When looking at a map of Paso Robles wineries, it’s easy to notice that there are more wineries in the west than the east. Since many are concentrated on the lower portion of the west side, we spent two days on the west.
On this day we left the driving to someone else as we decided to “Rustle Up Some Wine” with Wine Wrangler tours. Melinda, our guide, was a delightful and informative host as she took her band of 8 to 5 wineries – all different from our visit the day before, thus the days ahead. For the record, we recommend Wine Wrangler tours.
Castoro offers a large selection of wines to consider. The Venti Quattro Anni impressed us, but we forgot to buy. FYI: Jan Kris and Peach Canyon tasting rooms are very close.
The historic Rotta winery is the oldest in Paso. Still run by the same family, a very knowledgeable lady poured in the quaint tasting room. Although we didn’t buy, I’ll be on the lookout for their outstanding dessert wine – Black Monukka. Wow!
The wines were good, but we didn’t buy. The highlight was the general manager visiting our group and providing freshly-pressed pinot grigio juice to taste. Interesting!
Although known for their zinfandels, Norman also offers more wines than I anticipated. I simply wasn’t in the wine-buying mood on this day.
Named after the dominant limestone layer upon which the property sits, these reds were excellent – but they prominently express the property’s mineral foundation. We strongly considered, but didn’t purchase – however, the view here is spectacular – the high vista with a 30+ mile view to the east!
Other Posts about this Trip
After attending a wine tasting this past spring, my wife and I decided to vacation in the Paso Robles (CA) wine region. Besides, we’ve visited Napa and Sonoma several times.
We flew into Santa Barbara and then visited several wineries on the way to Paso. After four nights there and one in Santa Maria, we can say this was a great trip – and one that I’ll report over multiple posts.
Although we had outstanding weather (high 80s, low 50s) with a nice breeze, Paso can be quite hot in July, August, and September.
Our stay at the Adelaide Inn is worthy of praise. The Adelaide Inn, a motor-lodge style motel, provided clean, spacious, renovated king rooms. The inn is only a half-mile walk from downtown for those who like to walk (like us). The Adelaide staff is friendly and helpful – but beware of Charlie, the evening clerk with a sense of humor and the guardian of the cookies. The only downside on the Adelaide is that guests may need more than the Adelaide’s simple continental breakfast – but there are options.
Many, if not most, wine tasting rooms in this region have tasting fees. Although some waive the fee with a purchase, the Adelaide staff provided numerous complimentary tasting coupons.
Downtown Paso Robles offers tasting rooms, tasting bars, restaurants, and shopping – many surrounding a centralized city park. I recommend Thai Basil and Buona Tavola for evening meals.
Here are some broad recommendations for first-time wine tasters to this area.
- Take a collapsible cooler along for packing a lunch because food isn’t easy to find out on the tasting trails.
- Research before you go because not all tasting rooms are open daily as some are only on weekends while others only on extended weekends.
- Consider the Wine Wrangler as it provides a good wine tour and they drive and provide lunch. (Advance purchase through Costco saves $20 per ticket. I’ll post about our day later).
- If flying, plan so the wine is your checked luggage on your return flight because the baggage fee will probably be less expensive than a shipping fee – but buy a shipping box with styrofoam to protect the bottles.
- Take time to visit Hearst Castle (about a 45-minute drive).
More posts to come about this trip … especially the wine!