By Kathleen Sterling
Who hasn’t wanted to escape the city and move to the country to do nothing but relax and drink wine? Ever feel like you need a home away from home?
Escape to ONX Vineyard in Paso Robles and stay at one of their three fabulous guest houses on property. Nestled on a corner of the vineyard with views of the rolling hills and endless vines, the beautifully appointed and fully outfitted residences offer all the comforts of home – in a truly breathtaking setting.
The farmstead at ONX is the perfect getaway from the craziness of work. The drive up from the valley through winding hills, lush and green but still topped with snow from the recent storm, was breathtaking.
You could feel the stress just float away the closer you get to the Central Coast wine country.
We started our stay with a vineyard tour. Every stay at the farmstead comes with a tour or a tasting – we did both for the full experience!
Escorted by guides Happy and Kiera we drove from lookout to lookout point with a tasting of ONX wines at each location. Our favorite stop was the tractor shed, an old barn overlooking the beautiful – and full – Santa Rita Creek.
Onyx Calcite was discovered while planting t
he vineyard, leading to the future name of the winery, ONX.
After sipping ONX cab and red blends in Adirondack chairs overlooking the creekbed, we retired to Clark House Apartment for the evening.
Not just a B&B, the residences come with full concierge service from Innkeeper Dean Baxter. He can fill all your needs during your stay – from stocking the kitchen to bringing in a private chef or scheduling fun adventures in Paso.
In our case a charcuterie plate and bottle of ONX Mad Crush while sitting in the private patio at the fire pit was what we had requested – and needed.
Totally relaxed from our evening repast, we explored our guest house apartment. It was beautifully decorated in blues and whites, with a comfortable living room and fully-appointed kitchen, sink-into king-size bed and large bath with dual marble vanities and huge walk-in shower.
The kitchen was better equipped than ours at home! Though we didn’t do any cooking, the Keurig machine and variety of coffees and teas, plus pastries hand-delivered by Baxter, were a perfect start to our next day.
Awake after a blissful sleep, helped by the vacation vibe and the wine, coffees in hand, we took a long walk around the property. Surrounding Clark House is a beautiful rolling lawn with statuary, leading to spectacular views of the valley and the vineyard stretching out beyond.
A brisk walk through the fog-laden vines was the perfect morning constitutional. We then stopped by to feed the farm animals next door – some frisky goats and friendly sheep.
The vibe of the ONX estate is just relaxing and welcoming. We continued our walk past the adjacent Briarwood Cottage, also part of the farmstead.
The owners of the property are Thomas Kinkaid fans, and Briar House is designed to look exactly like a thatched-roof cottage from one of his paintings. Utterly charming and adding to the whole pastoral feel.
We didn’t feel the need to leave our restful retreat, but spent the morning just strolling, sitting and reading, and enjoying the idea of having no agenda.
Later we took a peek into Clark House itself – with five bedrooms that sleep up to 10 it’s the perfect setting for a family vacation, a bachelorette party or fun couple’s weekend.
The Clark House also has a fully-equipped kitchen, large great room for gathering, game room for fun and its own large patio and gazebo overlooking the serene rows of vines.
During our tour we saw that Baxter had prepared it for upcoming guests celebrating a birthday, with flowers, balloons and lots of ONX wines. We wished we could stay and celebrate!
But we roused ourselves from the peacefulness of the property and drove into Paso Robles and Tin City, a casual, industrial area with lots of amazing tasting rooms, including ONX.
We parked and walked to the various outlets, peeking into the wineries themselves and doing just a little more tasting of the variety of wines on offer.
We sampled some more reds at ONX Tasting Room, plus their rosé and their Picpoul Blanc, lovingly named L’Autre Femme, or other woman, as it deviates from their library of red wines.
Relaxed, sated and serene after our visit and our imbibing, we left Paso with a trunk full of wine, a phone full of pictures and a promise to return.