Meet Halfway In The Other Wine Country

(All Things Meetings Visits Paso Robles)

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Can’t decide if your northern California people should meet with their southern California counterparts “up here” or “down there”? Getting tired of the back and forth thing and want something different (that is also an excellent option)? Want to make the people who are unhappy with either choice, happy (once they get there)?

Well, I just confused myself, but the answer is… Paso Robles (and the “other” Wine Country). Here are just a few reasons… (oh, one more thing… there are now direct flights from Seattle, Denver and Phoenix into San Luis Obispo so you can bring those “folks” too…

Oh, another thing about Paso Robles… somewhere in their marketing materials they say it is a “retreat for cowboys and connoisseurs alike”. I just wanted to congratulate whoever wrote that… where was I?…

The Allegretto Vineyard Resort

The 171-room resort is set on 20 acres of vineyards and olive trees at what used to be the edge of town. It definitely has that “Tuscany in California” feel about it, and even features a 12,000 square foot inner courtyard (I mean piazza) around which swirls village (I mean hotel) life.

Groups use the piazza for outdoor dining (the weather is usually good), and your guests can just relax around the fountain with their favorite “other wine country” glass of wine, or sit by the fire when the evening cools off.

The resort has 5,000 square feet of indoor space and about 30,000 square feet of very useable outdoor space. For a very cool venue for a private dinner, check out The Chapel. Well, I think it’s cool. Also have bocce ball, spa, pool, great food and all of that four-diamond stuff.

Want a different team-building idea? Try “Foraging” With The Chef.

Allegretto’s Executive Chef, Eric Olson explained to me that he enjoys taking groups out into wild places to seek out forgotten plants, and eat them. Not only does he teach your group how to recognize what’s edible and/or medicinal, he also gives your team a feeling for what it all means… where do we get our water, how did humans survive here for millennia, and how you can turn what seems to be a handful of nothing into a gourmet experience. Everyone who goes out foraging with the Chef, comes back changed. Think about it.

Breakaway Tours DMC


They’ve been doing it there for 22 years. They know everyone They are really nice. Want to have a dinner in a winery, or at Hearst Castle, or do tours, tastings… need transportation, team building… creativity… they have a great reputation and so… check them out.

Hearst Castle

There are over 200 wineries to choose from, but if you want to do something REALLY memorable (and have the budget for it), you can have a private event at Hearst Castle. If you haven’t been there, it is pretty awesome in the “I can’t believe how rich this guy was (talk about the .0001%) and I really wish I was alive then and somehow knew him and got invited to one of his parties because that must have been awesome” kind of thing. On the other hand, I might have just taken a swing at him on general principles so it’s a good thing I wasn’t there. But, since we tend to whitewash history and make it fun…

The hilltop estate may be reserved for private events when it is not in conflict with their regularly scheduled tours. Every special event is held outdoors on one of the Castle’s many (and I mean many) picturesque terraces and must include a tour (which you wanted anyway). Couple of things to remember… you need to make a reservation at least four months in advance and you have to have a lot of money. 

Assuming you can do that… definitely a wow.

Visit SloCal

SloCal, get it. It’s San Luis Obispo County (SLO Cal) CVB, but Slow Cal, like you can slow down and enjoy life… the cowboy and connoisseur thing. Clever. For help with finding some other ideas, go to They want to help.

That’s it for now… except I have to make a few important points. First, this is obviously not everything in the area. We’ll keep adding as we go and everything goes into the EVER-EXPANDING Meeting Resource Library that you can search at leisure.

AND… bookmark, share it with your colleagues, and click on everything. AND… come to one (or all) of our Trade Shows so you can meet suppliers and form your own relationships, AND… if there is something you want me to write about, tell me.

(AND… if you are reading this and happen to be a supplier/vendor to the meeting planners of the world, please consider exhibiting at one of our three Bay Area Reception/Trade Shows AND/OR advertising on Call me. J
visits the small towns around Paso Robles
(because I have fun doing that) and this has nothing to do with the meeting stuff.

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