It was time for us to head back home to home in San Francisco Bay Area and leave Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean behind us. We left San Simeon and headed inland, and drove to Paso Robles Wine Country. On the way we got the most beautiful view. Winter rains had turned California's Golden hills green and lush. We had to stop for a couple of photographs.
In Paso Robles we had planned to stop for a tasting. Even though Paso Robles is not the most known wine area, there is almost 200 wineries in this region. Unfortunately we only had time to stop at one winery. We decided to visit Niner Wines Estates which turned out to be a nice choice.
The place looked fantastic. From the tasting room and restaurant they had a view of the vineyards. It was spring time and other areas were blooming with wild flowers. We tasted some Pinot Noir, Cabernet sauvignon, Malbec and other reds, and bought a few bottles to take home. We especially liked the Niner Petit Sirah. There was also other interesting wineries close by but we had to go. Definitely a place worth coming back to if you enjoy wine!
Sometimes it is good to read some travel guides on the way. We learned that the place James Dean died was close by. We decided to check out the James Dean Memorial and once we pulled into the parking lot we realised we had been here before. Last time we stopped at the other side of Jack Ranch Cafe and had no idea what was on the other side. Nor did we know that the spot where James Dean lost his life in a car accident was just up the road. This time we found the memorial and we enjoyed some excellent home made pies with a cup of coffee at the Cafe. If you are a James Dean fan, you should go inside since they have a small exhibit. Among some pictures of James Dean, they have things like his speeding ticket from the previous day of the accident.
In September 30th 1955, James Dean who was only 24 year old, got into a fatal accident at the nearby intersection. He was driving his Porche to a racing event when he was hit by a car that was turning on his road. The other driver survived without major injuries. James Dean however didn't. This spot has been named James Dean Memorial Junction and it is at highway 46. It is a difficult spot to stop for pictures since there is quite a lot of traffic, but I at least recommend stopping at the James Dean Memorial.