Touring wine country just never gets old for us.
In fact, we often have to remind ourselves that it has been 22 years since we started the club. Twenty-two years. Wow.
This isn’t just our business, this is our life. And we love it. It is still a thrill to hop in our car, or take a short flight to explore off-beaten paths of wine country from Temecula, Santa Ynez Valley, Paso Robles, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and even all the way to the Sierra Foothills.
On a cool Fall day we filled our thermos with coffee and pulled out of our driveway at 8am sharp.
Heading north on 101 we were able to skip the rush hour crawl through Santa Barbara and cruise the 3-hour drive comfortably to Paso Robles.
We must have hit several pockets along the way with no cell service, because around noon as we drove up to Tobin James’ winery we got a voicemail message from Toby. He had been trying to reach us to reschedule . Hmm…no traffic was a good start to the day, but not having Toby there would be bad.
We were sorry to hear Toby had to go out town but rather than turn around and head home, we decided to stay and tour the winery anyway.
Turns out, we didn’t miss a thing. Oh we missed seeing Toby, but his signature was everywhere and there was no doubt that present or not, this was Toby’s place…starting with the Wild West style winery.
When Toby came to Paso Robles in his early 20s, saloons were the name of the game, not wine bars. And even today, the region itself is still very country, so combine that with Toby’s laid-back attitude and you’ve got an Out West winery.
It wasn’t just the décor that said Toby—it was the attitude of the place –rockin’!
After a quiet morning together in our car, we were (frankly) momentarily overwhelmed by the loud music, and loud talking. Once we joined the people crowding up to the saloon bar and got to tasting some of Toby’s 20+ wines… we relaxed. After all, this was the real Tobin James experience, and we loved it.
The Tobin James wines we ending up choosing for the club were the ’08 Titan Hills Fiasco, and the 2010 Radiant Chardonnay.
According to Toby, this Chardonnay is most popular among the burly cowboy-type that pull up to the saloon. After hanging with the Tobin James bar crowd…we kinda’ believe him.
Cheers for now,
Bruce and Pam