Sunday, April 18, 2010

up the coast, part 2

After a tasty lunch of clam chowder at Splash Café we continued our journey up the central coast of California and took a turn inland toward the Edna Valley. I was taken back by the extensive agriculture and viticulture that is going on there. I learned that the Edna Valley, besides being beautiful is probably one of the best places for going the slightly finicky Pinot Noir grape.

The wine produced in this climate is significantly influenced by the nearby Pacific Ocean. Mornings are often cool and foggy, followed by sunny and warm afternoons. This valley region is subject to extremely long growing seasons and moderate temperatures, which allow the grapes to develop their distinctive varietals characteristics.

We spent the rest of the afternoon driving through the valley, ending up in San Luis Obispo where we had a delicious meal at Buono Tavola that serves northern Italian cuisine. The Tortelloni di zucca alla salvia e mascarpone was an amazing homemade tortelloni stuffed with pumpkin and ricotta cheese in a sage and mascarpone cheese sauce topped with toasted walnuts. The pasta that was so thin and tender it almost melted in my mouth. With my meal I enjoyed a superb 2007 Pinot Noir from Talley Vineyards that was probably one of the best I’ve tried. And for dessert I had the Torta Di Mele Alla Pia, a homemade country apple tart with a polenta crust and served with a cinnamon zabaglione. The apples were sliced paper thin and the polenta crust so flaky and delicate; it was the perfect end to the meal.


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