February/March 2019 81
COURTESY OF VISIT TEMECULA VALLEY; OPPOSITE FROM TOP: COURTESY OF WORK FAMILY GUEST RANCH; COURTESY OF J. LOHR VINEYARDS AND WINES
theme with a traditional French zinc-topped, horseshoe-shaped bar,
as black and white photos of local riders adorn the walls. Serving
Central California and European wines and light bites, the Pony
Club is the perfect spot to rub elbows with the locals, listen to
some live music, and enjoy some fine wines.
Paso’s renowned culinary scene—sustained by local farmers
and the region’s agricultural abundance—continues to expand
with notable new eateries. Delicious new additions include Oralé
Taqueria, The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar and Fish Gaucho.
If you crave a taste of the cowboy life as a chaser to the fine wines,
sidle up to the Work Family Guest Ranch for horseback riding and
overnight trail rides. To watch real cowboys in action, head to the
livestock market in nearby tiny town of Templeton or, in summer,
watch free weekly demonstrations of team roping and penning.
WINE AND THE WILD BLUE YONDER
Carter Estate, Temecula and hot air ballooning
Get a bird’s eye view for two with hot air ballooning over Southern
California wine country.
Our final destination, a few hundred miles south of Paso Robles,
brims with Old West flair. Tucked between the Pacific coastline
and the arid desert, the verdant valley of Temecula is emerging
as Southern California’s mecca for fine wines. Tuscan themed
vineyards, farm-to-table eateries, and hot-air balloon adventures
elevate this emerging wine region.
The area is also a study in dichotomy, with many of the Wild
West themed Old Town’s surrounding wineries designed to resemble
A GRAPE ESCAPE
HOT AIR BALLOON