Pebble Beach Birthday Bash 2011

Road Trip

Joseph Stevens Winery in Gilroy

What a fantastic weekend it was. Four of us loaded in to my CRV and left shortly after 12 noon on Friday from Jim’s place on the San Jose/Morgan Hill border and took our sweet time on our way to Asilomar and a nice weekend of Golf, Wine, & Dine.

We decided we’d go the coastal route and went through Watsonville via Hecker Pass road. Our first stop was Jason Stephens Winery on Watsonville Road in Gilroy.

We enjoyed a tasting that I thought was pretty solid from start to finish. We started with their 2010 Estate Chardonnay; very crisp/tart with lots of citrus and a lemony finish. I ended up buying their 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon but I’ll lay it down for another year.  They have a Meritage and a Cab-Syrah that are drinking nicely now. The 2008 Estate Zinfandel we finished with was on the jammy side, but not over the top and a good choice for drinking now also.

After our tasting we headed over the hill to Watsonville and up the coast to Moss Landing where we stopped for a late lunch at Phil’s Fish Market, famous for defeating Bobby Flay in a Cioppino Thorowdown.

After lunch it’s on to Asilomar Conference Grounds to get checked and settled in before enjoying a nice Friday Night Twilight golf at Pacific Grove Golf Links just around the corner. James Poulson’s game is ready to break through as he showed us a glimpse of what the future may be, shooting a smooth 42 on the front nine.

A late lunch and 9 holes of golf leads to a very late 9 PM dinner reservation at the Fishwife right across the street from Asilomar Conference Grounds. I cracked a Dusty Pikachu 2008 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir and a Spanish Tempranillo, a 2007 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes. Love that Pinot Noir, a bit smokier and spicier than the rich red fruit common in the region, but the Tempranillo was spectacular.  Rich pure fruit, velvety mouthfeel, and a long finish but none of if overwhelmed the seafood.

Poppy Hills Tournament

Good times, but we did have a tournament the next day at Poppy Hills Golf Course starting at 8:30. Fortunately we’re only 10 minutes away. It’s always cool this time of year but this day was on the cool side. Not sure we got under 60 degrees, my guesstimate is 62 to 63. Very comfortable weather for golf however. Hard time getting off the tee, but scrambled decently to a mediocre 95.  I did however get a closest to the pin to win a $20 certificate.  Good times had by all as usual.

Dinner again at the Fishwife with a little larger crowd. Ten of us enjoyed a First Growth Bourdeaux courtesy of Jay Dack. I broke out the always solid 2006 Justin Isosceles. Drinking very nicely with full rich fruit, velvety mouthfeel and a lengthy finish. And for good measure after dinner we finish things off with a 1997 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon I obtained from a private cellar. Classic Caymus dark fruit and licorice, but has mellowed with age. We took things back to our lodging and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our evening.

Pacific Grove Golf Links Stroke Play Event

The front nine starts inland and the back nine can be tough out on the coast side with the winds blowing. But we enjoyed the best weather I’ve seen out there before.  I bit overcast but very comfortable with just a short sleeve short on the front, but after expecting to put my pullover at some point, it burned off by the time we reached the back nine and nothing but spectacular blue skies.

Feel free to check out my public albums for more great photos!


Do we really have to leave?

And then before we knew it, time to go home. A great weekend with good friends both old and new, golf, great seafood, and some pretty spectacular wines. Down Highway One to Phil’s Fish Market for Sunday night dinner and head on home. Well, we do have next year booked already.  Saturday July 21st at 10:10 AM, can’t wait!


  1. […] had a stroke play tournament August 27th and as predicted during our Poppy Hills event James Poulson broke through. He leaked a little oil down the stretch during the back nine but […]

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