Top 20 Wineries in Paso Robles

Top 20 Wineries in Paso Robles


Paso Robles is home to a few hundred wineries, and some of California’s best! Sure, Paso does not get the notoriety of Napa or Sonoma, but it was only a couple decades ago that Napa wasn’t on the map either. But Paso Robles is increasingly recognized among wine enthusiasts, and some have argued the some of the vintages are on part with what is to be found up North, but without the pomp and circumstance. Below are our top 20 favorite vitners. Note that we have divided them by East and West, meaning what is on either side of the 101 highway. This actually is important because the weather tends to be dryer and hotter on the East Side, which yields a different type of wine.


WEST SIDE WINERIES

Wineries on the west side of Paso Robles tend to be smaller, less well known operations, the obvious exception being Justin, and whose wine grapes grow in a comparatively cooler and wetter coastal climate.

1. Adelaida Cellars, Inc.

Stress is the secret to the wine-making at Adelaida Cellars. The vines are planted in the tough limestone and calcareous shale in this rocky Westside area of Paso Robles. The soil here puts added stress on the vines producing more intensely flavorful wine. In fact, the winery’s motto is: “Adelaida’s wines begin at the roots.” The wine featured here is pinot noir, chardonnay and their reserve quality cabernet sauvignon. The sustainable winery is named for a settlement from the 1800’s in the local Santa Lucia Mountains.

Vintages : Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhone wines
5805 Adelaida Road Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 239-8980
Hours : 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Daily.
www.adelaida.com

2. Castoro Cellars

Castoro Cellars has been making “Dam Fine Wine,” since 1983. Besides wine, both indoor and outdoor concerts are a draw here. Performers like Karla Bonoff and Kenny Loggins have performed at Castoro. Another Cal Poly graduate, Niels Udsen, learned the craft of winemaking at Estrella River Winery. In a little over a decade, Castoro has become a 25,000 case operation and though they buy 50% of their grapes, there are plans to develop more of their own vineyards for less dependence on other local growers. Cork trees have been planted to eventually supply them with their own corks, too.

Vintages : Zinfandel, red and white blends
1315 North Bethel Road, Templeton, CA
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
www.castorocellars.com

3. Jada Vineyard & Winery

Jada offers handcrafted Rhone and Bordeaux-style wines, in a second-story tasting room in a pocket of the Templeton Gap. Breathtaking views are accompanied by gourmet wine and cheese pairings, and olive oil tasting in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. (In 1999, the owners, Jack and Robyn Messina, had plans for olive oil production and then switched to grapes.) Twilight tastings are offered on Fridays from late June through early September.

Vintages: Rhone, and Bordeaux wines
5620 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 226-4200
www.jadavineyard.com

4. Justin Vineyards & Winery

Arguably the best winery in San Luis Obispo County, Justin is a home estate, small dry-farmed vineyard, planted in 1981. Located at the west side of Paso Robles, Justin’s production focuses on two Bordeaux-style blends. “Justification,” is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It’s prize-winning “Isosceles,” a meritage of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 19% unfiltered Merlot, was named one of the top ten wines in the world in 2000 by Wine Spectator Magazine. Justin has a fabulous gourmet restaurant, Deborah’s Room, which serves dinner nightly. Just Inn is their luxurious, four room bed and breakfast. Justin is a member of the “Far Out Wineries,” seventeen wine producers located on Paso Robles’ west-side.

Vintages: Isosceles, Bordeaux blend wines
11680 Chimney Rock Road, Paso Robles, Ca 93446
(805)237-4149
www.justinwine.com

5. Meridian Vineyards

Decadence is a word Meridian likes to use to describe its rich but reasonably priced wine. With two award winning Zinfandel vineyards in Paso Robles, Dante Dusi and Camath Hills, Meridian concentrates on limited release wines. Meridian has an embarrassment of riches. So many awards, too numerous to list, since its founding in 1988.

Vintages: Chardonnay, white Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petite Syrah
7000 Highway 46 East, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 226-7133
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
www.meridianvineyards.com

6. Opolo Vineyards

Opolo features estate grown wines. This is another of the “Far Out Wineries” of Paso Robles’ west side. Opolo has vineyards on both the East and West sides of Paso and specializes in wines with “an explosion of forward fruit.” Besides cellar tasting every day, Opolo has a free tri-tip barbecue on the weekend. Opolo is known for its lighthearted approach to wine tasting.

The Inn at Opolo is luxury in the vineyard with accommodations that feature fireplaces, soaking tubs, king beds with feather duvets, fine Italian linens and towels, wrap around balconies and pre-ordered gourmet breakfasts made exactly to the guests’ specifications.

Vintages : Red blends of Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir and Viognier
7110 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 238-9593
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
www.opolo.com

7. Peachy Canyon Winery

Zinfandel is Peachy Canyon’s primary focus. This small family winery also crafts limited batches of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, and petite syrah. Their philosophy is to release wines at the “peak of their youth,” to give the consumer the option of drinking the vintage in its younger, more vibrant incarnation or waiting to enjoy a aged, more mellow wine. Peachy Canyon has a lovely picnic area with tables under shady oaks.

Vintages: Cabernet Sauvignon, blends
1480 North Bethel Road Templeton, CA
(805) 239-1918
Hours : Daily, 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
www.peachycanyon.com

8. Treana Winery

This is another of the small, family owned wineries that are so prevalent on the west side of Paso Robles. The name of the winery comes from a trinity of natural elements: the sun, the soil and the ocean. Treana’s wines are primarily Cabernet Sauvignon. The handcrafted red blends have been developed over twenty years of Their Treana Red is a Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Paso Robles while their Treana White is a Viognier blend from Monterey County. Treana’s tasting room is a rustic barrel room with a modern feel.

Vintages : Cabernet Sauvingon, red and white blends, Grenache, Merlot, Chardonnay, Rhones, Zinfandel
1585 Live Oak Road, Paso Robles, California
(805) 238-4112
Hours : 10:00 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday

9. Turley Wine Cellars

In 2001, the venerated Pesenti Winery was purchased by David Turley and renamed. The new owner wanted those 80-year-old Zinfandel vines to produce a “cult” wine, wine produced in small batches of 3000 cases or less. Though in limited supply and at a higher price point, the wine is excellent and always in high demand. The newly remodeled tasting room is open daily.

Vintages : Old vine Zinfandel
2900 Vineyard Drive, Templeton, CA 93465
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
www.turleywinecellars.com

10. Windward Vineyard

Pinot lovers should head to Windward, on Paso’s west side, one mile from Highway 101, off of Highway 46 west. Burgundian Pinot Noir is exclusively grown on the fifteen acre vineyard. Artisan cheeses are served along with the lovingly produced estate pinot in the Lath House overlooking the vineyard.

Vintages : Burgundian Pinot Noir
1380 Live Oak Road, Paso Robles, CA
(805) 239-2565
Hours : 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
www.windwardvineyard.com


EAST SIDE WINERIES

The east side of Paso Robles is home to the generally larger, more well-established wineries whose vineyards are planted in a hotter and drier climate than those operations on the west side.

11. Bianchi

Bianchi has been producing wine for thirty years but moved to their present location in 2004 from the Central Valley. They were known for being the first and only vineyard in the U.S. to produce Lambrusco grapes. The new state of the art winery is set in estate vineyards with terraces and a rainfall fed lake.

Vintages : Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvingon Blanc, Syrah

3380 Branch Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 226-9922
www.bianchiwine.com

12. Clautiere Winery

Clautiere is the outrageous addition to the older, more well established community of Paso Robles vineyards. Clautiere describes itself as “A winery like no other, where Edward Scissorhands meets the Mad Hatter at the Moulin Rouge.” The tasting room is purple and pink with a 6 ½ foot mosaic ball. Forget stuffy wine connoisseurs. When you’re here, you’re here to have a good time. Good time and good wine. Nothing pretentious. Pick up a hat or a wig while you taste and venture out to the fun house out back. This is not to distract you from what is being poured in your glass. The wine has actually been winning awards, including a Gold Medal at the2005 World Wine Championships for their Bordeaux Varietal blend. Come for the fun. Stay for the wine.

Vintages: Cabernet, Grenache, Red blends, Rhone blends, Syrah, Rose, Port, Viognier
1314 Penmen Springs Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 237-3789
www.clautiere.com

13. Eberle Winery

“The difference between wine and children is you can sit down and reason with a bottle of Cabernet.”

Award-winning Eberle Winery has the distinction of having 16,000 square feet of underground caves beneath its winery and tasting room. The vast caves give the wine a cool, dark place to age. Guided cave tours are a draw to Eberle and Wine Spectator Magazine called it “one of the best tours on the Central Coast.” Gary Eberle, one of the Paso wine country founding fathers, is said to be “obsessed” with cabernet sauvignon. Like many other wineries in the area, wine tasting is complimentary in their redwood tasting room.

Vintages : Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Rhone blends, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Syrah, Rose, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Muscat Canelli, Port

3810 Hwy. 46 East, Paso Robles, CA 93448
(805) 238-9607
www.eberlewinery.com

14. EOS Estates Winery

Formerly the Arciero Winery, EOS is named for the Goddess of the Dawn. EOS uses eco-friendly technology which includes solar power fields. A cypress-lined driveway leads you up to their Mediterranean inspired hospitality center. Tasting includes a tour of their operations and a complimentary flight of wines. This is a good picnic spot, too.

Vintages : Petite syrah, late harvest muscato
5625 Highway 46 East, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 239-2562
Hours: Daily 10 a.m-5 p.m. Summer weekends 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
www.eosvintage.com

15. Firestone Vineyard Paso

Firestone focuses on getting the “physiological balance” of its wines right. Those wines range from reds like cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah to whites like chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, Riesling, and gevurztraminer. Firestone opened in 2007 with a tasting room, barrel cellar and demonstration vineyard. The tasting room includes an enclosed patio with lovely terraced gardens.

Vintages : Bordeaux wines, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay
2300 Airport Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 591-8050
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
www.firestonewine.com

16. J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines

The “J” in J. Lohr is for Jerry Lohr, who started his vineyard in 1986 with Cabernet Sauvignon. This is another winery that uses old Zinfandel vines. An early pioneer in grape growing, Jerry Lohr understood that Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon could not be grown side by side. So he planted Cabs in Paso Robles and kept his Monterey County vineyards in Chardonnay and Riesling, which are cool climate wines. Bring a picnic lunch to sit on the patio outside the tasting room and enjoy the “fruits” of a master winemaker’s labor.

Vintages : Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel
6169 Airport Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 239-8900
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
www.jlohr.com

17. Robert Hall Winery or Tablas Creek Vineyards

In 2010, Robert Hall Winery received the distinction of winning the “Golden State Winery” award from the California State Fair Wine Competition, for the greatest number of wines winning the highest number of awards. This was the first time ever that a Paso Robles or Central Coast winery ever received this honor. With sustainably farmed vineyards and a new tasting room, the largest underground caverns on the Central Coast, and award winning wines, Robert Hall Winery should not be passed by.

Vintages : Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhone de Robles, Port
3443 Mill Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 239-1616
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-5p.m
www.roberthallwinery.com

18. Tobin James Cellars

Belly up to Tobin James’ 140-year-old bar and you’ll know that this is definitely not your parents’ staid, traditional wine tasting. The atmosphere is fun, rowdy and loud. The wines here are not subtle, either. The Zins, cabs, syrah, and merlots are intense, full of fruity goodness. Bring a picnic lunch. There are tables right outside the tasting room door. Get there early enough and you might just make it in time for the help-yourself barbeque.

Vintages : Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot
8950 Union Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 239-2204
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
www.tobinjames.com

19. Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards

What started twenty years ago as the brain child of a Cal Poly graduate is now one of the prominent wine producers on the Central Coast. Wild Horse makes seven different wines, including pinot noir, chardonnay and merlot and offers free samples in their simple tasting room in the southeastern part of Paso Robles.

Vintages : Chardonnay, Pinto Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier
1437 Wild Horse Winery Court, Templeton, CA
(805) 434-2541
Hours : 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily
www.wildhorsewinery.com

20. York Mountain Winery

Besides being the oldest operating winery in the county, York Mountain Winery also has the distinction of having its own appellation, apart from the three main appellations that make up the Paso Robles AVA. Seven miles from the Pacific Ocean, the York Mountain climate is much cooler and wetter than Paso Robles. Andrew York founded the winery in 1882. It was officially sanctioned as a separate AVA in 1984. York Mountain’s tasting room is very rustic. Think dogs running in and out the door and around a stone fireplace.

Vintages : Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Viognier, Petit Verdot
www.yorkmountainwinery.com

RIP : One of the best winery tasting rooms, Bonny Doon, burned down several years ago. Now only located in the mountains above Santa Cruz. Their Muscat Canelli, is still being produced but the lovely old barn within a country garden and petting zoo, is still sorely missed.

Note: The best way to wine taste over a weekend is to visit the Paso Robles wineries on the west side one day and then move on to the east side the next day. Also, unlike the Napa Valley, most wine tasting here is complimentary. Most importantly, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE!!! Be safe and have someone in your party who is not wine tasting, drive you around. There are wine tours which will pick you up at your hotel and take you on a loop drive around to the major tasting rooms on both the east and west sides of town. Jump on and off at your chosen winery stops and the shuttle will pick you up in about forty minutes. When you’re done, they will take you back to your accommodations.

The Wine Line operates Monday through Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and charges $49/per person.
(805)610-8267
Info@hoponthewineline.com

Another great option is a new service called, “Destination Drivers,” who will drive your car, not theirs, to each winery for $30/hour with a 3 hour minimum. Their slogan is “We Drive, You Relax.“ The driver will come to your door, provide water, gourmet cheeses, meats, and bread from Di Raimondo’s Italian Cheese Shop in Paso Robles. They will open doors, carry purchases to the car, take pictures, and even pet-sit for you while you and your party sip and taste without the worry of a DUI citation (and/or potential accident.) It may be well worth paying the equivalent of four bottles of wine to save yourself $15,000 in drunk driving fines.

www.destinationdrivers.com
(805) 423-3176




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