Paso Robles, a city in California, is known for its hot springs, production of olive oil, almond orchards and abundance of wineries. With more than 200 wine-tasting rooms and 40,000 acres of vineyards, Paso Robles is a world-class wine region. It also offers fantastic restaurants, superb views of vineyards and rolling hills, outdoor adventure, craft beverages and art.
Small farmers who immigrated from Europe started wine farms in the area which is now home to a flourishing winery industry. One of these farmers, Andrew York, began winemaking in 1882 at what is now the Epoch Winery, the oldest winery in continuous operation in the United States.
The Best Terroir for Wine Making
The climate and the soil in the region are ideal for growing grapes that are perfect for creating among the best wines in the world. The most popular wine varietals offered by Paso Robles wineries are:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Rhone Blends – Syrah and Grenache
According to the Paso Robles Daily News, one of the top wine industry trends is wine education with consumers showing an increased interest in who produces the wine and the type of wine produced. Another noticeable trend is the decrease in the demand for fine wine, attributable perhaps to the effects of the pandemic on people’s pockets.
How Many Paso Robles Wineries Are There?
There are approximately 300 wineries in Paso Robles so finding the best can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if you are only visiting for a few days. On average, you will pay $15 in Paso Robles for wine tasting but there are a few Paso wineries that still offer tastings for free.
The Best Wineries in Paso Robles
View this post on Instagram&n;
Eberle has magnificent grounds and a wine cave. You can taste wine on the expansive deck with a beautiful view of the vineyard or you can enjoy the wine in the tasting room. The cave tours, with private food and wine pairing in a section of the cave, is not to be missed. The Wild Boar Room in the caves is a great way to celebrate a special occasion such as engagements, weddings or birthday parties. The owner’s surname, Eberle, translates into ‘strong boar’ so you will notice boar sculptures and imagery throughout the winery.
L’Aventure is a wine estate that produces red wine blends of the Bordeaux and Rhône grape varieties. Formerly a barley farm, the owner, Stephan Asseo, transformed L’Aventure into a magnificent wine-tasting spot. Driving there, you will see ancient oak trees along the way.
L’Aventure offers a one-on-one, educational wine tasting experience of their most current vintage but this must be booked in advance. They are open every day of the week from 10am-4pm. During the wine tasting, you will learn more about their winemaking philosophy and their wines. The cost is $45 and it takes one hour.
One of the most beautiful, scenic wineries in Paso Robles is Daou Vineyards – the first commercial-scale winery in that region. From rich, robust Cabernet Sauvignons to intensely fruity Bordeaux wine, you can experience the magnificent vino of your choice on the patio while taking in the stunning view.
Daou, open from Monday – Sunday between 10am-5pm, ranks high among the award-winning Paso Robles wineries and continues to produce some of the finest wines. You can enjoy their wines with a gourmet meal or you can simply do wine tasting. Run by the Daou brothers, this winery offers amazing hospitality and incredible wines such as 2019 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 Estate Soul of a Lion and, 2019 Daou Estate Micho. Reservations are essential and the party size is limited to 6 guests, including non-tasters.
Epoch Estate Wines
You will find Epoch Estate Wines is about as far west as you can go in Paso Robles. The drive there is through rolling hills spotted with densely wooded oak trees and serene countryside. Although it takes a while to arrive, being off the beaten path, visitors agree that it is well worth the drive.
Given the distance, be sure to make a reservation beforehand. Opening hours are every day of the week between 10am-4pm. Epoch is owned by Liz and Bill Armstrong who produce excellent wine using Rhone Varietals, Tempranillo and Zinfandel. There are rave reviews about Epoch on Trip Advisor with one visitor saying that Epoch was far and away the favourite out of 10 Paso Robles wineries visited.
The Trip Advisor reviewer states that the host was as knowledgeable as he was attentive, and that wines such as Veracity and Sensibility are excellent. He mentions that you are served all the wine samples at once which allows you to taste at your leisure and compare and contrast.
Jada Vineyard and Winery
Open every day from 11am-4.45, this beautiful winery has gorgeous views of the verdant vineyards. Their bold red wines have made them famous and Jersey Girl is a firm favourite. You will be able to enjoy a cheese pairing to elevate your wine-tasting experience. Jada is in the process of converting the vineyards into biodynamic growing methods and some of their current releases are from wines using already converted vines.
Sculpterra Winery and Sculpture Garden
The imposing, beautiful wrought iron gate at the entrance gives you the first clue about what to expect at this exceptional winery. As you drive on, you will see sculptures made by a number of artists who display their works in the tasting room and throughout the gardens.
The gardens contain a stage built around a massive oak tree which is used to host events. Sculpterra is open each day from 10am-5pm and tasting their excellent Rhone Style and Bordeaux blends is highly recommended.
The biggest winery in Paso Robles, Justin Winery specialises in Bordeaux style varietals using old and modern wine-making techniques. Justin Winery offers overnight stays in venues that are elegant and stylish. The luxurious JUST Inn Suites provides visitors with fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic mattresses and Frette linens. An overnight stay includes a bottle of Justine wine, breakfast and a free tasting. You can also stay at the Vintner’s Villa or at the Justin Chateau on site.
Le Cuvier Winery
Le Cuvier is best known for its natural approach to winemaking resulting in wines that are rich, deep-hued and intense. Their food and wine pairing is, according to visitors, nothing short of exceptional. The staff are welcoming and knowledgeable and the winery is situated in a beautiful setting. It is best to make a booking to ensure that you can wine taste. You will receive small snacks with the wine tasting which is $15 per person – a fee that is waived if you buy a bottle.
Tours to Experience the Best Wines in Paso Robles
The Wine Line is a fantastic choice if you are passing Paso Robles and want to enjoy one day of wine tasting. The Wine Line, which is a hop-on, hop-off wine tasting tour is not too expensive and you can choose 4 wineries in Paso Robles from an extensive list. If you are not sure where to go, the Wine Line will help you out. Bookings can be made on Viator.
The Wine Wrangler is a great option if you are staying in Paso Robles. You will be fetched and shuttled to between 4-6 wineries, and you will also receive food and drinks as part of the tour. You can either choose the wineries or let the professionals decide for you. You can do a full or half a day tour.
Other Activities to Enjoy in Paso Robles
Paso Robles wineries are not all there is on offer. You can enjoy horseback riding, olive oil tasting at the Kiler Ridge Olive Farm, go for a walk downtown with Paso Robles Tour Co and you can enjoy the wonderful food on offer in the Paso Robles restaurants such as Les Petites Canailles, Thomas Hill Organics Bistro & Wine Bar, Roots on Railroad at The Backyard on Thirteenth, Joe’s Place and AMSTRDM Coffee House & Piano Lounge.
Situated 30 minutes from California’s coast and mid-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Paso Robles is attracting new visitors daily. The vineyards, oak trees and small-town charm are just a few of the attributes that make it so charming.