A Dinner Date With Michael Stipe
Over a meal at one of his favorite restaurants in New York City, the former R.E.M....
Courtesy Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance
Paso Robles is one of California’s largest and most scenic wine regions, with 26,000 vineyard acres running up the Central Coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Once a year the area comes together to celebrate its 180 wineries and 40 varietals—from heritage Zinfandel to French Viognier. And this year promises to be especially festive as Paso Robles marks its 30th annual Wine Festival, from May 18 to 20. The weekend kicks off with a reserve event on Friday, where the region’s top wineries will showcase their reserves and futures, offering eager oenophiles the opportunity to bid on vintages while they’re still in the barrel.
The festivities continue Saturday with a tasting from 60 wineries in downtown Paso Robles, where holders of premium tickets ($75) can enter early to enjoy a more personal experience. Then there are the events—more than 150 of them in all—at the wineries themselves. Choose from cave tours, live music, a tri-tip barbecue at Eberle Winery (the 2011 Winery of the Year), a four-course, farm-fresh feast (with wine pairings, of course) in the garden at Harmony Cellars (3255 Harmony Valley Rd.; 805-927-1624; harmonycellars.com) and more. May 18–20; reserve admission, $125; vineyard events, ticketed separately; pasowine.com.