Located in Paso Robles’ northern town of San Miguel, Graveyard Vineyards is a tucked-away winery in the middle of the area’s rolling hills with plenty of outdoor space for wine tasting. The owners have created a charming tasting room on their home and vineyard property, with a large patio and pergola right on a pond. It’s a great spot to hang out, if you’re ready to brave the heat (or cold in winter).
They can’t be called Champagne, but it’s made in the méthode champenoise, which is the same method used on classic Champagnes in France. Graveyard Vineyard’s The Ascender sparkling wine is made from French Colombard and Chenin Blanc, from the central valley of California. This is an off-dry bubbly, meaning it’s slightly sweet, making it perfect for pairing with desserts. It has a very fruity flavor, with notes of white peach and ripe apple. Pair it with strawberry shortcake, or cupcakes of any flavor.
This sparkling wine is available by the glass and the bottle, and is frequently open for tasting, so just ask! The best time to taste is on long weekends or holidays, when they feature fun food bites and flights to celebrate. So, grab a table on the patio overlooking the pond, bring a picnic (don’t forget dessert!) and get comfy.
Graveyard Vineyard Sparkling Wine Details
Pétillant Naturel, or Pét-Nat, is an even more ancient way to make sparkling wine than the widely-used méthode champenoise (also called méthode traditionelle) originated in Champagne, France. In the méthode ancestrale, the wine is bottled with a crown cap before it even finishes its first fermentation, so it develops carbon dioxide as it goes. It’s not disgorged, often unfiltered, and can be made from any grape variety.
This winery is 1 of over 75 sparkling wine producers in San Luis Obispo County.