Everyone has heard of California's Napa and Sonoma Valleys, but what about Paso Robles? My husband and I didn't realize that Paso Robles is also wine country in California until we drove through it on our way to see Hearst Castle. When we questioned our son, who lives in San Francisco, he praised that area and said he'd plan a wine-tasting tour for us. What a treat that was!
The three hours from San Francisco to Paso Robles goes through a part of California we didn't know existed. It's easy to forget that produce is a major source of income in California. Acres and acres of fertile land stretch out growing lettuce, cauliflower and more fruits and vegetables than I can name--and grapes. We learned that about 300 wineries are in business in the Paso Robles area. We visited eight wineries during our two-day visit and were impressed with the tastes, the choices and the people. Friendly is a key word there.
How does this affect my writing? I now know that this is a destination, and could be a very romantic one. The landscape itself brings to mind a host of possible story lines. So when you consider California as a setting for your story, remember that California has a middle, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It's called Paso Robles.