By Kat Thoma, Editor in Chief, Edible Skinny
Our final vineyard of Day One of our Paso Robles trip was the delightful ONX Vineyards. Down a windy dirt road nestled behind a suburban housing development that would give Weeds a run for its money is ONX. There we encountered our tour guide Mike who led us through the hour-long Tour Experience which began in the Tract Shed, an outdoor tasting room where you can wander out back for tranquil views of the Santa Rita Creek.
From their Matt our knowledgeable guide (who has an issue with Boxer dogs that grab cash of his wallet and chew it up) drove us around the vineyard in an off-road vehicle. These vineyard tours are available by appointment (ONX also has a tasting room in Tin City) but we highly recommend the vineyard tour.
ONX is a boutique vineyard, 120 acres making only 3,500 cases per year, a number that allows for a dedication to detail. With our Tour Experience, we stopped at ONX’s Oasis areas to drink each of our tasting wines; sipping our wines surrounded by the varietals we were drinking. Picnic areas decorated with vintage accents and arbors covered in vines were serene hideaways offer respite from the busy world beyond the vineyard.
With fun names like Field Day, Indie, Brash, and Mad Crush ONX doesn’t take itself to serious. One of the most notable was their Brash (of which they make 274 cases). Their tasting notes for this Zinfandel were so poetic I couldn’t not rewrite them, “Brash parades a multitude of down home aromas. Plummy compote and a heaping portion of berries intermingle with cinnamon.” Brash is a “Hot Wine,” which rounds the corner running straight into a peppery spices.
We finished our last wine at the recently opened Briarwood Cottage, an English Fairytale Cottage with a field of lavender and a tire swing hanging over a gully in the backyard. There in the storybook vineyard house we sipped another standout ONX’s Mad Crush, which received 91 in Wine Advocate. Our mouth swirled with lavender, sage, and cranberries. An “infatuation with delicacy. The innocence of an ingénue; the bone structure of a star.”