Recently mom and I attended the quarterly Art and Wine Tour in downtown Atascadero. It was such a fun evening tasting a variety of locally produced wine, meeting local merchants, checking out new little shops, and perusing the talents of local artists.
There were 20 wineries pouring, but unfortunately we didn't get to all of them before the Tour concluded at 8:30 (it really should just go to nine; it's Friday night after all!), but we managed to hit a little more than half of them. There were some of our old favourites: Pomar Junction (with their delicious Picnic Chardonnay!), Hidden Oaks, Eberle, and Castoro Cellars; a few we've tried before and liked: Whalebone, St. Hilaire, and Lone Madrone; and some new ones I'm pretty sure we've never tried before: Pear Valley, Calcareous, Bianchi, and Tolo Cellars.
The weather was perfect for the Tour: sunny and warm, but just starting to cool off, and little to no wind! There were tons of people there, I think more than I've ever seen at one of these events. It was so nice to see so many people come out. Our downtown is struggling, to be sure, but it's quaint, friendly, and hosts several really nice, unique, fun shops!
During the last Tour back in March, I think it was, this little store appeared to be closed. I was very sad because it's one of my favourite little shops in town. I'm not sure if they were just on vacation, changing hands, updating inventory, or what, but Times Since Remembered was back and filled with delightful things!!!
Rhonda's Relics is a brand new little shop that has lots of unique, vintage items as well as quaint gifty things. I really hope it does well!
I've never been to the patio area behind The Spa Central Coast and Avian and Claw (formerly Haven Wine Bistro), but it was quite lovely! Lots of seating and there were two wineries pouring there: Whalebone and Nobelle Wines.
When I first saw this paper-wrapped bench outside Envisions Gallery, I assumed it was a newly installed bench that hadn't been unwrapped yet. But when Iw ent around the corner and saw a wrapped up bicycle parked by the building and a small car wrapped up in front I realized it must be an art display! It was called Wrapture by Chris O'Mahony, and I thought it was quite clever!
Garth Wilwand played some great tunes in the atrium between Wilwand Tea Co. and Healing Arts and Grape Encounters Empourium. I tried to post a video of him singing "Message in a Bottle" to my Instagram, but I screwed it up, so you'll have to check out his music on his website linked above.
So, it was a super fun night, but wow, that was a lot of wine! When we got home we noticed that the glasses we'd been given were even bigger than the Big Wine Glasses we got at another wine tasting event (though not quite as big as the Ginormous glasses we got at the last Atascadero Wine Festival we went to several years ago). Just for fun I did some photo comparisons. The newest glass is the one on the left.
The first picture has the glass from a few years ago on the right (don't remember if it was the Art and WIne Tour or Sweetheart Stroll). This is the one we consider the Big Glass and is also our Friday Glass, because by Friday I really need a nice big glass of wine! The Ginormous glass is in the second picture, and I think breaks some kind of world record for the largest wine glass ever! Oh, and that teeny tiny glass in the third picture is the original size of wine glass we used to get at wine festivals/tasting events. Why they ever changed is beyond me! The bigger ones are so cumbersome when you're walking around trying to drink wine, eat food, take pictures and look at stuff. Maybe next time we'll just remember to take some of our own glasses!
So, yeah, it was fun. Too much fun! I was planning to go to the Central Coast Oyster Festival in Avila Beach on Saturday, but woke up late in the morning just exhausted from what was really a busy, busy week that actually started the Friday before, and decided to not bother. Just the thought of spending hours fighting my way through throngs of people in the sun and heat for a few oysters and a couple cocktails just didn't sound as fun as it had on Thursday! Oh, well. Maybe next year!