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Central Coast Wine Insider Blog

Central Coast Wine Insider Blog


Monochrome Wines

Monochrome Wines, California White Wine

There are hundreds of great wineries in California focused primarily on red wines. Monochrome Wines devote all of their attention, effort and passion exclusively to white wines.  To paraphrase Coco Chanel, “To be memorable, you must first be different.”

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David Parrish, Parrish Family Vineyard

David Parrish, owner and winemaker at Parrish Family Vineyard has a long family history of wine making which is rooted deep in Atascadero and Paso Robles wine country. Inspired by the legacy of his grandfather Earl Henderson, David followed his passion for wine and began producing boutique wines from the vineyard in 2004.

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Stolo Family Vineyards is the only Estate winery and vineyard in Cambria and the surrounding area. Located just 3 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, Stolo is one of the closest vineyards to the California coast and uses the ideal cool climate growing conditions to produce award-winning wines like their 2014 Estate Syrah, voted #27 on the 2017 Wine Enthusiasts 100 list. 

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Central Coast Bride Mixer at Tooth & Nail

Bride Mixer

The Castle

What a marvelous time at the Central Coast Bride Mixer!

Tooth &amp; Nail Wines

Tooth & Nail Wines

Music, Wine, Food, seeing old friends and meeting new.  Thank you Tooth & Nail Winery for hosting. Can you imagine getting married in a CASTLE?! Well, now your dreams can be a reality. Breathtaking bites provided by Foremost Wine Co.

The venue was decked out beautifully with florals by Flowers by Kim. and sweet treats from Christine’s Cake Creations.

When planning a Wedding or Event on the Central Coast, Central Coast Bride is an amazing resource to find amazing local professionals who are the best at what they do.

Bride Mixer

Bride Mixer

Bride Mixer


Bride Mixer

Delicious Eats!

Whatever your Wedding dreams, the Central Coast is the ideal location and Breakaway can take you there! So, remember to include an amazing Wine Tour with Breakaway Tours & Events as part of your Wedding Weekend experience.

The Importance of First Impressions : Shale Oak Winery


First Impressions: Shale Oak Winery

My grandmother always told me “You only get one chance to make a first impression”.  She recommended always (slightly) over dressing for occasions and never stepping out the door without your face on. Well, let me tell you something: Shale Oak Winery has got it’s face on. At a Marilyn Monroe, Betty Davis, Liz Taylor eyeliner level.

On a recent visit as part of one of  Breakaway Tours’ Paso Robles Public Wine Tours I was treated to a level of service that left me wondering ‘Do they think I’m SOMEONE?’ I did look pretty spiffy in my new summer sandals….. What I quickly learned is that at Shale Oak Winery, everyone is given VIP treatment.

We were greeted as we stepped off our van by the owner Suzette, a tray of glasses in hand. As we swirled and sampled their 2013 Albarino , Suzette treated our group to a brief history of how Shale Oak Winery came to be the wonder that it is. She spoke of a deep commitment to sustainability and working with the land. Their website details their concept as “Adhering to the belief that form follows function, Shale Oak was built by a carefully crafted team. While each individual is a strong expert in her/his respective field, the group was able to synergistically come together to plan, plant and build a vineyard, winery and tasting room that would have very shaleoakfireplacelow impact on the surrounding environment.”

And its also really, REALLY pretty. Boasting an impressive amount of stained glass, reclaimed wood interior, a clean-burning alcohol fed fireplace, and a lovely sheltered back patio, you may want to make it a regular weekend destination. We were treated to live music by a friend of mine (surprise!), the silken voiced Nataly Lola and Co. providing the perfect vibe as shaleoakpatiowe relaxed with our picnic lunch on the outdoor patio.

And the wines… the WINES. Shale Oak Winery offers several options for tasting that include a classic tasting menu of 6 offerings, a ‘cookie pairing’ utilizing savory and sweet cookies to compliment their wines, and finally a ‘truffle pairing’ for those unafraid of the ultimate decadence. Our wine steward Julie was gracious and knowledgeable and made us feel like friends. I left with a few bottles, including the 2011 Zinfandel and the 2011 Petit Verdot . I may share with my husband. I may not.

So if you find yourself looking for the ultimate in concierge level service, contact  Breakaway Tours & Event Planning , put your face on, and stop by Shale Oak Winery for an experience you won’t soon forget!


All the Right Elements : Tooth & Nail Winery


Tooth & Nail wines popped up on my radar a few years ago.  Their creative naming and sure handed winemaking have put them on many local shelves and wine list to be sure.

For me, it was all about the labels. Created from hand carved wood blocks, they are creative, classy, whimsical ,and  just plain fun to look at. My husband and I quickly began referring to the wines by the art on the bottles – scenes including all the major elements : Air, Fire, Earth, Water…and Dragon? I know now that its their yummy Pinot Gris, but I will always love a good glass of ‘Dragon’.force-of-nature-pinot-gris__82305_1410645738_1280_1280

Last Friday a friend and I were looking with something new and fun to do with our Friday evening when I remembered hearing about a new event at Tooth & Nail Winery. A quick google and a phone call later and we were on our way to check it out.

Newly ensconced in their imposing castle off 46 West (the barely recognizable former home of Eagle Castle Winery), Tooth & Nail is doing it right. The décor has been re-designed with a streamlined look that is both modern and a bit sumptuous. Tufted leather sofas and gilt mirrors surround a huge fireplace. Think ‘Game of Thrones’ without all the murder.


The outside space has been reworked with a mind to events and music. On Friday we were treated to a show by local band Proxima Parada. Give me a California soul band in mint green skinny jeans and I’m a happy girl.


Food is being provided by Spencer Johnston’s Danior Kitchen. As a food/wine pairing geek, I was pleased to observe the thought and consideration that went into our provisions. I know Spencer sources everything locally, and the effort shows. The flavors were complimentary to a variety of the wines offered, so we weren’t locked into one specific pairing. Our favorites included the Burger, seasonal salad (white peaches were PERFECT), and the truffle fries.

Currently Tooth & Nail is offering Food on Friday evenings 5p-8p with live music, Saturday Lunch 12p-4p, and Sunday Brunch and Lunch 10a-4p. Call or check website to confirm Tooth & Nail Winery .


We certainly lucked out with our Wine Steward Dakota. Not only knowledgeable and friendly, she was actually someone with opinions, which I love. I was able to let go of my list and be guided through wines that she obviously cared about. A few favorites include: Amor Fati Grenache 2011, Force of Nature Tempranillo 2013, Tooth & Nail ‘The Fiend’ 2012 (a T&N1Malbec/Syrah blend) and the newly released dessert Viognier Demi-Lune 2013. The tasting room is open 10-6 Weds through Monday (closed Tuesday).

Do yourself a favor and plan a visit today to check out all the wonderful things this Winery has to offer. Call breakaway-tours today to schedule your experience. And don’t forget to raise a glass of ‘Dragon’ to the Central Coast and all it has to offer!



Winery of the Week: AronHill Vineyards

Paso Robles, Templeton

AronHill Vineyards Breakaway ToursJudy Aron founded AronHill Vineyards in 1997, and she infuses her passion, drive, and dedication throughout the winery and its wines. An accomplished horsewoman since childhood, her grapes are nurtured with same intention, oversight, and precise attention as she lavishes on her horses. Judy says, “My grapes are like my fillies, chosen from excellent stock and emanating from a substantive lineage.” And she merges her two passions, horses and wine, at the estate and in the name and on the label of every bottle of AronHill wines.

Part of the Paso Robles AVA, AronHill tasting room is located in the Templeton Gap at the junction of Hwy 46 west and Vineyard Drive. Estate vines grow on a beautiful Templeton hillside, nurtured by Lupe,

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Winery of the Week: Bridlewood

Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez

BridlewoodOnce home to an Arabian horse farm, the design of Bridlewood Winery pays homage to California’s historic missions with a Spanish-style bell tower, breezy verandas and a fountain surrounded by a stone courtyard. However, these days it’s all about the wine.

Bridlewood Wines

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Claiborne & Churchill

Winery of the Week: Claiborne & Churchill

San Luis Obispo, Edna Valley

Claiborne & ChurchillClaiborne & Churchill has come a long way since their first vintage in 1983, but they are still a small family winery devoted to handcrafted wines of the highest quality. Their dedication to producing exceptional Alsatian-style wines has been recognized as far away as France where they won a gold medal at the Riesling du

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Melville Vineyards

Winery of the Week: Melville Vineyards

Santa Barbara, Sta. Rita Hills

Melville VineyardsWe are so excited to tell you about Melville Vineyards, located in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Sta. Rita Hills is a cool climate appellation located between Buellton and Lompoc near the Santa Ynez River and in the county of Santa Barbara. This newer region produces some of California’s most exciting Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Rhone varieties.

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