Paso Robles Wine Country

Author: , January 7th, 2015

Grapes, WineryPaso Robles is one of California’s (and the country’s) fastest wine-growing regions, located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles in an unspoiled setting of vineyard-covered hills that rise and plunge down to one of the state’s most stunning stretches of coast.

“Paso WHAT?” I hear you say. Well, come with me and we’ll explore this region, a real up-and-comer in the wine world, with a developing sophistication that still takes the residents by surprise. The town of Paso Robles is surrounded on all sides by excellent wineries on its gently rolling, emerald-clad hills, and it’s just a short drive away from such charming coastal villages as Cambria, Morro Bay, and Cayucos, and major attractions like Hearst Castle.

Paso Robles (pronounced, PASS-o RO-bulls) is a charming town with a park, newly refurbished buildings spread over several blocks, some of the best restaurants I’ve eaten in recently, as well as a variety of shops offering everything from great art to culinary gems. I had no idea before visiting just how pleasant and pretty the town is–and I think that’s one of the things I like best about Paso and the entire region: the sense of surprise.

By Rich Rubin – Full Story at Passport | Central California Coast Gay Travel Resources

Take a Wine Country Tour in South Africa

Author: , November 17th, 2014

Grapes, WineryCalculating the liquid yield of 18 wine routes is best considered, in our humble opinion, while drinking at one (or more) of the said wine routes. The Cape Routes, named for their proximity to South Africa’s capital city Cape Town, offer travelers some of the best vistas and consequently best vineyards on the planet. The warm, protected climate coddles grape vines into eruption to help fuel an industry overseas and cater to oenophiles at home.

South African vineyards are more than just about drinking, they’re about developing your palette to discover what wines you really like, sharing the adventure with friends, and immersing yourself into the lifestyle that is unique to wine country. With so many wine routes and vineyards to choose from, we look at four for their beauty, wine selection and fun.

The Franschhoek Wine Route

A vista that couldn’t be better if you photoshopped it, the Franschoek wine route is self-described as South Africa’s gourmet capital. Taking the wine experience to the next level, the route is available year-round to enjoy with delectable creations, both traditional and avante-garde, to pair perfectly with home-grown vintages.

By Jean Paul Zapata – Full Story at Gay Star News | South Africa Gay Travel Resources

Sonoma Valley: Going Gay Among the Vines

Author: , September 18th, 2014

Grapes, WineryIt’s harvest time among the vines of Sonoma County, just outside San Francisco. And ripening alongside the grapes is a new concept that embraces the LGBTI loves of fine living, travel and, to be honest, drinking – Out in the Vineyard.

Gary Saperstein and Mark Vogler are drawing tourists and locals out of gay mecca and over the Golden Gate Bridge to spend some time in the birthplace of the Californian wine industry.

It takes a while to clear the city’s sprawling suburbs but soon enough field after field of pristinely-kept vines line the road. They twinkle like diamonds and rubies, thanks to the tinselly ribbons tied to them to keep small birds off the grapes. But that’s not enough to scare flocks of turkey vultures who wheel around in a great blue sky, seeking out the small critters who are the vintners’ other enemy.

By Tris Reid-Smith – Full Story at Gay Star News | Sonoma County Gay Travel Resources

Visiting the Paso Robles Wine Country

Author: , July 16th, 2014

Grapes, WineryPaso Robles is one of California’s (and the country’s) fastest wine-growing regions, located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles in an unspoiled setting of vineyard-covered hills that rise and plunge down to one of the state’s most stunning stretches of coast.

“Paso WHAT?” I hear you say. Well, come with me and we’ll explore this region, a real up-and-comer in the wine world, with a developing sophistication that still takes the residents by surprise. The town of Paso Robles is surrounded on all sides by excellent wineries on its gently rolling, emerald-clad hills, and it’s just a short drive away from such charming coastal villages as Cambria, Morro Bay, and Cayucos, and major attractions like Hearst Castle.

Paso Robles (pronounced, PASS-o RO-bulls) is a charming town with a park, newly refurbished buildings spread over several blocks, some of the best restaurants I’ve eaten in recently, as well as a variety of shops offering everything from great art to culinary gems. I had no idea before visiting just how pleasant and pretty the town is–and I think that’s one of the things I like best about Paso and the entire region: the sense of surprise. What a feeling of discovery, then, as this stunning region begins to unfold for me, starting with the main town and flowing outward through vineyard-covered hillsides, valleys clad in oaks (robles in Spanish) as well as almond and walnut trees, and cliffs changing from chalky white to deep red to mellow tan–all different kinds of rocks that affect the types of grapes grown here and therefore the kinds of wines produced.

By Rich Rubin – Full Story at Passport Magazine | California Central Coast Gay Travel Resources

The Poland Wine Country

Author: , June 18th, 2014

Sonoma Wine Country - Don and RayTucked into the 350 miles that separate Warsaw and Berlin, the Lubuskie region is the unofficial capital of Poland’s small but growing wine production. It’s the largest of Poland’s three main wine-growing areas, just over three hours from Warsaw and two from Berlin via train.

Thanks to the location’s accessibility, the region is a long but possible day trip. It sees few American visitors, despite its convenience and proximity to other popular destinations, but we hope that changes soon. It’d be a shame to miss out on what may be one of the wine world’s best-kept (and utterly idyllic) secrets.

Because of the climate, traditional varietals such as merlot and cabernet are harder to grow in Poland, replaced instead with earlier-ripening varietals more commonly seen in Germany, such as rondo and seyval blanc. Despite the challenges, the wine here is surprisingly good — having garnered awards at international competitions — and it looks like they’re only going to get better.

By Katie Hammel – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Poland Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Applewood Inn, Guerneville, California

Author: , April 24th, 2013

Applewood Inn, Guerneville, CaliforniaPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Luxury Villa in the Russian River Valley: Featured on Public Television’s Great Country Inns program and named one of the West’s best Small Inns by Sunset Magazine, Applewood offers an oasis of style and luxury in the Russian River Valley. The Mediterranean villa compound is home to an acclaimed California/Provencal restaurant and award-winning wine cellar. An ideal hideaway for city-weary travellers. Restaurant has Michelin Star.

See the Applewood Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Sonoma County

Quick Escapes for Business Travelers in Napa

Author: , April 17th, 2013

NapaNapa Valley receives millions of visitors a year, and over 20% of them identify as business travelers. While peak season occurs in the summer and fall months, winter and spring sees an average high of 62 degrees and, according to locals, is a favorable time to visit as there are less crowds, more personal attention at vineyards, and lower room rates.

Despite all the hedonistic temptations of Michelin-star chefs, indulgent spas, well-appointed accommodations, and one-of-a-kind vineyards, business can be conducted in Napa, thanks to a number of impressive meeting facilities.

While gay tourism grows every year in steady numbers, the LGBT community has been visible for decades. Mark Young, owner of three restaurants in the burgeoning gay county of Calistoga, a region in Napa, is from the area and he tells me: “I’ve seen it all,” recalling his position as a maitre d’ at the fancy Auberge Du Soleil Resort when a four-course dinner was $42 (it’s more than triple that now and quite worth it considering the restaurant’s prime valley views and top-notch Michelin-fronted American dishes). The valley wasn’t really discovered yet, which is why celebrities like Edward Kennedy and Barbra Streisand liked it here. The tradition still remains strong.

Authored By Jimmy Im – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Napa.

Exploring Chile’s Wine Country

Author: , April 25th, 2012

Gay Travel: Exploring Chile's Wine CountryWhat dinner isn’t better with a bottle of wine? As Chile’s Nobel Prize-winning poet, Pablo Neruda, wrote, “I like on the table, when we’re speaking, the light of a bottle of intelligent wine.”

As with all true oenophiles, Neruda knew that good things come to those who wait. Whether storing a bottle in the wine cellar to increase its “intelligence” or merely letting a bottle breathe on the dinner table, wine benefits from the passage of time.

A similar lesson is revealed in the history of Chilean viticulture. The conquest of Chile by Spanish conquistadors brought the introduction of viticulture to the New World (Jesuit missionaries liked their wine), but the onerous restrictions imposed by Spanish rule kept the burgeoning Chilean wine industry from attaining its true potential.

Full Story from Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in Chile.

 

Visiting the Santa Barbara Wine Country

Author: , April 23rd, 2012

Gay Travel: Visiting the Santa Barbara Wine Country Given the reputation it has as conservative and affluent, Santa Barbara surprisingly has a sizable LGBT community. It is no shock to us though, for this coastal town is a blissful place to live and travel to. There’s always a steady stream of gay visitors especially ready to indulge in decadent Gay Santa Barbara. With beautiful beaches, wineries, and restaurants, Santa Barbara definitely holds its own as a great California vacation destination!

The Santa Barbara Wine Country emerged from a cluster of celebrities attempting to blaze their trails outside of the Hollywood limelight, and winemakers attempting to break free from the notorious shadow of Napa Valley. What began as a region full of upstart wineries that each developed their own cult followings has emerged into the abundant reputation of Santa Barbara’s Wine Country. Now, there are over 21,000 acres of land dedicated to growing grapes for wine in Santa Barbara as well as neighboring valleys of Santa Ynez and Santa Maria. The majority of the regions’ wineries remain family owned and operated, which contributes to the handcrafted aesthetic this wine country is known for. For an ass-kicking Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or Cabernets, look no further than Santa Barbara.

The overall gay presence in Santa Barbara has expanded in recent years. The dyke scene specifically is known as a comfortable balance of Northern California’s granola-and-Birkenstock types and southern California’s chic club-goers. There are no exclusively-gay bars or clubs in this beach town though, so most members of the gay community are simply normal people living life in one of the most charming coastal towns of California.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

Click here for gay travel resources on the Central California Coast.

 

Gay Travel’s Favorite Napa Valley Wine Country Adventures

Author: , February 16th, 2012

Napa Valley Gay TravelThere’s always something fabulous to do in California’s wine country, one of the most beautiful and romantic areas in the United States. Gay and lesbian tourists are certain to be intoxicated with the Napa Sonoma region, in and out of the vineyard. Here’s our list of the top 10 places and events you must not miss.

10. Oxbow Public Market: This unique shopping area in the heart of downtown Napa is a great place to find amazing bottles of wine, incredible food and unique goods created by locals. Enjoy dinner and drinks at one of the posh restaurants, window shop or grab a picnic lunch to go.

9. Napa Valley Big Gay Bingo: Anywhere you go, gay bingo is always a blast. Over the top drag queens calling the numbers and fabulous door prizes, what’s not to love? Local LGBT organizations team up to sponsor the event with proceeds benefiting gay and lesbian non-profits like the Trevor Project.

8. Napa Valley Film Festival: Film, food and of course, wine. This celebration of independent filmmaking takes place in November and features more than 100 titles screened at venues across the region.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

Click here for gay travel resources in Napa County.