What’s New on the Central Coast of California!

Calling all locavores, foodies and cultural enthusiasts!

Join the epicurean adventure this October and take a bite out of epicure.sb: a month to savorSanta Barbara. The 31-day, community-wide culinary extravaganza provides an opportunity to sip and savor the bounty of The American Riviera!

Urban Wine Trail expands.  In 2006, a group of four Santa Barbara tasting rooms developed the Urban Wine Trail, now 5 years later the trail has expanded to 12 wineries showcasing the variety of wines available in the county and offering unique event space.  www.urbanwinetrailsb.com Continue reading

SAVOR 2011 Central Coast Tickets Go On Sale!

Sunset magazine has launched ticket sales and posted this year’s website for Sunset’s SAVOR the Central Coast. 

In addition to the main event at the Santa Margarita Ranch featuring celebrity chef Cat Cora – the multi-day celebration, held Sept. 29 through Oct. 2, is set to include a host of new activities:* VIP Reception & Opening Night Event at Hearst Castle (Thursday, Sept. 29) An enchanted evening soiree featuring premium Central Coast wine, tapas, and inimitable coastline views beside William Randolph Hearst’s magnificent Roman-style Neptune Pool.* Sunset Western Wine Awards Gala (Friday evening, Sept. 30). One of the weekend’s most anticipated events, the Sunset Western Wine Awards are recognized as the highest honor for western winemakers.  Hosted on the historic Pismo Beach Pier, the event features tantalizing, locally grown fare paired with wines that have been nominated for a Sunset Western Wine Awards.* Adventure Tours (Friday, Sept. 30). An unparalleled opportunity to explore the unspoiled and diverse majesty of the Central Coast, enhanced by the flavors of a gourmet picnic.  New tours for 2011 include:* Behind-the-scenes Hearst Castle www.HearstCastle.com tour with Sunset travel editor, Peter Fish* Kayak tour of the peaceful Morro Bay Estuary* Afternoon of horseback riding across the Oceano Dunes* Expert-guided hike through rugged Moñtana de Oro State Park*  Tour of the newly-restored Avila Lighthouse with Sunset associate garden editor, Julie Chai* Hot-air balloon ride over the Paso Robles wine region with Sunset president, Barb Newton*  “Berry to Bottle” winemaking experience with Sunset wine editor, Sara Schneider

*  Main Event at Santa Margarita Ranch (Saturday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2)

* The Backyard Farm – Docent-led seminars on raising poultry, bees, goats, growing veggies and, potato towers; making compost, and more. Tours benefit the Lillian Larsen School in San Miguel as part of the national Farm-to-School Program.

* Winemaker Central Seminar Stage – This is a new SAVOR stage dedicated to the fruit of the vine. Seminars will feature unforgettable Paso Robles blends, cool-climate syrahs and a blind tasting of the Central Coast’s best pinot noirs.

* Cat Cora Demonstration – Celebrity chef Cat Cora brings her world-renowned culinary expertise and Iron Chef style to a seminar on “Classics with a Twist.” Visit the pavilion afterward where she’ll be signing books.

* Sustainable Seafood with Cindy Pawlcyn – With restaurants including Northern California favorites Fog City Diner, Mustards Grill and Go Fish, celebrity chef Cindy Pawlcyn brings her contagious passion for sustainable seafood to SAVOR.

* Beer Tasting and Food Pairing Seminar – Sunset magazine Food Editor Margo True picks her favorite Central Coast beers and pairs them with dishes made from local ingredients.

Ticket information

Tickets for the Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast officially went on sale on May 5. Tickets will also be available at Farm Supply stores on the Central Coast beginning July 5. Sunset magazine is partnering with the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau to launch Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast.

For more event information and ticketing, visit www.SavorCentralCoast.com or call 768-6653.

Become a fan on Facebook , http://www.facebook.com/SavorCC, or follow them on Twitter (@SavorCC). Ticket proceeds and sponsorships are considered donations to the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Convention Bureau, a 501c6 nonprofit tourism organization promoting San Luis Obispo County.

• About Sunset magazine

Sunset magazine is the premier guide to life in the West, covering the newest and best ideas in Western home design and landscaping, food and entertaining, and regional travel in 13 Western states. Sunset and http://www.sunset.com are part of the lifestyle group of magazines and websites published by the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group.

• About the San Luis Obispo

Visitors & Conference Bureau

The San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau promotes San Luis Obispo County through advertising, marketing, public relations and group sales.  Its member base is comprised of more than 500 tourism industry-related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and retail stores.

For more information on the VCB, visit www.SanLuisObispoCounty.com or contact Molly Morrison Cano at 781-2531 or mollym@SanLuisObispoCounty.com.

California’s Central Coast Dazzling Travel Deals

For DOZENS of dazzling travel deals on lodging and activities click on:

California’s Central Coast.

The Central Coast is the Original Road Trip!


A Toast to the Central Coast! California’s storied region is the place to explore changing tastes in wine

By Max Jacobson | March 31st, 2011

If you want to go to the source of wine trends in America, it’s only a day’s drive away, in and around California’s Central Coast. Right now, for example, the area is abuzz over albariño, viognier and other boutique grapes, whose popularity is spreading to wine shops and restaurants near you.

“What makes the Central Coast hot,” says master sommelier William Sherer of Aureole at Mandalay Bay, “is how so many winemakers there are converting conventional vines, such as merlot, to trendier grapes.” Albariño is a dry white wine from Spain now being cultivated in this area, and with tapas bars being a hot commodity in Las Vegas, this varietal is becoming popular, too. You can get a good taste of it at Clavo Cellars (315 S. Main St. in Templeton,ClavoCellars.com), which has a ’09 Paso Robles Albariño, Olé. Vineyardist Neil Roberts grows his grapes between Paso Robles and Creston and uses oak rather than stainless steel for flavor. The wine has a complex citrus profile and nice mineral notes. You should also try a delicious ’09 viognier in Clavo’s tasting room.

In the heart of the Edna Valley, fans of German-style varietals should make a beeline to Claiborne & Churchill in San Luis Obispo (2649 Carpenter Canyon Road, ClaiborneChurchill.com), started in 1983 by a pair of linguists from the University of Michigan, Claiborne Thompson and Fredericka Churchill. He taught Old Norse, and she taught German; their wines speak for themselves.

They produce about 10,000 cases per year, the majority of which are the ever-popular rieslings and dry gewürztraminers. The winery also produces Edna Valley pinot noir and chardonnay, Paso Robles cabernet sauvignon, syrah and a port-style wine called PortObispo. In the charming tasting room, $5 gets you six to eight wines. Buy a bottle ($20-$40) and the fee is credited to the purchase.

Sustainability is also a new mantra in the food and wine world, and many wineries in the area pay strict attention to the concept. A good example is the Hearst Ranch Winery & Tasting Room (442 SLO San Simeon, HearstRanchWinery.com). Most people who visit this area go to the Hearst Castle in the hills of San Simeon, so you know you’re coming up here anyway.

The winery was started by businessman Stephen T. Hearst, great grandson of William Randolph Hearst, and philanthropist Jim Saunders. The men use sustainable agriculture to produce their portfolio of wines. Both men are well-known supporters of nature conservancy and historical preservation.

These wines, made from local fruit, are stunning, starting with their Glacier Ridge chardonnay at $25, and ending with their Bordeaux blend The Point, a hefty $70. Don’t miss the Lone Tree cabernet franc as well, which sells for $35. This varietal was recently proclaimed a rising star in California, which means you’ll soon be hearing a lot about this one back home, too.

If You Go …

Getting there: San Luis Obispo is a six-hour drive from Las Vegas. Air service is available to Monterey via US Airways or on Allegiant Air to Santa Maria. Check online for rates, but Allegiant is generally less expensive.

Where to stay: The area is dotted with small hotels, B&Bs, and other hostelries. It’s a treat to stay on the coast, in hamlets like Cayucos, so quiet you can hear the ocean roar. At On the Beach Bed and Breakfast, 181 N. Ocean Ave., rooms start at $149. (805) 995-3200.

Where to eat: Try the roast chicken and California cheeses with that pinot noir at Hoppe’s Bistro and Wine Bar (78 N. Ocean Ave., Cayucos, 805-995-1006). In beautiful Cambria, closer to San Simeon, Black Cat Bistro (1602 Main St., Cambria, 805-927-1600) is the ticket. Chef/owner Deborah Scarborough is renowned locally for her stuffed fried green olives.

What not to miss along the way: Central Coast may be the most diverse area in California for wine tourism. The Edna Valley alone has dozens of tasting rooms dotting its green hills, and along the coastline are sand dunes, sea lions and San Simeon, home of Hearst Castle (along Highway 1, 40 miles north of San Luis Obispo; visit HearstCastle.com to make a reservation.)


Photo by Max Jacobson

Los Angeles Times Sings the Praises of One of the Top 3 Destinations in California – the fabulous Central Coast Region

Photo galleries, travel packages, bargains, history, wine tasting, brew pubs, festivals, beaches, and oodles more at:


and http://www.TourtheCentralCoast.com

For a free Visitors Guide to the Central Coast, please email


or get an online version right now at:


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Travel Planning Online

Here is another great source of travel info for Central Coast vacation planning!


California Central Coast Tourism

Now here is a site with everything you need or want to know about planning your next vacation to the Central Coast of California.

It’s got lodging info, attractions, maps, road trip ideas, and more!

California Central Coast Tourism.