Thinking about a day trip? Consider a drive up to Paso Robles. The historic town in the middle of the San Luis Obispo county Central Coast wine region has become quite a hip little hotbed of wine producers, creative restaurants, some cute antiquing, and beautiful scenery.
And this weekend, there’s something even more special happening: the seventh annual Paso Robles Olive Festival. Yes, California not only produces great wines, but has been emerging as a great source of olives and olive oils that rival the best from Italy, France and Spain.
Events begin Friday night, August 20, with a mixer at the Paso Robles Inn. On Saturday, August 21 from 10 AM-5 PM the open-admission festival begins at the Paso Robles Downtown City Park with local olive oil, olive, wine and beer tastings, chef competitions and more. Kids can make wreaths with olive branches, jewelry, make sand paintings and even guess the number of olives in a jar! And yes, you can even buy your own olive tree to plant at home.
You may also want to consider a side trip to Templeton’s Olea Olive Farm, where French couple Clotilde and Yves Julien produce about 10,000 bottles of oil from their 9000 Spanish olive trees, including a pure Arbequina (described as “sumptious” by The New York Times), Lemon Blush (infused with lemon zest) and Basil Blush (with basil oil). Conveniently, the Juliens are hosting their annual Olive Oil Maker dinner Saturday evening—but you can also just visit their tasting room.
Paso Robles is located about three hours north of Los Angeles via Interstate 5, or one hour from the Santa Maria airport.
Olea Farm is located at 2985 Templeton Road, Templeton, 805.610.2258