Road Scholar : Home
A Culinary Adventure On California's Central Coast

Program Number: 19867RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/12/2014 - 10/16/2014; 11/2/2014 - 11/6/2014; 4/12/2015 - 4/16/2015; 6/7/2015 - 6/11/2015;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Paso Robles, California
Price starting at: $979.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 10; 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience the beauty and bounty of California’s Central Coast, a renowned region of estate vineyards, organic farms and artisan food makers. Bring your palate to a feast of wines and foods from the earth and sea. From the press room of an olive farm to a cheesemaking session at a goat dairy, meet local growers, winemakers and chefs, learn about their farming practices and taste the harvest of their efforts.


• Visit local wineries for a primer on Central Coast winemaking.
• Explore a boutique farm and enjoy a “farm-to-table” meal.
• Observe firsthand the workings of a live oyster farm in Morro Bay and enjoy a meal and cooking demo by Chef Andre Averseng.

Activity Particulars

On field trips, walk 3-4 blocks on paved roads, dirt roads and in vineyards. Visit to live oyster farm involves accessing oyster boat via ramp and floating dock. Stand 45 min at olive oil presentation.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.

Paso Robles

Paso Robles is a jewel in the crown of California’s Central Coast. Located on the Salinas River north of San Luis Obispo, the city is one of California’s most rapidly growing premium wine regions. This increasingly vital industry has given rise to several premier wine and gastronomy festivals that attract visitors from all over the world.

Paso Robles Inn, a historic property, is the hub of downtown. Peaceful setting with lush gardens, Koi ponds, streams, oak trees.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Andre Averseng

André Averseng met his wife Cristina at the South Pasadena Culinary School, where André was a founding teacher and Cristina headed the marketing and admissions efforts at the school. Realizing the power of their combined skills, they formed Dining with André in early 1998. Their exciting approach to the restaurant and catering business enjoyed rapid growth, and they soon moved their residence and business to Paso Robles, bringing the charm of Provence cafes to California’s Central Coast.
Cindy Steinbeck

Cindy is a fifth generation California farmer and owner of Steinbeck Vineyards & Winery, where she works alongside her parents, brother, and son. Participants will enjoy an educational look at wine through the perspective of a working vineyard and family heritage. In addition to the wine business, Cindy holds a Master of Arts in history and theology. She has authored a book, "The Vine Speaks," where she ties her passion for the vineyard together with her passion for scriptures. Her presentation covers a variety of topics and guests will hear stories and taste Steinbeck Wines.
Sandra Diamond

Sandra Diamond, managing director of the North County Farmers’ Markets, wears many hats as she navigates the future of local farmers at local farmers’ markets. With a rich, proud history of selling produce for over 28 years in San Luis Obispo County, the association provides fresh, local produce to the public, schools, restaurants and local community groups such as senior centers and food banks.
Katy Budge

Katy Budge has more than 20 years of experience writing about the wine and food of California’s Central Coast. The author of a weekly food column, she contributes articles on wine and spirits to several monthly publications and websites, including a food column highlighting the cuisine of San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast Magazine, and Vintages Magazine, a wine magazine for the Central Coast. Katy also serves as a judge for numerous wine and food competitions, and is a member of Slow Food USA, San Luis Obispo Chapter.
Kris Penick

For over two decades, Kris Penick has shared her love and knowledge of the Central Coast of California lifestyle with guests and visitors to the area. She has utilized her education in nutrition and experience in the wine industry to create educational programs that unveil the flavors of this unique area. As a former director of public relations for a California winery, Kris has developed a multitude of industry and consumer events. She launched an ambitious educational wine program, the Paso Robles Wine University, and has overseen events for wine associations and commercial wine competitions. Now the owner of her own company, Kris welcomes groups of all sizes and interests to the Central Coast of California.
Danika Gordon

Danika Gordon is a Cal Poly dairy science graduate, who spent 10 years in the dairy industry before returning to her home in San Luis Obispo County to become the proprietor of Vivant Fine Cheese in Paso Robles. Danika supplies the finest imported and local cheeses, which she handles directly. She provides a highly valued link for the region’s leading chefs, restaurant owners and wineries to the world of fine cheeses.
Meals and Lodgings
   Paso Robles Inn
  Paso Robles CA 4 nights
 Paso Robles Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: The historic Paso Robles Inn is located in downtown Paso Robles in the heart of the beautiful Paso Robles wine country. Conveniently located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California's Central Coast, the Inn has been a premier location for California getaways for over a century. Its central location is less than a five minute stroll to wine and olive tasting rooms, restaurants, wine bars and lounges, and boutique shops. Surrounded by over 200 local wineries in the Paso Robles wine region, the Paso Robles Inn is the perfect place to stay on your wine tour getaway.
  Contact info: 1103 Spring Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446 USA
phone: 805-238-2660
  Room amenities: Traditional guest rooms feature either one King bed or two Twin beds and overlook the Inn’s gardens or City park. In-room amenities include double vanity bathroom, microwave, compact refrigerator, wet bar, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, coffee maker with Seattle’s Best Coffee, pay-per-view movies, and high-speed Internet access (Ethernet cable). All Traditional Guest Rooms are non-smoking. Wireless Internet connection is available in the lobby, Steakhouse and Executive Boardroom.
  Facility amenities: Lush gardens featuring herbs and vegetables with live Koi ponds, running streams and majestic California Live Oak trees create a peaceful setting for a relaxing retreat. A full-service destination, the Paso Robles Inn features an outdoor heated pool and spa, premier Steakhouse and Lounge, and 1940's diner-style Coffee Shop. Wireless Internet connection is available in the lobby, Steakhouse and Executive Boardroom.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Based on room availability Call the hotel directly for additional-night rates which will be based upon hotel availability. Identify yourself as part of an Road Scholar group and mention your program's start and end dates.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Based on room availability Call the hotel directly for additional-night rates which will be based upon hotel availability. Identify yourself as part of an Road Scholar group and mention your program's start and end dates.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration is in an assigned area at the Paso Robles Inn from 3:30-5:00PM. Inquire at front desk for the location. Orientation begins at 5:30PM with a Farm to Table Dinner served at 6:00PM. You will be staying at Paso Robles Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Please arrange your transportation to allow you to stay for the final class and discussion which will end at approximately 11:00AM. You will be staying at Paso Robles Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. On the enclosed Participant Information Form, please indicate to us the name of your roommate/traveling companion. Also let us know if you are traveling with other individuals and wish to be assigned a room near them. Photo ID
  Parking availability:
Complimentary parking is available at the Paso Robles Inn.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Paso Robles CA
  Nearest city or town:  San Luis Obispo
  Nearest highway: Situated along highway 101, Paso Robles is located 230 miles north of Los Angeles and 210 miles south of San Francisco. It is 70 miles west of Interstate 5.
  Nearest airport:  Paso Robles Municipal Airport, San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, Fresno International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Paso Robles CA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP)


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
RIDE ON Shuttle
phone: 805-541-8747
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Approx. $75 but call for current price quote
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


About 40 minutes from SBP airport to Paso Robles Inn 




About 33 miles from SBP airport to Paso Robles Inn


SBP is a small regional airport with limited daily service provided by United. Car rentals are available at SBP. Airport shuttle service is provided by RIDE-ON Transportation of San Luis Obispo County. They recommend advance reservations (2-3 days ahead) and would like to have your flight number when you make the arrangements. For more information, visit You may also call a taxi: Surf Cab at 805-441-9555,


Fresno Airport (FAT) to Paso Robles


From Airport




None - Car Required
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


2+ hours from Fresno to Paso Robles 




116 miles from Fresno Airport to Paso Robles


Fresno Yosemite Intl Airport is located about 116 miles ENE of Paso Robles and is the closest international jet airport to Paso Robles. Best option is to rent a car in Fresno and drive to Paso Robles. All major car rental agencies are located at Fresno airport. For further airport information, visit or call 1-800-244-2359.


Paso Robles/ Amtrak


From Train Station




Hotel Shuttle
Paso Robles Inn
phone: 805-238-2660


Per Person/One Way:


No charge
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


10 minute walk; less than 2 minute drive 




3 blocks or 0.35 miles from Amtrak station to Paso Robles Inn


Amtrak rail service is available to Paso Robles on the Coast Starlight route. A small Amtrak station is located at 800 Pine St., Paso Robles, CA 93446. Call hotel upon arrival for free shuttle service, if available. Otherwise, it's an easy 3-block walk from the station to the hotel. For Amtrak Info: Call 1-800-872-7245 or visit

Driving Directions
  From Bakersfield to Paso Robles Take Hwy 99 North for approximately 17 miles to Hwy 46 West. Drive approximately 90 miles on Hwy 46 West towards Paso Robles. Merge onto the US-101 South via the ramp on the left. Drive less than a mile and take the 16th St exit. From 16th St, turn left on Riverside Ave. Take the second right onto 13th St. Drive less than 0.3 miles and turn left onto Spring St. The Inn will be on the right hand side of Spring St, directly across from the City Park. 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446
  From Fresno to Paso Robles Take Hwy 41 South from Fresno to the merger with Hwy 46. Merge onto Hwy 46 West and drive approx. 19 miles towards Paso Robles. Merge onto US-101 South via the ramp on the left. Drive less than a mile and take 16th St. exit. From 16th St., turn left on Riverside Ave. Take the second right onto 13th St. Drive about 0.3 miles and turn left onto Spring St. The Inn is on the right at 1103 Spring St., directly across from the City Park.
  From LAX/Los Angeles to Paso Robles Take I-405 North to US 101 North to Paso Robles. Exit at Spring St. and proceed north towards downtown Paso Robles, approx. 0.7 miles. The Inn is located on the left at 1103 Spring St., directly across from the City Park. ALTERNATE: Take I-5 North to Hwy 46 West and drive about 19 mi. towards Paso Robles. Merge onto US-101 South via the ramp on the left. Drive less than a mile and take 16th St. exit. From 16th St., turn left on Riverside Ave. Take the second right onto 13th St. Drive about 0.3 miles and turn left onto Spring St. The Inn is on the right at 1103 Spring St.
  From San Francisco/Bay Area to Paso Robles From San Francisco and No. California, take the 101 Freeway South towards San Jose and Salinas all the way to Paso Robles. Take the 24th St exit and follow 24th St, keeping to the right, for approximately 1 mile. Turn left on Spring St and follow Spring St to the Inn, located directly across from the City Park. The Paso Robles Inn is on the right at 1103 Spring St.
  From Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) to Paso Robles Inn As you exit SBA, head northeast on Fowler Rd/Wm L Moffett Pl. Continue to follow Fowler Rd. Turn left onto S Fairview Ave. Slight right to merge onto US-101 N. Stay on US-101 N for almost 125 miles. Exit onto Spring St. in Paso Robles. The Paso Robles Inn is on the left at 1103 Spring St.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals
(Sunday, October 12)

Note: Inn is a 2-story building with NO elevator. Porterage is not included so be prepared to carry own luggage if assigned to room on second floor. Request bottom floor hotel rooms and special needs in advance; note some rooms have higher bath tubs. Participant must be able to walk minimum of 2 blocks, over uneven farm roads and terrain with no provisions to sit for 45 minutes, be able to climb stairs, access oyster boat via ramp/floating dock and traverse a steep slope to wine caves.

 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Check into Paso Robles Inn after 4:00PM.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet which we'll review during our orientation session before dinner.

ORIENTATION: Begins before dinner. We'll have an overview of the program ahead and review the up-to-date schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, any other administrative issues, and answer your questions. Please be aware that local circumstances may require adjusting program elements. In the event of changes, we will notify you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding.

 Dinner: Farm to Table Dinner on the patio at the historic Paso Robles Inn

Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants. This program offers two choices for meals: standard and vegetarian. We are unable to customize menus for individuals. However, we have found that by requesting sauces and dressing to be served on the side, we are able to accommodate various food intolerances and allergies. Vegetarian meals must be requested in advance on your Participant Information Form. Unfortunately, there are no other special meal options. Participants with special dietary needs should be prepared to avoid certain foods or supplement the regular meal plan as needed.

 Evening: Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.
Accommodations: Paso Robles Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Family Farm/Oyster Farm in Morro Bay/Wine & Appetizer Pairing at Dinner
(Monday, October 13)

Note: In order to participate in the visit to the live oyster farm in Morro Bay, one must be able to access the oyster boat via a ramp and a floating dock and walk two blocks

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Paso Robles Inn
 Morning: CROSSING POINTS: Participants introduce themselves to the rest of the group.

CLASS: Shopping Farmers Markets

Sandra Diamond, of North County Farmers Market, talks about the trend of small high quality farms catering to restaurants, farmers markets and specialty stores. Shopping farmers markets, farm stands and local grocers will be explored.

 Lunch: Lunch on a family farm.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Begin your Central Coast Culinary exploration with a visit to a family farm utilizing organic farming techniques. Understand the challenges and rewards these practices have on farmer and family.

FIELD TRIP: Oyster Farm Tour in Morro Bay

Explore the Morro Bay and Oyster Farm during a tour through the estuary with a brief history and close look at many species of wildlife that call the estuary home. Upon arrival at the Oyster Beds the unique 'Farming' process will be explained while you experience the first hand workings of a live oyster farm. During your tour learn how to prepare oysters and taste oysters. Giovanni DeGarimore, owner of Giovanni's Fish Market, will talk about local sustainable fishing practices and invite you to a wine and oyster tasting at Stax.

 Dinner: Chef Andre joins a local Paso Robles wine producer with a wine & appetizer pairing at their downtown bistro restaurant. Dinner will follow at Paso Terra Restaurant with wine for sale to enjoy with dinner.
Accommodations: Paso Robles Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Steinbeck Vineyard, Eberle Winery and J. Lohr Winery
(Tuesday, October 14)

Note: Due to unpaved terrain on field trip destinations, comfortable closed toe shoes for walking are strongly recommended. Vineyard tour includes walking in fields; entrance to the wine caves where lunch is served involves walking up and down a steep ramp

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Paso Robles Inn
 Morning: CLASS: Winemaking on the Central Coast: The History, People and Geography

Review the diverse regions of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles and learn about the types of grapes that dominate the area. You will take away an understanding of California wine regions and what is in a bottle of California wine by reading the label.

FIELD TRIP AND HANDS ON EXPERIENCE: Wine Grape Growing at Steinbeck Vineyards

Meet one of Paso Robles' pioneer wine grape-growing families. During your vineyard visit, learn about wine growing, vineyard practices, planting a vineyard, conservation efforts, organic vs. sustainable, soils, water, and the challenges of nature in wine growing. Wine tasting included.

 Lunch: Enjoy lunch in the caves at Eberle Winery, a well known winery producing wines from a variety of regions on the Central Coast.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP AND HANDS ON EXPERIENCE: Wine Making at Eberle Winery

A brief tutorial on the art of wine making is supported with a winery tour and wine tasting.

J. Lohr Winery: Coast wine regions are explored at J.Lohr Winery during a presentation as you taste their renowned wines.

 Dinner: Dinner and evening on your own. The Farmers Market in Downtown Paso Robles City Park is open until 6:00PM.
Accommodations: Paso Robles Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Field Trips to Sheep and Goat Dairy Farm and Creamery/Olive Oil Farm
(Wednesday, October 15)

Note: Farm and ranch visits include walking on dirt paths and fields. Olive oil presentation could include standing for up to 45 minutes.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Paso Robles Inn
 Morning: CLASS: Farmstead and Artisan Cheese Making

Danika Gordon, proprietor Vivant Fine Cheese talks about cheese making, artisan & farmstead cheeses.

FIELD TRIP: Rinconada Dairy

We will tour a sheep & goat dairy and cheese-making room, and explore the process of cheese making with award-winning cheese maker Christine McGuire. Founder of the second, licensed sheep cheese dairy in California, Christine produces farmstead sheep cheese. Inspired by Spanish Manchego, Christine's Pozo Tomme has won numerous awards and set her apart as a superior cheese maker across the globe.

 Lunch: Lunch stop at Wind Rose Farms

Bill & Barbara Spencer invite you to their fields to share their passion for farming unique heirloom varieties for chefs, markets and people who love fresh farm flavors. Biodynamic philosophies of farming are explored and well as the daily challenges of farming on a small scale for high quality produce. A farm to table lunch is served under their oak tree.

 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Olivas de Oro Olive Company

Olive oil production and tasting are explored on a beautiful olive ranch with trees over 100 years old.

Next we make a quick stop at August Ridge Winery, a small family owned micro winery featuring Italian varietals.

 Dinner: Central Coast barbecue dinner at the Loading Chute in Creston
Accommodations: Paso Robles Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Buying Fresh/Independent Departures
(Thursday, October 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Paso Robles Inn
 Morning: CLASS: Embracing Buying Fresh and Local in Your Community

This wrap-up conversation will include adopting ways to enhance your life style by supporting your local producers and merchants. Websites and books will be shared with a look at future food trends by a local food and wine author and publicist.

HOTEL CHECK OUT: This concludes the program. We hope you have enjoyed our Paso Robles Culinary program and will join us for other rewarding adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Paso Robles CA Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce
1225 Park Street

Paso Robles, CA 93446

Phone: (805) 238-0506

Website dedicated to Paso Robles with extensive information about wineries, lodging, restaurants, recreation and festivals and helpful information about the area, including a directory of local business, a detailed Destination Guide, and relocation information. For additional information, visit

  San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference
811 El Capitan Way, #200

San Luis Obispo, California 93401

Order a free Visitors Guide to San Luis Obispo County on this website. For additional information, visit

  City of Paso Robles
1000 Spring Street

Paso Robles, CA 93446

Toll Free: 888-988-PASO (7276)

Learn more about the beautiful Paso Robles wine country. This website is packed with gorgeous photos of the area and inside tips on where to go. For additional information, visit

  Paso Robles Main Street Association
Downtown Paso Robles Information 835 "D" 12th Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446 (Located on Norma's Way / Alley Side) 805-238-4103 For additional information, visit
  Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance
530 10th Street

Paso Robles, CA 93446


Learn more about the Paso Robles wine trail at this webiste. For additional information, visit

Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly

Author: James E. McWilliams

Description: This book challenges the conventional view on eating local as well as cuts through layers of myth and misinformation. For example: an imported tomato is more energy efficient than a local greenhouse grown tomato. And farm-raised freshwater fish may soon be the most sustainable source of protein. This book offers a different take on how we should eat.

Cheese Primer

Author: Steven Jenkins

Description: If you want a fascinating food book, say Cheese Primer. For 20 years, Steve Jenkins has led the way in upgrading the quality of cheese sold at fine food stores in the U.S. Finally, in this volume, he shares his encyclopedic knowledge. Jenkins tells all about cheesemaking at the commercial as well as the artistic level. Generously punctuated with maps and photos, the book includes all kinds of historical and other relevant information. Jenkins seems to describe every kind of cheese made in the U.S. and Europe, including when to eat them, how and with what. His passion and blunt opinions make it easy to travel the 548 pages of this book if you have even the smallest interest in cheese. The guide to pronunciation is particularly helpful.

A A Companion to California Wine: An Encyclopedia of Wine and Winemaking from the Mission Period to the Present

Author: Charles Sullivan

Description: Charles Sullivan's A Companion to California Wine: Encyclopedia of Wine and Winemaking fills an oenological-reference niche that has up till now been lacking a suitably comprehensive and scholarly effort. An A-to-Z compendium of wine-related entries ranging from Acacia Winery to Zinfandel, the Companion to California Wine covers 750 wineries and more than 100 wine-grape varietals, delivering useful explanations for tourists and wine-tasters, plus well-researched historical context for wine scholars, history students, and the idly curious.

Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America's Farmers

Author: Janet Fletcher

Description: In the visually stunning yet practical cookbook Eating Local, author Janet Fletcher and the kitchen experts at Sur La Table not only show you how to use more fresh ingredients in your everyday cooking, they also bring you closer to the family farms where the ingredients are grown and to the idealistic people who grow them. With 150 recipes featuring a wide range of fresh ingredients, Eating Local also highlights 10 community supported agriculture projects around the country. These progressive farms provide inspiration for all who want to cook more wholesome meals using ingredients from their own foodshed.

The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table

Author: Tracie McMillan

Description: When award-winning (and working-class) journalist Tracie McMillan saw foodies swooning over $9 organic tomatoes, she couldn't’t help but wonder: What about the rest of us? Why do working Americans eat the way we do? And what can we do to change it? To find out, McMillan went undercover in three jobs that feed America, living and eating off her wages in each. Reporting from California fields, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee’s, McMillan examines the reality of our country’s food industry in this work of reportage. Chronicling her own experience and that of the Mexican garlic crews, Midwestern produce managers, and Caribbean line cooks with whom she works, McMillan goes beyond the food on her plate to explore the national priorities that put it there.

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