The city of Paso Robles and the surrounding countryside is soothing to the senses, especially if you’re visiting from large metropolitan areas such as San Francisco or Los Angles. Paso Robles is a glorious mix of brews, wines and delectable morsels that will tantalize your taste buds. This will be first in a series on places to visit not only in the Central Valley’s top booze haven but in destinations such as Temecula, Napa and Lodi. This trip will focus on 2 of my favorite areas in Paso Robles…the Far Out wineries and Firestone Walker Brewery. The Far Out group of vintners reside 7 – 10 miles west of the 101 freeway in the picturesque countryside of Paso, the scenery alone will put you in a relaxed mood even prior to any imbibing. To find this group of wineries, exit off the 101 at 46 and head west, after 4 or so miles make a right on Vineyard and head north. After 4.4 miles the entrance to Opolo will be on your right.This will be your first stop of the day. Serving predominately reds, Opolo is known for their 2 Zinfandels, Mountain and Summit Creek as well as Spanish varietals and some dynamite red blends. A trip to Opolo however is not merely as tasting. Take the time to sit on the patio and enjoy some of the pairings such as their pizzas, oysters or their famous cevapi sausage. Though you’ll be tempted to spend the rest of the afternoon there, continue north until you dead end into Adelaida RD. Make a left and shortly after Tablas Creek will appear on your left. Make sure you sample as many of the unique whites as you can here. Depending on the time of year, you will definitely run across some gems. Continuing west on Adelaida for a few miles will bring you to Justin, one of the few world renowned wineries in the area and one which Robert Parker has given a number of their offerings ratings of 90 or higher. Try the Isosceles for a heavenly experience to round out your wine tasting for the day.

Wrapping up here by 4:00, make your way back to town on Adelaida RD (10+ miles) until you come to Lake Nacimiento Rd. Make a right and head into town until you reach the 101. Go south to 46 west and exit. Make a left under the bridge and then another left. A 1/2 mile or so up the road you will see Firestone Walker Brewery. Here you will end your day with tasting and walk across the street for dinner. Tasting at the brewery are priced individually and coincide with the price of the beers in the retail market, though many of them are only available here.Those are the ones you want to focus on. Try a Parabola or a Sticky Monkey or perhaps one of the sour beers. Following this make your way across the street to the Taproom Restaurant. Here you will find a fantastic selection of gastro pub cuisine with something for every taste, but be sure to start it off with the drunken shrimp. From there it’s all up to you.