Are we surprised that Paso Robles received this tremendous award from the powerhouse magazine Wine Enthusiast? Not one bit! The award will be officially handed out in New York in January but this region of California earned a special place in our lives more than a decade ago. Of course, this is a huge honor and yet also just one more affirmation in our dreams for Sea Shell Cellars! To give you some perspective for the last six years this prestigious award has gone to wine regions in Spain, Argentina, Italy and France. Wine Enthusiast said: "Paso Robles is having a moment in the sun, attracting truckloads of dynamic young talent unafraid to experiment with grape varieties and winemaking techniques. Consistently high-quality wines, a vibrant food culture, and diverse travel experiences for adventurous wine lovers add to the package."

Rick and I had been to Napa, Sonoma and Temecula several times and we had heard of the Paso Robles Region but we had never visited. Kevin Carter, Rick's brother, encouraged us to come to this beautiful, central coast region, which was virtually in his backyard. In 2001, we finally made the trip with our dear friends, the Smith's. We fell in love with this emerging vineyard and winery destination--that was when the seed was planted. Paso Robles was where we wanted to own a vineyard and make wine.

Paso Robles was a breath of fresh air! We enjoyed the beautiful rollings hills, gorgeous vineyards and the out-going friendliness of all the vintners and wineries! It was apparent this wine destination had all the potential to be world renown one day. The town is exceptionally charming with an old fashion square reminiscent of another era. Not only has it become a wine destination, it has also become a culinary destination. There are fabulous restaurants that are small and very quaint. Last but not least, there are many small boutiques that offer tremendous shopping from clothing to a plethora of artistic locally-made wine accessories. Next time you plan a trip to the "wine country" you really need to consider Paso Robles. As the article says, "Wine regions far more famous than Paso Robles produce great wine but few places exhibit the spirit and can do positivity of this Central Coast appellation."

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michelle carter
michelle carter