Every year in September my family visits friends in Paso Robles. Wine tasting in this magnificent valley has become an annual tradition for our visits. This year our friends decided to add something new – in addition to wine tasting, we visited a spirits distillery and craft brewery. I was a little worried about an ensuing headache – but I sailed through the day successfully and experienced some exceptional new finds that I would like to share with you.
We visited Re:Find Distillery, which is located on the west side of 101, right outside of downtown Paso Robles. Re:Find Distillery is located at the Villicana Winery which both are owned by Alex and Monica Villicana. Villicana Winery has been producing premium wines in the Paso Robles Wine Appellation since 2002.
There is a process in wine making where artisan winemakers “bleed” a percentage of the prized free-run juice from the red wine grapes before fermentation. The bleed’s purpose is to concentrate and enhance the quality of the red wine. The “bleed” is called saignee (son yay), and is often discarded. The Villicanas decided not to discard the saignee and began to ferment the juice and then triple distill it into handcrafted luxury spirits.
Re:Find produces vodka, gin, rye, limoncello, cucumber flavored vodka, and kumquat flavored brandy. The gin was my favorite! I learned that the difference between vodka to gin is the added botanicals that the spirit is distilled with. Re:Find’s gin has six botanical ingredients that are incorporated into the flavor: juniper berries, lavender, citrus, coriander, orris root, and grains of paradise. Needless to say, I bought a bottle of their delicious gin! I was already imagining the lovely cocktails I could create at home.
Later in the day we visited Barrelhouse Brewing Company (BHBC). Long time friends Jason Carvalho, Kevin Nickell, and Chris Vaughn own this craft brewery. They have been crafting beer at BDBC since 2013 and have established quite a following in San Luis Obispo County. BHBC’s focus is to create unique drinkable beers offering their customers a constant flow of small batch seasonal releases. Their year-round portfolio of beers includes Blonde, IPA, Rye IPA, Ale, and Stout.
Owner of BHBC Jason Carvalho, Kevin Nickell, and Chris Vaughn
BHBC is a super fun place to hang out with friends and drink beer! Although there is plenty of seating inside the brewery, they have a large outside area that has a bandstand, waterfall, and picnic tables, which are shaded by trees and surrounded by grass. On weekends BHBC brings in local bands as well as food vendors to keep the crowd happy!
I highly recommend both of these establishments to expand your fun when visiting the Paso Robles area. San Luis Obispo County never disappoints and always has a new hidden gem to reveal on each of our visits.
RE: FIND DISTILERY & VILLICANA WINERY
2725 Adelaida Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446
BARRELHOUSE BREWING COMPANY
3055 Limestone Way
Paso Robles, CA 93446