A horse rig was parked in the staging area at Cass Vineyard and Winery, I happily noted as I drove into the parking lot. Several horses were getting prepped for a ride. “Oh good,” I thought, “I’ll get horses in my pictures.”
I was meeting up with Bryan Cass the General Manager for a tour of the facility and to get information on riding in the vineyard. Cass Vineyard and Winery began with a hand shake on another continent and has grown into a unique full-service winery which shares its vineyard roads with horseback riders.
Stepping into the tasting room, I looked to bar counter and found Bryan there. He immediately introduced me to Crystal of Central Coast Trailrides. She and her husband take guests for rides around the Cass Vineyards and into the adjacent riverbed. They had a ride planned that day.
Key Ingredients of Great Horseback Riding Memories
A horseback ride in the vineyard and extended into the dry riverbed for a longer ride, ending with a wine tasting or a meal back at the winery are key ingredients of great horseback riding memories.
The perimeter road around the vineyard is where horseback riders come to stroll along the vines at the base of the surrounding foothills. Several interior roads can take riders or cart and carriage drivers through the 145 acres.
In addition, there is easy access from Cass Vineyard and Winery to the dry riverbed for additional adventures. Cross Linne Road on the other side of the fence from the staging area. One can even plan to ride to another winery for a full ride and sip experience. Parts of the riverbed are private property. There is a horse access easement. Please be respectful of the neighbors through the riverbed.
Local riders are welcome to enjoy the Cass Vineyards with access to the riverbed and stop in for a wine tasting and/or a delicious meal. If you plan to ride, all they ask is that you sign a waiver, and clean up manure piles.
Tie Rail and Watering Hole – Amenities for the Horses
The first stop on my tour of Cass Vineyard and Winery with Bryan was the staging area where Central Coast Trailrides were getting their guests set up. A tie rail and a watering hole (flat bucket on the ground near a water spigot) plus a manure fork and large bucket are the amenities available for the horses near the staging area.
The staging area is located in the far right hand parking area alongside the vineyards, parallel to Linne Road. When you are ready to head home, you will exit the vineyard via going up and around to the second road on your left and exiting out the far entrance (see map above).
The Heart of Cass Vineyard: The Old Oak Tree
We then took a walk up the hill to the heart of the vineyard, the Old Oak tree. This is the most popular setting for weddings as the tree canopy provides shade, beauty and nature, making it perfect for saying, “I do.” The hill top setting provides a 360 degree view of the entire Cass Vineyard and Winery setting. As we enjoyed the view, riders strolling the perimeter of the vineyard could be seen in the distance.
The Picnic Garden area can be set up for a reception or outdoor event near the Old Oak tree which complements the beautiful Old Oak Tree ceremony location. There are several other event locations within the Cass Winery. A new indoor event center along with the Geneseo Inn, with private rooms over the vineyards, are presently under construction on the property.
The Library, situated just off the inside seating in the tasting room, is the exclusive area for Wine Club members. Small intimate gatherings are welcome here. It is also the overflow room for Wine Club members when seating inside or on the patio is full. If you’re really lucky you will be treated live piano music played by Bryan’s mother.
Concert & Banquet Hall
The acoustics here provide the ideal setting for small concerts and smaller events. This room is located right off the tasting room with glass doors keeping the event exclusive yet provide an open feeling.
Tasting Room and Café
A full lunch menu is served daily at the Café from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. A wine tasting can be added to your lunch experience where you enjoy a meal and taste the wine selections. Many neighboring horseback riders come up the riverbed, tie their horses to the rail, enjoy lunch and a glass of wine and ride home. Other riders can trailer in, enjoy a ride, tie horses to the trailer then settle in for a delicious lunch and a glass of wine or a wine tasting.
A glass of Viognier is the recommended wine for a refreshing finish to a lovely ride. This white wine is bright, smooth and fruity with a delicate finish.
Seating is either inside the tasting room or outside on the patio. Reservations are recommended for groups of 6 or more. All visitors enjoying lunch or a wine tasting on the patio or garden delight in watching horseback riders riding by.
Cass Vineyard and Winery Location
Located between Paso Robles and Creston, Cass Vineyard and Winery sits east of the “Templeton Gap”, where folks have come to appreciate the evening’s cooling breezes the west side of Paso Robles is noted for. Yet, this special location is far enough from the coast to generate the heat needed to optimally ripen the Rhone grape varieties grown on the 145 acre estate vineyard.
The address is: 7350 Linne Road Paso Robles, CA 93446. Here are the driving directions from Paso Robles:
- From Rt 101, take 46 East 7.2 miles to Geneseo Road.
- Turn right, go 4.2 miles to the stop sign at Linne Road.
- Turn right 100 yards and you are there.
Photo Credit: Sharon Jantzen
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