting along the Avila Wine Trail
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Located equidistant from The San Francisco Bay Area, the greater Los Angeles Area and the Central Valley is one of California's best kept wine tasting secrets: Avila Beach. Avila (pronounced À-Va-Luh) offers the perfect blend of a beautiful ocean beach, balmy climate (average winter temperature is 67°; average summer temperature is 72°), resort-style hotels, delightful ocean-front restaurants and outstanding wineries.
The Avila Wine Trail (AvilaWineTrail.com) is composed of eight wine tasting venues – a perfect weekend getaway for wine tasting. Each winery offers exceptional vintages with grapes either grown locally or sourced from premier vineyards from Paso Robles to Santa Barbara. All of the wineries are small, family-owned and operated and each winemaker brings a unique point of view to their wines. On any given day there is an excellent chance that if you visit one of the tasting rooms, you will be chatting with the winemaker or one of his/her family members! From Italian-style Barberas to robust Rhones, Spanish-influenced Tempranillos and beautiful Burgundies and Bordeaux, there is a wine for every palate on the Avila Wine Trail.
Morovino Winery, just steps from Avila's beachfront promenade, features award-winning, Italian-style wines and a relaxed setting. Their wines are approachable and easy-drinking, using premium grapes from N. Santa Barbara County. At Morovino, the mood is fun and upbeat and the vibe is beach casual. The tasting room is filled with local art, and they also feature live music on a regular basis.
WINES TO TRY: Morovino's light and lively Sangiovese is bright with cranberry and pomegranate notes with a spicy finish. The off-dry Pinot Grigio is so smooth and easy-to-drink they sometimes refer to it as “beach juice” in the tasting room. (Morovino.com)
Peloton Cellars focuses on high quality, very small lot wines. The wines are a result of their own detail-focused wine making and high-quality farming practices – the proprietors own one of the Central Coast's premier vineyard management companies. The tasting room brings together their love of wine and cycling in the décor and accessories.
WINES TO TRY: Peloton's Criterium Bordeaux Blend is bold and rich with smooth tannins and a lingering finish. The bright Albarino is a great summertime (or anytime) sipper. (PelotonCellars.com)
Alapay Cellars has been serving Avila Beach wine tasters for over 14 years. Their multiple award-winning selections include Sparkling, White, Red, and Dessert wines. Winemaker/owners Scott and Rebecca Remmenga make distinctive French Oak aged wines and pride themselves on offering something perfect for every palate.
WINES TO TRY: Their Rebekah reserve red blend is velvety with the perfect hint of fruit. Alapay's beautiful viognier is hypnotic with flavors of white peach and honey. (AlapayCellars.com)
Avila Wine Company offers a selection of personally curated wines from the Central Coast, N. California, and select international wines. Whether you are wine tasting or enjoying wines by the glass or bottle, the environment is relaxed, fun and informative. Avila Wine Company also offers craft beers and small bites.
WINES TO TRY: Avila Wine Company has an incredible array of 200+ wines available, including allocated and hard-to-find vintages. (AvilaWineCompany.com)
Croma Vera, loosely translated from Latin, means true colors. And the goal of the winemakers is to allow each vineyard to reveal its true and unique colors. Croma Vera specializes in Spanish varietals such as Tempranillo and Albariño and also offers Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and blends. The Croma Vera tasting room is spacious with several seating areas ideal for small groups.
WINES TO TRY: Croma Vera's Tempranillo Joven is fresh and luscious. They also offer a crisp and beautiful Tempranillo Rose.(Cromavera.com)
Sinor-Lavallee was founded in 1997 by Mike Sinor (self-avowed “Pinot Guy”) and Cheri La Vallee-Sinor. Sinor-Lavalle wines are produced from the grapes of their estate vineyard near Avila Beach. Their focus is on the terroir of their estate vineyard and showcasing those unique influences in the wines they produce.
WINES TO TRY: Sinor-Lavallee's White Label Pinot Noir from their Bassi Ranch estate is a taut, focused expression of the Pinot Noir grape. The Bassi Ranch Chardonnay offers a smooth mouthful of peach, citrus and minerals. (SinorLavallee.com)
The quaint Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards is nestled in the See Canyon just a few minutes drive from downtown Avila Beach. In addition to Kelsey's award-winning wines, their unique apple-grape blends and hard ciders pay homage to See Canyon's apple-growing heritage. Kelsey offers both indoor and outdoor wine tasting and a bevy of peacocks to serenade you while you taste.
WINES TO TRY: Kelsey's Merlot is filled with ripe cherry and spice notes. The unique Golden Delicious apple-grape blend is light, crisp and refreshing. (Kelseywine.com)
A new addition to the Avila Wine Trail, Silver Horse Winery was established in 1996 and was a staple in the Paso Robles wine region for more than 20 years. The new Avila Beach tasting room is located in a 100-year-old school house just minutes from downtown. The tasting room is warm, authentic and inviting and the outdoor patio area is great for small groups.
WINES TO TRY: The Silver Horse Pegasus is an unforgettable Bordeaux blend with delightful mocha and spice notes. The Quatro Blanc white blend is tart and minerally – a great pairing with cheeses or fish. (Silverhorse.com)
Eating, Sleeping and Playing along the Avila Wine Trail
In addition to great wineries, Avila is home to intriguing shops and galleries as well as a multitude of beach-oriented recreation. Activities in and around the community range from golf on a par-71 course to stand up paddle boarding, surf lessons, whale watching, kayaking and fishing. For more relaxed diversions, dine at one of the exceptional local restaurants or enjoy a spa retreat and a soak in a mineral hot springs.
Foodies will appreciate the Ocean Grill (oceangrillavila.com) – an ocean-front restaurant featuring seafood, local produce and steaks grilled to perfection. The Ocean Grill, like all restaurants in Avila will waive corkage fees on a local bottle of wine.
For overnight accommodations, check out the Avila La Fonda hotel (avilalafonda.com), a boutique hotel with an early-California aesthetic and a commitment to an exceptional experience. From breakfast croissants to the nightly Manager's Wine Reception and evening pie and ice cream, the Avila La Fonda hotel offers old-world service with contemporary amenities.
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