Santa Maria Wines Extend Hot Streak

By Santa Maria Valley Visitor & Convention Bureau

The wines of the Santa Maria Valley continue to extend their hot streak, with two bottlings from Bien Nacido Vineyard being named to esteemed critic Steve Heimoff’s list of top-scoring wines of 2011 out of 4,800 wines tasted. Talk about beating the odds with remarkable fruit!

Heimoff, the West Coast editor of the Wine Enthusiast, gave the Qupe 2006 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 25th Anniversary X-Block and Foxen 2010 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU the highest scores in their varietal categories in 2011. Continue reading

Walking Food Tours in Ojai

Ojai CVB

Like many travelers, food is one of the many joys that comes along with going to new places. The food tours in Ojai are a nice balance between sightseeing and eating scrumptious treats from area businesses.

If you’re looking for a nice stroll, some friendly company, and a look at Ojai’s dining scene, this tour is in good taste. Tour dates are limited (the first being February 11) so take a look at the tour offerings and get more information here.

California’s Central Coast Visitors Guide & Map for 2012, Just Released

The 2012 Central Coast Visitors Guide & Map for the Central Coast Tourism Council (CCTC) has just been published by Striker Media Group. This beautiful 84-page guide covers four spectacular regions of California’s central coast: Channel Islands Region; Santa Barbara Region; San Luis Obispo Region, and Monterey Bay Region.

You can view and download this guide and map from the CCTC’s website. They are also available at California Welcome Centers throughout the state and eight international California Tourism offices. And, if you take a road trip along the coast (one of the most beautiful in the world), you will come across the guide and map at area Visitor Centers, Chambers of Commerce and local attractions.

Pairings in Paso: Venteux Vineyards Estate Syrah with Spicy Chipotle Jam

by Tina Swithin

I refuse to brag about the fact that it was 68 degrees today in Paso Robles (it’s January!).  Maybe I am bragging just a bit but honestly, can you blame me?  What is one to do when faced with spectacular weather in the dead of winter?  I know what I do: wine tasting, of course!  I took a jaunt down the road to Templeton because I’ve been wanting to try out a few wineries that are new to me.

I had the pleasure of visiting Venteux Vineyards and while I was there, I picked up a bottle of their fabulous 2007 Estate Syrah.  Their beautiful, modern-rustic tasting room is located on Las Tablas Road in Templeton and you will probably find me there quite often after today’s visit.  Bobbi Stelzle, co-owner of Venteux Vineyards was kind enough to share a favorite family recipe with me.  “We have a very simple, but great recipe that works well with so many things.  We use it for wine & cheese in the afternoons and we’ve also used it for Hospice du Rhone weekend with lamb hash and rustic toast for brunch”, explains Bobbi.  She had me at “wine and cheese”.  After a quick stop at Trader Joes, I was excited to get home and put it to the test. Continue reading

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s New Exhibit

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is getting some press about their new jellyfish exhibit opening March 31, 2012.

Whether you’re a sea creature fanatic or just appreciative of California wildlife, this exhibit is sure to please. Everyone will look forward to “The Jellies Experience” after reading a bit more from the article ‘What’s New on the Central Coast‘ by Christine Delsol, sfgat.com.