Heading to Paso Robles soon, won't say exactly how soon lest you find the key to my cellar while we’re gone, but soon enough! As is my style, this is my usual “teaser” article about what we plan on doing. Starting off we are staying at the newly opened Grapestake Cottage owned by Owen and Nancy Belletto. All I knew is that they had wonderful reviews on Trip Advisor, expansive vineyard views – it’s a working property - a great website and fun kitten-filled vineyard photos shared on their Instagram.

In the course of reserving our time I asked Nancy about the working vineyard. I learned that they provide all of their Estate Syrah for Justin Winery. And Owen was named the Grower of the Year 2016 for Justin! Wowza!

The cottage, and new-to-premier loft, are described as: being “located in the heart of the California Central Coast winemaking region. With spectacular views of an award winning Syrah vineyard, this luxurious retreat offers all the comforts of home with the privacy and serenity of a blissful getaway. Close to premier wineries and only a short drive to downtown Paso Robles, California,  the Grapestake Cottage offers a charming venue for any special occasion or to simply relax!

The Cottage includes a King Size bed, fireplace, air conditioning, private patio, vineyard view, fully equipped gourmet kitchen, complimentary snacks, beverages and bottled water.  Living area and bedroom include flat screen televisions with Netflix and Amazon Prime. Free WiFi is always available.

The Loft at Grapestake Cottage is a romantic Guest room overlooking the vineyard. It boasts fabulous views from your private balcony. This guestroom features a king size bed surrounded by a romantic and chic iron canopy. The marble walled walk in shower includes a sitting bench. Flat screen TV with free Netflix and Amazon Prime. And of course free WiFi...

We are a working vineyard. Some of the neighboring properties are also working vineyards. With that in mind we try to be as considerate of our neighbors and guests as possible.  However, there may be times when we simply have to get things accomplished within a certain time frame. When the grapes speak...we have to listen!  So if you happen to be visiting during leaf pulling, green drop, harvest or any of the other things we do during the year….we will try to minimize the noise and impact it has on your visit.

as well as the vineyard…” Appetite whet for more? So is mine! Will let you know all about our stay when we get back home!


First up, meeting with former SCV wine lover Denise Criste who packed up with hubby Johnny Wino (his name on Instagram) and are living the dream in Paso. Criste snagged a spot in the tasting room at Parrish Family Vineyards. After she went through their training I planned my visit! I had been to the winery only once before, as a member of a press party during the Cab Collective multi-day event a few years ago. I remembered a beautiful property that paired perfectly with beautifully crafted wines. I was excited about a re-visit, a “progressive vineyard tour” and a tasting guided by a pal! Wines to try included Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rose, Zinfandel Petite Sirah, “Silken” Cab and Petite Sirah blend and Cabernet Sauvignon.


It was about 9 miles from Parrish to Tin City for walk in tastings with any of these on my agenda: Wine Shine (spirits fermented from wine), as well as ONX, Field Recordings, Turtle Rock, Sans Liege and Benom. That would definitely be enough for our first day. On day two…


…we were set to visit the much-recommended Linne Calodo for the first time for a tasting. They are “easy to find at the intersection of Vineyard Drive and Highway 46W” and also offered “recommendations for additional tastings, restaurants, or places to stay.” Very accommodating. We looked forward to sampling some of the “seven to ten blends (they) create annually” from the Willow Creek District AVA. A quick sneak peak of their website and via a Google search I noted that of the blends they produced there were several that had been awarded 90 to 95 points from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.


From there we were headed to Denner Vineyards, whose wines I had tasted but never had visited the property. We were to have a tour and a tasting! And we were in for a treat: maybe tasting some of the Zinfandels that my business partner Michael Perlis had generously shared with me in the past, as well as some Rhônes and Bordeaux blends!


Then, as it seemed time allowed, we were going to…

Read Part Two Paso Plans here on 10/26/18!

Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a "certification in first globally-recognized course" as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com