Greetings from Brasada Ranch, 25 miles east of Bend Oregon.  This place is over the top - but I will get to that later.....This post is long overdue.  I have been gone over a week but have been on the go and haven't had time (or made time)

I started my adventure with a work crew and flew into San Fran.  We drove down to Paso Robles  and went to a WIld Horse Winery right away to enjoy some wine, food and Flloyd (their llama mascot)  We ate outside with the sun setting in the background - a gorgeous red and orange that lasted well over an hour.  It was a family style BBQ and the food was all local and delicious. *a grilled chocolate cake with homemade whipped cream and raspberries!
THey had a cigar bar set up for us after and more wine.   These trips for work are always fun and we get completely spoiled (fed and "watered").  The hardest part of the trip is getting to the bus in time to leave in the morning and without having the spins.
The next day we left at 8am and was drinking wine by 830 and shooting guns by 9am in the vineyard!  It was a great bb gun shootout!.  we had 2 teams and shot targets, truly right in the vineyard at Paso Creek Winery.  They specialize in reds- merlot, cabernet and zinfandel.  Then off to a goat farm to milk some goats and make some cheese.  Goats are a special animal.  Funny, stinky and curious.  This is where wearing a sundress wasn't my ideal choice.  We milked Sprite, a white goat who had her titties pulled too many times (especially by men who don't understand a womans instructions)  I had never seen a tit pulled so badly! We were laughing crazy hard,  This farm had cows, horses, pigs, goats, dogs, more goats and a lot of poop.  We ate standing up on a long table in the barn.  Pulled pork sandies with pasta salad with a huge cream puff for dessert.  Somehow myself and the owner got into a cream puff eating contest - don't know how this happened but long story short - don't eat 2 cream puffs the size of your head.....hurts.  bad.  but funny.  really funny. Ive heard there is video funny.  I left there smelling like spoiled goat milk, crusty goat milk all over m\y dress, full of cream puff, sticky faced and in love with goat feta cheese (all of their cheese at Happy Acres was over the top - Happy goats make great cheese)
Back to the winery to watch some grapes come in- get destemmed and ready for fermentation to start.  Its not a glamorous job but so interesting to watch.  They were also doing a pump  over and we tasted juice just pressed - its sweet and delicious.  The winemake Clay, was busy but took out a little time to say hello - and with that we said goodbye and was on our way to Monterey.  Paso robles is hot - 96 there - Monterey is cool because by the oceanside - 60's.  We had dinner at Lallapalooza.  A trendy restaurant downtown - my favorite part being Robert Mondavi Reserve Fume Blanc and raw tuna mixed with wasabi and cilantro on a block of salt - (the salt just keeps it cold)  We had mussels, clams, tuna, shrimp, squid and octopus - then enjoyed some Karaoke at the Mucky Duck.
This particular morning was hard for some of my coworkers - ouch times one million.  we left early and went to Stonewall vineyard in Santa Lucia HIghlands.  We looked at different pinot noir clones - 114, 177, pommard and Jackson......all of these different clones in the same vineyard, all look completely different as far as how tight the clones are, color, when they are ready to pick, size of berries, etc.  really awesome to have the vineyard manager, Jason, with us (who had picked the entire night- they pick at  night because its cool and the grapes can start fermentation if hot, also to retain freshness and acidity, and its better for the workers as well) 
We went to estancia winery then and toured the facility, watched them analyze grapes to see how far along they were to picking status and drank....Then off to Burrito hill to eat lunch - which was an outside Mexican fiesta! Authentic mexican is the best!  We had tacos, crazy spicy salsa, quesadillas and wine! 
Back in Monterey, I went with a friend to Monterey Bay Aquarium.  What an amazing place!  The jellyfish exhibit was my favorite by far. 
Off to dinner at a Pebble Beach property - we sat outside, oceanside, with fire pits and watched the closure of the golf course and day with the traditional bagpiper.  This is a tradition pebble beach has been doing for years.  Its quite the spectacle and the sun sets and hearing the bagpipes for over an hour.  Great day.  We ate there at Roys - Sushi was amazing and we had lobster, tuna, salmon, eel, shrimp, kobe beef and many other rolls!  and my favorite all time wine - Mt veeder cabernet (which by no means "goes" with sushi but Mt veeder goes with anything if you ask me!
A great and educational trip for sure.

Some great wines i had on my trip from the central coast area
Wild HOrse Viognier
Wild horse blaufrancish
Wild horse unbridled pinot noir
paso creek merlot
Estancia Pinot grigio
Estancia Stonewall Pinot Noir

other wines we had from other regions-
Robert Mondavi Reserve Fume Blanc
Kim Crawford Sauvignon blanc
mt veeder cabernet
robert mondavi napa cabernet

I will post another on the next part of my trip!

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