Mar 21, 2008


I find myself here, a month after my initial 'Bobby Wino' post, finally making my first tasting room driven blog posting. I found myself this afternoon at Calcareous Vineyard because I closed my eyes and put my finger in the "middle" to Paso Robles wine country. Granted that's not exactly a scientific approach but you have to start somewhere.

First of all, the site for the Calcareous winery is incredibly beautiful. There are 360 degree views for miles and they provide some lovely umbrellaed tables outside. But something I don't understand is the building itself. It's situated on the top of this beautiful hill but the winery building makes no attempt at blending in with the surroundings let alone adding any aesthetic value to the site. The landscaping around the front of the winery is nice but the building is an eye sore. And the outside picnic area has great tables but the the backside of the winery gets a better view back toward Adelaida Road than the patio tables for guests. But having said all this about how disappointing the building is, the remaining view is still worthwhile. Plus, there are a couple of vineyard dogs that loll about the grounds and, other than their terrible breathe, they're a very nice addition to the experience!

The tasting room is a surprisingly small space with no windows other than those facing the industrial interior of the barrel room. The afternoon I visited the cellar workers were blasting the music from the movie Juno,which I found to be a delightful soundtrack for my tasting! The fellow that was pouring for me seemed very knowledgeable on where the grapes are grown and purchased versus the varietals that are grown on the property. Sadly, the very friendly pourer was a bit scattered and had a hard time keeping track of where the various tasting parties were on the list. But in general the attention he did spend with me was very nice and he included a couple wines that weren't on the tasting room list, which is always a good way to make tasters happy.

Overall I think Calcareous is a worthwhile stop. If you're trying to decide on where to go to enjoy your packed lunch this is the place because the views are unbeatable. The wine is generally lighter than many Paso wineries and I enjoyed the whites that were available, in particular the Roussanne and the Viognier. I think they could use a bit of work on their presentation...they're just not taking full advantage of the physical location they have. This is a spot that I'm curious to know what others think of it so send me an email with your thoughts.

*Photo is from the Calcareous website:*

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