Wine Tasting in California

I'm back in California for a little bit, so I'm taking the time to explore some of California's nicer areas. I've been staying in the town of Lompoc, near Vandenburg air force base in Santa Barbara county.

Last week I ventured out from Lompoc up to San Luis Obispo for some wine tasting and some food with a friend. Our attempt to get to the wineries in Edna Valley failed as we were unable to locate the turnoff from shell beach, so we drove all the way to SLO and then turned south from there and drove passed the airport. The first place we hit was Edna Valley vineyards, the view out the window was awesome as usual and the traffic low. I tasted through the reds, and decided that this was exactly as I remembered these wines from years before, peppery, acidic and smokey.

View From Tasting Room At Edna Valley Vineyards
Tasting Room At Edna Valley Vineyards
From Edna we continued down the road to Talley Vineyards, which I recognized from http://schiller-wine.blogspot.com/. A nice fountain greeted us on the way into their square shaped tasting room. The server was nice and chatty and took me through all the red on the lasting list. Again there was a lot of acidic flavors, which I guess is common to all of Edna valley. The Bishops Peak Cabernet Sauvignon was the most interesting thing I tasted there, with a very dry overall taste complimented with sage and rosemary. 

Fountain At Talley
Tasting Room At Talley
Drive Way At Talley
We traveled on from Talley to Wolff Vineyards, where we found a man struggling to handle the four guests he had. When we asked if they would honor a complimentary tasting for industry, the guy became very defensive and said, "I'm not making any money this year, so nobody is getting any special treatment". While we tasted two girls came in and asked if they could sit at the table outside, to this he responded in an aggressive mood that it would be tolerable if they were to sit outside but under no circumstances could he come outside to serve them, they would have to walk 10 feet to the bar to get their drinks. The wines at this place aren't worth typing about.

Pathway up to Wolff
Tasting Room at Wolff
Our final stop in Edna Valley was Tolosa Winery which I'd seen at http://cuveecorner.blogspot.com. Here we were greeted by a well mannered young lady who offered that we could look around the estate while she served us. The wines were fairly well balanced, probably on par with Talley. The most impressive thing about this place was there reliance on steal barrels, and the crisp taste this brought out. From the deck outside I watched as some grapes were processed in some expensive looking equipment while enjoying the wine. Inside the tasting room was a glass wall through which you could look down on the steal barrels that aged the wine. My favorite here was the 2009 Syrah, which made me feel as though I were eating a plum in a garden of ferocious cacti.

Outside Tolosa
Wine Pressing Machines at Tolosa
Steel Wine Tanks at Tolosa
In SLO we located a restaurant called Koberl which had been recommend by a friend. The atmosphere and setup of the bar brings comfort as soon as you sit down, making it difficult to leave. I wouldn't come here for a raging party, this is the type of place to come when you wanna have a relaxing time with old friends. The bar menu offers a nice selection of about 60 different beers and an abundance of nice appetizers, which lead us to cycle through 3 different beers and 2 appetizer dishes during the wait for our meal. For dinner I ordered the Veil Steak and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the meat, which pretty much melted in my mouth. Visit this place if you get the chance, but be ready to spend 100+ in order to fully enjoy the experience.
San Luis Obispo, Outside Koberl
The Bar at Koberl
Steak at Koberl
Koberl At Blue on Urbanspoon