With its grand towers and graceful statues, San Miguel’s Villa San Juliette may feel like a stately, Old World winery. In one sense, this is true: The bulk of the wines are varietally to character and even elegant. However, the winery also deserves a bit of street cred with its new 29-year-old head winemaker, Dan Smith, who takes a fresh perspective on the area’s big, powerful fruit. Instead of allowing flavors and alcohol levels to run wild, he tends to reel them in—restrain the beast. This pink wine—drawn from fresh crushed red grapes and fermented like a white wine at cool temperatures—“smells like summer,” with lots of ripe watermelon and nectarine notes. Summer’s in the rearview window, folks. This is your chance to savor one last hoorah.
• Villa San Juliette’s 2014 Rosé—$20; 6385 Cross Canyon Road, San Miguel.
Tin City Cider, the much anticipated collab between winemakers Curt Schalchlin, Mikey Giugni, and Andrew Jones, is open for business in—you guessed it—Paso’s up-and-coming Tin City locale. This crisp, fizzy celebration refreshes as it delights. Reach for the brewery’s classic blend, a mix of West Coast apples, including Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala, Gravenstein, Macintosh, Mutsu, Red Delicious, and Pink Lady. The cider was fermented with a combination of beer and wine yeast; English cider yeast, Edinburgh Ale yeast, Champagne yeast, Belgian saison yeast, white wine yeast, and native cellar yeast. Then, it was aged for three months and dry hopped for extra pizazz. Whew. If this is their original cider, just imagine how much love is put into their other babies.
• Tin City Cider Co.’s Original Cider—Price varies; 3005-A Limestone Way, Paso Robles.
Hayley Thomas is ready for fall, apple cider, and good books. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.