Wineries located along Highway 46 West are popular for chalk and limestone infused soils. Tasting rooms along Vineyard Drive, Adelaida Drive and Chimney Rock Road feature calcareous bluffs and natural landscapes. Look for hill top tasting rooms and spectacular views of the valley. The windy roads in this area are paved but many wineries still have dirt drive ways. Paso Robles originally gained notoriety for dry farmed Zinfandel. This varietal is still present but Rhone varietals like Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre have really come into fashion. Every producer in this area is offering something slightly different. It’s best to do a little homework if your time in the region is limited.
Wineries along Highway 46 East include some of California’s largest producers. The fertile soils in this part of the appellation put Paso Robles reds on dinner tables everywhere. Labels from San Antonio Winery and Robert Hall sit inconspicuously along Highway 46 and welcome walk-ins. Producers like J. Lohr feature limited selections that are not found on local wine shelves. Locations with dusty roads and rustic appeal remind us of Paso Robles 15 years ago. These hidden gems have muted crowds on weekends and relaxed staff who are not pushing patrons through tasting flights. Wineries like Eberly extend complementary tasting fees and cave tours. Don’t miss the cheese counter at Le Vigne or the cowboy tasting room at Tobin James.
Tin City is a collection of urban tasting rooms, brew houses and distilleries near the train tracks in Paso Robles. The popularity of this location began with Tin City Cider and the Barrel House but has grown to include 23 different wine labels. Tin City provides an outlet for many young vintners to develop a following and try new ideas. It is not uncommon to find winemakers moving barrels outside or pouring behind the counter. This location lacks permanent cuisine but food trucks can be found on the weekends. Look for authentic experiences at Nelle/Cordant or terra cotta aged wines at Desparata. A few tasting rooms in this section require an appointment, but most welcome walk-ins.
Paso Robles hosts a collection of tasting rooms caddy corner to movie theater and city park. Many of the labels downtown seamlessly blend with neighboring businesses. Urban tasting rooms like the Paso Robles Underground share a retail storefront with a clothing boutique. Don't miss the Pinot Noir at Tudor Wines or the tasting experience at Symbiosis. Multiple tasting rooms and amenities make this a great location for mixed groups. Parking is available on adjacent streets when spaces around the city park are full. Labels located on the opposite side of the train tracks are worth the visit but we do not recommend walking. Don't miss the tower view at Derby Wine Estates or the laid back vibes at Herman Story.
The Templeton Gap District is a subdivision of the Paso Robles AVA. Ocean breezes come through a gap in the ridgeline and provide relief from the hot sun. Vibrant fruit with bold characteristics are the result of these temperature changes. Don’t miss the wine at Turley Cellars or the lunch menu at Aron Hill. Templeton also features a variety of ranch style locations east of 101 Freeway. If you are traveling without an appointment Polmer Junction, Burbank Ranch, Wild Horse, Bella Luna and Cass are open daily. Wineries in this area are rural and we recommend calling ahead if you are visiting December-February. Wineries located in Creston have been included in this collection because they are accessed through Templeton.
Wineries in San Miguel feature rural roads with wild hollyhock and sunflowers during spring and summer. Its best practice to pack a lunch because most tasting rooms only sell small snacks. Use our winery search feature to find tasting rooms that welcome walk-ins if you are traveling without an appointment. San Miguel received its name from the local Mission which now serves as a historical landmark. The museum is open daily for self-guided tours, 10:00 am-4:30 pm. Admission is $5 per adult and $3 for children.
Distilled Brandy is a made from the grape skin, pulp and stems that remain after the wine making process. This clear spirit originates from Italy where it was adopted by winemakers to reduce waste. Grappa’s roll in sustainability has made the spirit popular in California and produced a new generation distilleries that do not produce wine. Distilled spirits are normally sipped after dinner or used as a cocktail with juice and soda. Producers in this area have their own creative twist on this medium. Look for infused flavors like "limoncello," and barrel aging.