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Adventures in wine 

Seatbelts first: Get in the Jeep! Villa San-Juliette is offering tours that take education and appreciation of this northern Paso Robles winery to the next level. This summer, the winemaker is loading up a Jeep and taking tasters four at a time into the vineyard, wine glasses in tow. Talking points include vines, soil and influences, and (of course) vineyard selfies ( … In her newest book, So You Think You Know Pacific Wines? author Marques Vickers brings out the big guns, comparing the California, Washington, and Oregon wine industries. Here’s what she found: California is the top producing state, with 4,200 wineries! Washington is second and Oregon fourth (behind New York) in American wine grape production. The state of California harvested 4 million tons and Washington 270,000 tons of wine grapes during the 2016 harvest. You get the picture. We rule.

Bright ideas

Taste that dirty denim! You’ve probably seen the construction in front of the Granada Hotel & Bistro in SLO. Before you walk on, remember that the bar is now offering a Hard Hat Happy Hour. Yep. That’s right! Granada is featuring a special menu to make the construction process a little easier. From 5 to 6 p.m. enjoy a hardworking menu including items like a reinvented screwdriver, copper pipe (ginger beer and vodka), dirty denim (tequila drink), and others. Food items include wrecking balls (meatballs) and bricks (ribs), among other sly shenanigans. That’s cute, right? (Learn more at … Meet your pals in the Village of Arroyo Grande this June 11 for an evening of live music, raffle, food, drinks, and free tours of historical buildings. It’s all going down at Heritage Square Park, where free summer concerts will rage every other Sunday till the first autumn chill (event runs from 6 to 11 p.m.).

Grilling companion

Viva Albariño! This grape may have been born in Portugal and Spain, but crisp, floral Albariño is made for Central Coast summers. Whether you spend hot nights sipping this white while grilling up barbecued fish tacos or prefer to enjoy it straight from the fridge, this is the new wine you’re bound to fall in love with when the temps rise. You can even taste from 25 passionate boutique Paso Robles Albariño producers at three unique events uncorking across the area June 16 to 17 for the Festival of Albariño ( The celebration includes a starlit dinner, picnic with live music, grand tasting, and educational seminar. Ole!

Best bites? Send em! Hayley Thomas Cain can be reached at

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