Justin Vineyards: Luxury inn, gourmet dining

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PASO ROBLES, Calif. -- For clients who want to visit a winery -- and stay to enjoy a gourmet meal, luxurious lodging and a three-course breakfast -- Justin Vineyards & Winery here may be the answer.

The venue is located halfway between Los Angeles and the Bay area in a locale so remote that no advertisements or signs mark the road.

Clients can stay in the Just Inn, a French Country inn with two small suites for $245 per night and a larger, one-bedroom suite with a pull-out couch for $295 per night.

Rates include a three-course breakfast in Deborah's Dining Room, a charming and intimate venue offering a view of the vineyard.

The popular five-course dinner, paired with wine for $100 per person, may be one of the best deals around.

"It's the only [California] central-coast winery restaurant employing a full-time executive chef," said Justin Baldwin, who has owned the 160 acres with his wife, Deborah, since 1981. They started the winery in 1987; the luxury bed-and-breakfast opened in 1991.

The real treat here is that the Baldwins are around all the time, and guests really get a chance to witness a day in the life of a winery and the people who run it.

Because it features an on-site executive chef, the property also can host weddings or other functions for up to 150 people.

Justin Vineyards & Winery offers food, wine and lodging in California's central coast region, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Gift items and gourmet picnic lunches are available near the tasting room/wine bar.

Several wines from the vineyard have been recognized internationally; the Justification Cabernet Franc-Merlot blend recently was named to Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the Year.

Cooking classes and other special events also are on the property's calendar.

For more information, call (800) 726-0049 or visit www.justinwine.com.

To contact reporter Katherine Nichols, send e-mail to [email protected].

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