Few things are as much fun as exploring new wineries! We are putting together another long weekend in Paso Robles, and it is time to select new wineries to explore. The area has over 200 wineries, so choosing ten to visit can be pretty overwhelming. That’s where you come in. What are your favorite wineries in the region? We would love some suggestions!
We have been to Paso Robles several times before. Previous visits have taken us to these wineries:
- The McPrice Myers Winery
- The DAOU Vineyards and Winery
- Adelaida Cellars
- Jada Winery
- The Caliza Winery
- L’Aventure Winery
- Terry Hoage Vineyards
- Halter Ranch Vineyard
Planning a winery tour in Paso Robles has an additional level of complexity because of the striking differences between wineries on the east and west sides of the Salinas River / SR 101 valley floor. The soil is different and the climate is different, so it isn’t a huge surprise that the wine is different. We enjoy exploring the differences, but careful planning is required to avoid criss-crossing the valley floor. We have several days in the area, so we could spend a day on each side, but we are open to other, more creative ideas.
Another key ingredient in a perfect winery tour is the end-of-day restaurant! The right meal puts an exclamation point on a day of discovering wonderful area wineries. Have you found a hidden gem? We would love to try something new!
So can you help us out? We’d love to hear about your amazing winery finds and awesome restaurant discoveries. Leave a comment, use the “partnerships, collaborations or comments” box or just send us an email (editorial at winetastingbliss dot com) with your ideas. We’re in the planning stage right now, and really excited to benefit from your advice. Of course, we will report on our experiences once the tour is over.
We can’t wait to return to Paso Robles!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?
I’m a fellow wine lover who lives in Paso. Here are my top recommendations:
Tablas Creek – Westside Rhones – Much of the Rhone love in California can be traced back to Tablas whose patriarch partnered with the Perrin Family of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and imported many grape cuttings. Those cuttings are now widely planted around California. Tablas is my favorite winery in the area.
Denner Winery – Westside Rhones and More, Appt only – I think of Denner as making highly elegant wines along the lines of L’Aventure Winery and Terry Hoage Vineyards but more restrained in my opinion (good thing!). The winery is beautiful and the views from their tasting patio are lovely as well.
ONX Wines – Westside Paso Blends, Appt only – ONX is known for their complex blends and all estate fruit. Try to book a tour of the vineyard which is amazing. You’ll ride around on their off-road “mule” ATV and sample wines throughout the vineyard. Sit down tastings are also available in their new tasting room.
Downtown Paso Tasting Rooms – There are several fun tasting rooms downtown if you’d like to stroll in town. My favorites are LXV – Easy going wines in an Indian influenced (India!) tasting room, each paired with a spice tasting. Villa Creek – Big, Paso Westside Rhones, highly regarded, tasting room is located behind their restaurant. Paso Underground, a collective of tasting rooms under one roof, check out Turtle Rock, Dilecta and Copia in particular.
Have a great time!
Thanks, Terrence, this is a great list!
Here is an email that we received with lots of helpful advice!
If you are looking to review new wineries in Paso, the latest expansion has been with some of the smallest producers who have developed an area called Tin City in Templeton.
It’s basically a new build industrial park where wineries are partnering up to create production space and tasting rooms. The original wineries there are Giornata and Field Recordings. They were pretty much the impetus to the developer looking to fill the space with wineries. Now Clos Solene (former assistant winemaker at L’Aventure), ONX, Brian Benson, Jacob Toft, Desparada, LEVO, Powell Mountain, and others that are not members of the Alliance yet, can be found there. Along with BarrelHouse Brewing (micro brewhouse that is a great palate cleanser after tasting).
I was looking at your list of what you have visited in the past and there is definitely a lot of room to add, even wineries that have existed for some time. So it would be easy to throw a dart at a map and land on something new. However, here’s a short list of new-ish wineries to Paso (beyond the Tin City brands).
Glunz Family Winery (old wine industry family from Chicago, new endeavor here in Paso)
Pelletiere – focus on Italian varieties
Aleksander at S&G Estate – tiny production, high quality wines. Mostly Merlot and some Cabernet Sauvignon.
Four Lanterns – mostly rhone-style blends
Epoch – been around a little while, but new winery building, excellent wines, and rebuilding the first winery of the region (York Mountain Winery) after it was deemed uninhabitable after the 2003 earthquake. A neat story there.
Barr Estate – new enough that I don’t really know their story, but the wines have been very nice.
This is probably more than you need, so I hope you find some of it helpful.
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