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Visiting Wineries on the Central Coast

My husband and I often like to vacation in Cayucos. It's a small beach community

north of Los Angeles. The area has a lot of wineries and two of my husband’s favorites

are Baileyana in the Edna Valley and Opolo in Paso Robles.

We’ve tried a lot of wineries when visiting but settled on visiting these two when we go north.

Baileyana is located in an old yellow schoolhouse. It sits on a hill with an outdoor

seating area that overlooks one of their vineyards. Its often a bit cool there with a slight

breeze. They're very proud of their wines and have mentioned in the past that some

of their vines are clones from France.

Opolo also has outdoor seating. It's covered in case of rain and has a large fountain

splashing nearby. Being inland, it can be a bit warmer and is always busy when we've

been there. Both wineries are really laid-back without a lot of attitude. I do a little

tasting but for the most part am the Designated Driver or “DD” on these outings.

So which winery is better? That depends.

This year, 2023, we thought Baileyana was the best. Their wines had a lovely “nose”

which means they smelled wonderful. That’s when you swirl the wine around in the glass

before you drink it which looks really sophisticated. Baileyana’s wines also seemed more

complex with lots more flavors on the tongue. But last year, 2022, it was completely the

opposite. We thought Opolo outdid Baileyana.

What made the difference this year? California’s central coast had a lot of rain and fog

while this year’s crop of grapes was growing. Bailyana is closer to the ocean and Opolo

is more inland so maybe the weather made the difference. Or maybe the vintner at Bailyana

blended the wines more precisely this year when trying to duplicate a wine from another region.

It’s hard to know. Making wine is hardly an exact science.



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