Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

Sailing Over the Vines: Pinot Express

Zip high above vines near Paso Robles.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    WHAT'S IN A NAME: Vacation destinations are often built around a single idea -- beaches, mountains, wine -- and businesses around that destination tend to incorporate that idea in their name. But even if a business name is centered around what the destination is famous for, that doesn't always mean that it has much to do with what's in its name. The Pinot Express of Paso Robles isn't into all of that noise. The new wine country zipline does indeed, wait for it, whoosh over a vineyard, and not just any vineyard, but a stretch filled with pinot-perfect grapes. You probably won't go low enough to snatch a quick fruit straight off the vine, but will you get the proverbial bird's eye view of a grape-growing field? Indeed. Oh, it may be a lickety-split view, as ziplines stop for no grapes, but consider this a fresh way to see how wine is grown. Yep, hot air balloons also drift above vineyards, but the Pinot Express is far closer to the ground than a gondola and envelope.

    UP THE HILL FIRST: To reach the Pinot Express, you'll need to leg it a quarter mile or so up a hill at Santa Margarita Ranch. There are other ziplines in the Margarita family but the P.E. is now the "highest, longest, and fastest" of the quintet. You can hop on a tour of all the others, which includes an optional tasting at nearby Ancient Peaks Winery at the end. Please. Why would you go adventuring through the air and not opt to try the very stuff you've been sailing over? You're gonna. If you want to take on the 1,800-foot zipline, and get a fresh view of what a vineyard looks like from just a pip above, click on, vino-loving sky flyer.

    NEED MORE... Paso Robles wine country to-dos? The sip-focused haps start up in earnest come spring, including a zin affair. But any time of the year is Central Coast time. Someone put that on the front of a brochure, stat.