Whether you are visiting the Central Coast or are a long-time local, there are a few hallmarks of cultural identity that need to be visited. The wine regions of Edna Valley and Paso Robles produce world-renowned vintages that can be enjoyed at magnificent tasting rooms in both locations, and nearby San Simeon is home to one of the most famous California tourism landmarks—Hearst Castle! When you have multiple exciting things to visit and limited time, there’s only one thing to do: have a day out that contains all of them. Luckily, SLO Safe Ride hosts such a tour, so let’s go over what you need for a Hearst Castle and Winery Tour that will elevate your appreciation for the finer things on the Central Coast!
- Pick a tour and time for your Hearst Castle Tour: Hearst castle offers a few different tour formats, both public and private. While the private ones are quite costly, the public Grand Room Tours are economical at about $33 a person, and run every ten minutes. They are an hour long, and depending on your groups’ size and dedication to learning quirky facts about William Randolph Hearst’s imagination, this should be a sufficient and informative time!
- Pick your region and wineries to visit: While we’re always proponents of swinging for the fences, it might be worth it to consolidate your efforts to one tasting region for this day. Kudos to you if you do both, though. Here are some of our favorites in both:
- Tolosa: For an elevated experience and thorough education about the process of different types of aging wine, visit Tolosa and taste your way through their wonderful selections.
- Wolff: Wolff has a family-owned atmosphere that shines through in all of their great features at the tasting room. Small batches of unique varietals (try the Teroldego, trust us!) and the dog-friendly patio are accompanied by enthusiastic employees, some of which share the name on the bottle!
- Chamisal: For an elegant yet relaxed environment, head to Chamisal where their patio and customer service will wow you once before their vintages gets you a second time. Be sure to taste their Khalifa offerings, both red and white!
-Opolo: Opolo has it all: tremendous wine with great varietal diversity, an award winning tasting room and kitchen, and even a distillery should you want to walk on the wild side during you tour! Family owned and operated, we couldn’t recommend a finer group of people in the area.
-Tooth and Nail: The castle after the castle, Tooth and Nail will pit its architecture and décor vs Hearst any day of the week. Their secret strategy is that they undoubtedly make better wine, so come in to try Rabble Wine’s offering and enjoy the views.
– Halter Ranch: Known for their breathtaking architecture and supreme customer service, Halter Ranch will help you carry on the theme of using all elements of a region enjoy the day. Their tasting room offers unique views and comfort while you sip some wines that are sure to lift your spirits. We’ll even allow you to bring out your summer taste buds and break out the Rosé at any time during the Halter Ranch experience!
What’s for lunch?: A simple question, but one that has many great answers. Each of the tasting rooms we listed has its own selection of either meals or charcuterie plates. There are fine restaurants in each region– We love Fish Gaucho in Paso, and Novo in SLO. You can even get some catering from Old San Luis BBQ if you want to eat on the go. Either way, make sure your group is well fed; these tours help you work up a hunger, that’s for sure!
Book Transportation: The last step, but surely most important, is to figure out what vehicle size and type your group needs. No one wants to deal with the hassle of designating a driver (or multiple ones), finding parking, coordinating pick up and drop offs—get it all done with SLO Safe Ride or Obsidian Luxury tours. You can build your own tour and supply the details, or one of their great staff will happily custom build a tour from scratch for you!