Raise a glass to fine wine paired with the best end of summer bites
The table is set. The seasonal produce is prepared. The pairings are off-the-charts delicious. Yes, it's time for you to belly up to a sensational SLO CAL winemaker dinner. Whether hosted in the vineyard or in the barrel room, SLO CAL's famous winemaker dinners are a magical way to experience the fresh food and fine wine of the region. You'll make new friends, sample a slew of unique vintages and leave feeling full of local goodness. Why not pull up a chair and find your place here, among the friendly crowd? Now is the time to RSVP before summer ends. All that's missing from this table is you.
1. 360 Degrees of Delicious
Your Host: JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery
When: Friday, August 9; 6-10 p.m.
Where: 11680 Chimney Rock Road | Paso Robles, CA 93446
Welcome to wine country
, with a view—and we mean that with a capital “V.” Venture to JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles for their elegant Platinum Vineyard Dinner bursting with farm-fresh food, fine wine and astounding ambiance. You'll sip and nibble in the flickering candlelight while surrounded by a 360-degree sunset view of JUSTIN's estate vineyards. Hosted by Winery Founder Justin Baldwin; Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman; Sommelier and Wine Educator Jim Gerakaris; and VP of Production Fred Holloway, you can expect a mind-expanding experience. JUSTIN Executive Chef Rachel Haggstrom and her award-winning culinary team will feed you well enough to expand your belt, too. Prepare your tastebuds for a six-course custom meal paired with rare JUSTIN wines you won't taste anywhere else. Note: The following night, Saturday, Aug. 10, check out JUSTIN's 23rd Annual Wine Society Gala Dinner hosted at the JUSTIN Restaurant (this time, featuring a four-course feast plus views of the chef's garden). Really, everything tastes better with a view.
2. This little piggy said 'wine'
Your Host: Claiborne and Churchill Winery
When: Saturday, August 24; 6-9 p.m.
Where: 2649 Carpenter Canyon Road | San Luis Obispo, CA
Summer fun in SLO CAL is super-sized when you add sizzling pork, seafood and sensational wine. This begs the question: “When's the last time you went to a real pig roast and seafood boil?” If the answer to that question is “never,” you're in for a real treat. Grab a lobster bib and make a plan to stop by Claiborne and Churchill Winery, located not far from downtown San Luis Obispo in the coastal SLO CAL wine region of Edna Valley for their Pig Roast & Seafood Boil Dinner. You'll sample a delicious al fresco dinner in the garden, where lush vines meet wildflower blooms. Enjoy a three-course meal with appetizers, salad, pig roast and a traditional New England-style seafood boil with crab, clams, mussels, shrimp, corn, red potatoes, sausage and even a dessert bar to finish it all off. Add some live music and good company to this boil, and you've got one of summer's most vibrant memories in the making. What are you waiting for?
3. Multitask (with yummy results)
Your host: Cinquain Cellars
When: Saturday, August 17; 6-9 p.m.
Where: Hartley Farms and Wine Country RV Resort 6770 Estrella Rd. | San Miguel, CA 93451
Why sip just one world-class wine when you can taste a whole handful from across SLO CAL's northern wine regions of Paso Robles and San Miguel? Dive into award-winning wine diversity with the Evening Under the Estrella Sky Winemakers’ Dinner, featuring winemakers from the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail. These boutique wineries are nestled along the oak-studded hills of east Paso Robles and San Miguel to the North, but you can sample many of them on this one special night (without hiring a tour guide). Savor pours from Bon Niche Cellars, Four Sisters Ranch, Graveyard Vineyards, Lusso Della Terra and many more—plus, you'll rub elbows with the winemakers and tasting room folks, too. Enjoy appetizers and pre-dinner wine tastings featuring all of the participating wineries followed by a four-course dinner paired with (yes) more wines! Want a little taste of what's on the menu? Try grilled peach arugula salad with goat cheese, slow-roasted short ribs and fresh shrimp pasta with saffron cream sauce. Sorry to make your mouth water so suddenly. We are simply reporting the facts, folks.
4. The sweetest sip
Your Host: Eberle Winery
When: Saturday, August 17; 6:30 p.m.
Where: 3810 East Highway 46 | Paso Robles, CA 93446
A summer fling? No, this is a true love affair that will last all the way through harvest season. Romance blooms at Paso Robles' popular Eberle Winery. Be there this August as twinkle lights switch on and the sun sinks low behind dreamy hills. Dine in the Vines and be delighted by one of Paso Robles' most sought-after chefs—Jacob Lovejoy of love.joy.eat. This mighty local chef has established a reputation for diversity, flavor and simplicity in his cuisine and enjoys the challenge of using local ingredients in ways that showcase SLO CAL's astounding summer abundance. Drink, nosh and pop a few bottles all amidst lovely grapevines. Might we add—this would also be an incredible place to pop the question, too!
5. Shoot for the stars
Your Host: Halter Ranch Vineyard
When: Saturday, August 17; 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: 8910 Adelaida Rd | Paso Robles, CA 93446
SLO CAL is known for rockstar winemakers, but if you look up, you'll see the real stars shine even brighter. With very little light pollution, you can see the Milky Way and then some on a clear night in Paso Robles. Want to peer deeper into the cosmos? Pull up a chair to Halter Ranch's Vineyard View Dinner & Star Gazing event, which brings together refined wines and ravishing celestial bodies. You'll feast in the winery's stylish outdoor tasting room patio overlooking the vineyard and enjoy a stargazing pointers courtesy of the Central Coast Astronomy Society. Chef Brian Collins of the Arroyo Grande fine dining restaurant Ember will dazzle your palate with juicy summer tomatoes, creamy coastal avocado, wild fennel, duck ragu and succulent wine braised beef. When life gets hectic it's always good to slow down and look up. Oh, how small we are (and how big our appetites always seem to be).
6. Not your average pizza party
Your Host: Stolo Vineayrds
When: Saturday, August 17; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Where: 3776 Santa Rosa Creek Road | Cambria, CA
Put away everything you thought you knew about humanity's favorite sharable food. Pizza soars to sophisticated new heights at Stolo Vineyard's Pinot and Pizza Dinner, a must-eat summer shindig paired with lots of flavor-packed pinot noir (nothing against beer, but wine wins here). Join the winery for International Pinot Noir Day and celebrate the season with artisan pizza and a range of hand-crafted pinot noir offerings. Fire & Wine Catering will be firing pizzas onsite and you'll be sipping estate and reserve pinot noir vertical tastings as well as a refreshing summertime pinot noir rosé. Lucky you! Come prepared to enjoy five iterations gourmet pizza, plus salads and a decadent dessert. It all kicks off at the winery's picturesque green meadow, where live music and miniature goats meet the cool, coastal Cambria breeze. Yes, this could be a postcard, couldn't it? Wish you were here.