Central Coast Living: Take a trip to wine country to see fall colors

Posted at 5:02 AM, Nov 09, 2017

Central Coast Living boasts a temperate climate with mild seasons compared to the rest of the country.

If you’re craving the sight of vibrant fall foliage, you don’t need to book a flight to the East Coast.

Just take a drive to our wine country and you’ll see vivid reds, oranges and yellows that might make you think you’re in New England.

Jason Haas of Tablas Creek Vineyardgrew up in Vermont. For a few weeks each fall, the Paso Robles vineyards remind him of his East Coast childhood.

“When you come out to the vineyards, you see a lot of the leaves turn the same kind of oranges and reds that you see in the Northeast,” Haas said.

However, you don’t have long to see the fall colors.

“You get probably three or four weeks of fall colors before you get your first frost and all the leaves come off the vines but for those three or four weeks, it’s beautiful,” he said.

Winemakers, like Stewart McLennan of Lefondusac Winery, say now is an excellent time for locals to visit our wine country. There are fewer tourists, the rush of harvest is over and the scenery is spectacular.

“It’s beautiful!” said McLennan. “It turns golden and you go through all the beautiful red colors. The vineyards are great right now.”

The fall foliage is on display just in time for artisan winemakers to share their wines this weekend at the Garagiste Wine Festival at the Paso Robles Fairgrounds.

McLennan is president and founder of the craft wine festival.

“Garagiste winemakers, as a rule, don’t have any rules so you’re going to be tasting varietals and blends and combinations of different wines that you’ve never had before,” he said.

The seventh annual festival raises money for Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture program.

Mustang alum Ryan Pease will be pouring his Paix Sur Terrecraft wine at the festival alongside about 60 California micro-wineries.

“We’re a pretty small production winery making about 750 to 1,000 cases a year,” Pease said.

His French-style wine has a distinct minerality of locally grown grapes.

“When people try our wines, you taste that it’s Paso still but it’s a completely different expression of Paso and one that I think is just a little more drinkable,” he said.

Whether you’re looking to sip red or white wine, see the red vines or some of both, now is the perfect time to plan a trip to wine country.

If you see fall colors in our local vineyards or anywhere else, please take a photo and share it with us using #BeOnKSBY!

The Garagiste Wine Festival runs Friday through Sunday.

Friday evening’s event has already sold out however tickets are still available for the grand tasting event on Saturday.

Sunday, participating local wineries will offer discounts to visitors as part of a wine passport program.

Click here for more information about the Garagiste Wine Festival.