Agritourism is a Summer Must-Do in Paso Robles

By Caroline Beteta, President & CEO, Visit California

Barbeques, pool parties, fun in the sun. To many Americans these are iconic summertime experiences.  And while summer in California is filled with lazy days on the beach and fun splashing poolside, the Golden State holds so much more for summer travelers. As visitors learn more about California and its diverse offerings, more and more choose to head out of the cities to explore many expressions of the California lifestyle. This hunger for all things California forecasts a big boom for agritourism in Paso Robles this summer.

Californians are free-spirits, trend setters and innovators, but are also in touch with their roots. The curiosity about how food is grown and the desire for new experiences attract visitors to enjoy farmers’ and ranchers’ lands and livelihoods. Visit California, the state’s official tourism marketing board, sees agritourism as a valuable sector that supports the local and state economy by providing jobs and revenue. Continue reading

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Santa Barbara Celebrates Its Earth-friendly Side with Ecotopia in March and April

Year-round climate perfect for producing savor fruits and veggies? Check. The ocean on one side and beckoning mountain trails on the other? Check. A community that’s long been committed to sustainability and is the proud founder of the first Earth Day celebration? Check!  It’s no secret that Santa Barbara’s South Coast is an Earth-lovers paradise. As a local with a bent for sustainability and all things eco, I’m looking forward to celebrating Santa Barbara’s green scene in March and April during Ecotopia—two months of recognizing the area’s unique sustainable aspects—because, when you live in a place as beautifully bountiful as SB, celebrating the Earth takes more than a day.

Follow Ecotopia on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and FourSquare for weekly updates or use my quick guide to making the most of Santa Barbara’s inviting Earth-friendly activities while lowering your carbon footprint at the same time.

  1. As a seafood lover, an occasional trip to the weekly Santa Barbara Fish Market (Saturdays in the Harbor from 7:00am – 11:00am) is a must. Fishermen are encouraged to harvest sustainably and the local catch means less oil and gas to transport. If you’d rather dine out, look for Ty Warner Sea Center’s Sustainable Food Program Member stickers on storefront windows. Continue reading

20th Annual “Taste of Solvang”

Enjoy the rich Danish culture and culinary heritage at this year’s Taste of Solvang. The annual event is now on its 20th year and is offering even more new features. To fit it all in, the event spans 5 days, so don’t worry about missing out. Make Solvang your next stop between  March 14 & 18 and savor the flavors of locally grown foods and traditionally prepared plates.

Pairings in Paso: JK Wine’s Viognier and Artisan’s Shrimp

by Tina Swithin, Travel Paso Robles Alliance

“All four elements were happening in equal measure – the cuisine, the wine, the service, and the overall ambience. It taught me that dining could happen at a spiritual level” – Charles Trotter.

Katin_07viognierThe 2011 Sunset Savor the Central Coast embodied all of these things: fabulous wine, cuisine, people and ambiance.  I am left reminiscing about the delicious food and phenomenal wine that I was lucky enough to partake in.  I am also left remembering the new friends that I made through this event.  One such person was Justin Kahler, Winemaker at JK Wine Company who introduced me to a fabulous Viognier which I am excited to share with you.

Traditionally, when “pairing”, you select a dish and then choose a wine to compliment the dish.  Sometimes, I like to do things unconventionally.  I’m going to go out on a limb and be completely honest: I don’t like to follow rules.  Wine should be fun and food & wine pairing should be a delightful experience.  It only took a few “tastes” of Justin Kahler’s 2009 Viognier for me to select it as the October Pairings in Paso.  You can imagine my delight when Justin presented me with a recipe which turned out to be a dish from one of my favorite Paso Robles restaurants: Artisan. Serendipity at its most delicious.  Continue reading