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Dessert Course at Pretty-Smith Winery's Members-Only Cafe

Dessert Course at Pretty-Smith Winery's Members-Only Cafe

Last weekend, my dear friends Dorie and Greg packed up the kids (and Auntie Kate) and hit the road for wine country. We spent two days exploring the Paso Robles region with stops at Pretty-Smith, Victor Hugo, Moonstone Cellars and Sylvester Winery.

Lisa Pretty, at Pretty-Smith Vineyards and Winery, is one of the rare female owner/winemakers in the region. If you’re a member of the winery’s club, you can dine on the upper-level patio overlooking the vineyards. Not only is the view exceptional, the food looks great. As for the wine, I loved the ’06 Sauvignon Blanc — which was perfect with the homemade picnic we enjoyed on Lisa’s back porch.

Our next stop was at Victor Hugo. Victor and his family always welcome us warmly (make sure you call in advance), and they make some of the best red wine I’ve ever tasted. The 2008 Estate Viognier (a white) is also out of this world.

The next day we paid our first visit to Moonstone Cellars’ tasting room on the west side of Cambria. The winemaker, Todd Clift, quickly poured samples of each of his wonderful wines. (Many thanks to the Freemans, who gifted me with a bottle of Todd’s incredibly sensual, white dessert wine that has hints of vanilla bean and a beautiful pale-gold color.)

Our last stop, Sylvester, is an old favorite. This time, I tried something new that I am absolutely crazy about! The 2008 Kiara Rose is certainly not your mom’s old-fashioned rosé. This clear, crimson-colored wine has an earthy bite to it — you can almost taste the grape peelings.

Can’t wait to chill this baby up and sample a bit more while I’m unemployed this summer, and lounging around outside by the pool…

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Written by Kate Blood

June 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm

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