Steve Kepple

World-class vintages in California’s Other Wine Country.

May 14, 2012

Napa and Sonoma get all the hype, but the innovative wineries in this Central Coast region draw plenty of oenophiles. Explore some of the region’s 170 wineries, many of which are experimenting with varietals like Roussanne, Viognier, and Tempranillo.

JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery

This winery is a best bet for educational tastings and tours. Travelers can visit the wine caves and a ISOSCELES Library 120 feet underground. Tastings cover wine basics such as how to evaluate bottles and how wine changes over time.

Let's Go Ballooning!

Splurge on a romantic balloon ride over the vineyards.

Panolivo

Begin the day with lobster eggs Benedict at this downtown joint.

Bistro Laurent

Feast on braised veal cheeks at Bistro Laurent, housed in a park-side, 19th-century brick building.

Hotel Cheval

Book a room with a fireplace this stone-and-stucco, intimate hotel, where many of the 16 rooms have vaulted ceilings and wooden shutters. A Belgian draft horse, Chester, is the luxe property’s mascot, spending his evenings pulling guests around the town square.

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