Wine tasting on the Central Coast is rapidly becoming “the place to be”, as Frank Costanza once said on Seinfeld, playing billiards with George and The Maestro. I would much prefer wine tasting to playing billiards with Frank and Bob Cobb!
(Photos, in order, Dauo, Justin, Laetitia)
Many of my wine connoisseur friends speak highly of Dauo Vineyards in San Luis Obispo. And their prices certainly reflect their newfound popularity. It is impossible to make a weekend tasting reservation unless it is made weeks in advance. I plan to visit on a Tuesday morning.
Just a brief word about Dauo (less than the Jones):
DAOU Mountain rises 2,200 feet in elevation in the hills of the Adelaida District on the west side of the Paso Robles AVA. With its steep mountain slopes of up to fifty-six percent, DAOU Mountain rises dramatically above the Coastal Range with breathtaking views from the highest winery on the Central Coast of California. The mountain is cooled by the Pacific Ocean, fourteen miles away, and gentle breezes that flow over the Templeton Gap.
Warm, temperate days and cool nights guarantee even ripening and vine balance every year.
“We have, arguably, the most perfect climate in the world to ripen Bordeaux varieties and Cabernet Sauvignon.” Daniel Daou
Dauo’s Estate Cabernet is pricey, at $95. But they have a wide range of offerings for most palates and pocketbooks. We will do our best to find something drinkable and affordable.
But Justin (time), the more affordable of my two visits, offers one of the most interesting names for their wine. I just love their Isosceles, a blend of Cab, Merlot, and Cab franc, but rather pricey at $75. I am sure when they first planted their vineyards back in 1981, they did not envision even remotely being called, “the new Napa Valley”, or as Frank would say, “the place to be.”
Justin looks like a great place for a wedding or private party, though I would avoid the summer and its day time heat. Evenings are pleasant though, and would be perfect for a party. Justin offers an evening shuttle service from their downtown tasting room. But I must warn you, $25 for a lunch time burger is a little pricey. And their premium tasting flight is $75!! It does not look like a comfortable place for a casual lunch with Lexi!
Perhaps, for us, it is best to buy some sushi at the California Market in Pismo, and head to Arroyo Grande. Our little Laetitia Winery has a low key tasting room, and a nice, quiet picnic area for Lexi and our sushi. Their brut rose’ is quite good, as are some of their Pinots. Then a stop at Dauo on the way home.
We decided to stop at Firestone Walker for lunch since they can accommodate Lexi on their patio, in case of rain. Then we had to find some food for Lexi since we forgot it at home!!! But we will make up for our wine shortcomings by having dinner at Ember in Arroyo Grande.