One of the reasons we love living in Atascadero is the warm evenings which makes an Art & Wine Tour through downtown pretty irresistible. If you have never been to one before I would highly recommend you check it out and if you have been then you likely know exactly what I mean. The Art and Wine Tour happens once a quarter on Friday evenings with a similar event around Valentine’s Day but it’s called The Sweetheart Stroll. The next one will be on June 5th from 5:30-8:30 if you want to put it down on your calendar (I just did). For $15 you get a glass of wine to carry around with you and you tour around the shops where a local winery will be pouring a few of their best wines and an artist is usually featured in each shop. This is a great evening to get to know the local shops in the downtown area around the Carlton Hotel and maybe even a winemaker or two.
We have gotten to know a few wonderful local boutique wineries who don’t have tasting rooms. It was at the Art and Wine Tour where we discovered Nobelle Winery and the charming owner and winemaker Sebastien and his outstanding French style wines. It was also at the Art and Wine Tour a few years ago where we discovered St. Hilaire Winery and the owner, vine grower and winemaker himself John Anderson. We joined his wine club and have enjoyed visiting him at his small production winery to pick up our wine shipments.
This most recent Art and Wine Tour on a very warm Friday evening when the temperature barely got below 70 degrees after sunset was one of the best. There was a great turnout with lots of happy “tourists” wandering the streets of downtown. We like to find the shops with the wineries we’ve never been to before so our first stop was to Violette Wings & Gifted Things at 5965 Entrada Ave. to check out Felten Winery. This little shop is my new favorite little gift shop with unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else in Atascadero. The owner and winemaker Stephen Felten greeted us with a few of his delicious wines such as a 2012 Paso Robles Gewürztraminer and a 2011 San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir.
We also stopped in at Arlyne’s Flowers Shop which is a great local floral shop with beautiful arrangements and great gifts. Burbank Ranch Winery was pouring at the flower shop which is a great winery that just recently closed their downtown Paso Robles tasting room but will very soon be opening their newly built tasting room which I’m very excited to visit when it opens!
We also stopped in to Back on the Racks which is a great consignment shop on Entrada. J&J Cellars was pouring there and we were really impressed with an unique blend named Zinbera which is a blend made up of primarily Barbera and Zinfandel.
We discovered another new winery called Ruby Cellars with some outstanding wines at Stellar Vape shop. The owner of the shop just happens to be the winemaker himself and will soon be selling his wines at the Grape Encounters Empourium wine shop on Traffic Way.
Speaking of Grape Encounters Empourium, we finished up our Art & Wine Tour there because we knew that the Raymond Smith, the winemaker and owner of Indigene Cellars, would be there with his wonderful Pinot Noirs and red blends. It was the perfect way to end a fun evening with friends in downtown Atascadero.