May 9, 2018
Warm summer nights, stargazing, telling stories around the campfire, all of course while sipping on a glass of Paso wine. Summer is right around the corner, so we paired up with some of our biggest campers to give you the inside scope on where to camp in Paso Wine Country, as well as some fun camping wine hacks.
Maggie Tillman, Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery
Where is your favorite spot to camp? The Trailer Pond at Alta Colina of course! Vintage trailer camping surrounded by vineyard–perfect.
What is your go-to wine when sitting around the campfire? Anything under a screwcap! At Alta Colina, that means Rosé or our drink-now Syrah blend, Downslope.
Are there any wine accessories that you won’t camp without? GoVinos and a CamelBak (filled with wine. Obviously).
Any camping hacks using wine or wine bottles? (making fire starters with the cork, turning the bottle into a tiki torch) Wine bottles make great candle holders, rolling pins for pizza dough, maracas (fill it with rocks and give it a shake!), and blunt objects for mountain lion defense.
What is your camping meal specialty and what do you pair with it? Ever heard of a Pudgy Pie?! First, Google a ‘pie iron.‘ Second, bring grilled cheese supplies. Third, make the greatest grilled cheese of all time and pair it with Downslope or Rosé from Alta Colina.
What is your favorite card game around the campfire? Or other games that you enjoy while in the wild? Cards Against Humanity! The Trailer Pond is 21+ after all…
Tent or RV? Are you a purist, or is luxury/glamping while ‘roughing it’ more attractive? Definitely a camper! Nothing like a Tempurpedic mattress after a day of hiking and a night of feasting.
What spots in Paso Wine Country would you recommend for a getaway camping trip? Of course, we’re partial to the Trailer Pond! We also love Cerro Alto, Santa Margarita Lake, and the San Simeon beach campground.
Jill Tweedie, Breakaway Tours & Event Planning
Where is your favorite spot to camp? We love boating and mountain biking, and we love the heat of the summer. Our favorite place to camp is Lake San Antonio.
What is your go-to wine when sitting around the campfire? Following dinner of typically grilled steak and a worthy bottle of Paso Robles Cabernet or fish with a beautiful Rhône blend… our “go to wine,” while sitting around the campfire, often disguises itself in a tequila bottle, most likely a Reposado.
Are there any wine accessories that you won’t camp without? While camping we wouldn’t be caught with less than 6 bottles to choose from over a weekend trip. Must haves are our stemless Riedel glasses, (one does have standards), insulated wine carriers, obviously a cork puller and preferably a foil cutter. We are in infrequent requirement of a vacuum pump and seal as the need rarely presents itself.
Any camping hacks using wine or wine bottles? We have no camping hacks for wine or wine bottles, but will certainly check out the possibility of using the corks as fire starters. Who knew? This wasn’t taught in Camp Fire nor Boy Scouts…
What is your camping meal specialty and what do you pair with it? Our camping meal specialty is breakfast following a grueling mountain bike ride before it gets hot. Our favorite is toasted onion bagels w/ lox, cream cheese, tomato, onion, capers and of course, Champagne and/or sparkling wine! Nothing says vacation like Champagne in the morning. In the day while on the boat nothing says summer like a refreshing Rosé or brilliant white Rhône blend.
What is your favorite card game around the campfire? Or other games that you enjoy while in the wild? Hmmm well, we play music/guitar, Telephone, tell scary stories and jokes. Sometimes Password & Yahtzee.
Tent or RV? Are you a purist, or is luxury/glamping while ‘roughing it’ more attractive? We (parents) camp in an RV baby, all the way and without shame. That being said, we don’t have a satellite dish nor TV, and we ban electronics upon arrival. We do favor AC in the heat of the day and indoor plumbing in the middle of the night. We set an outside kitchen so all cooking is “in the wild”. I fear that should I sleep on the ground, I shall not rise in a promising condition. After a day full of mountain biking and wakeboarding/skiing, these old bones and tired muscles prefer/require a worthy mattress. The teenagers, on the other hand, will sleep under the stars sans tent et al.
What spots in Paso Wine Country would you recommend for a getaway camping trip? I highly recommend camping at Lake San Antonio or Nacimiento, (Naci as the locals call it) if you have a boat, the waters are warm and the days are hot. We also enjoy Lopez Lake in Arroyo Grande, great hiking and a better lake for windsurfing. Santa Margarita Lake is gorgeous and good for fishing as you can’t swim in the water. There are a number of state beach campgrounds on the coast that are excellent as well as in-town RV Parks if you’re looking to spend time in wine country and visiting the local wineries. The good news is that there is something for every palate!