10 Great Paso Robles Wineries, just don’t try them all it in one day
This is my top 10 Paso Robles Wineries. I tried way too many wineries to remember, but these are my favorite wineries that you should consider on your next trip. I recently spent a week in Paso Robles to discover my Top 10 Paso Robles Wineries. I have been a longtime fan of Paso Robles Wines. I have been known to select wines from the menu purely based on the fact that it came from Paso Robles.
Based on my full week of over indulging on Paso Robles wines, I learned a lot about their wine growing region, microclimates and most importantly which wineries are the best. This post provides my Top 10 List of Wineries I tried and a couple runner ups that you should consider on your next trip. You may want to read my Understanding Paso Robles AVA and Microclimates before you begin.
Top West Side Wineries
Peachy Canyon sources grapes from over twenty local growers in the Paso Robles AVA and 100 acres of their own vineyards. I loved this winery tasting room and really enjoyed their wines, so much so that I joined their wine club. Peachy Canyon does best with their Zinfandels, although they did well with their Cabs and Merlots.
Justin is located on at the rolling foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The days are hot and the evenings are cool and the soil is limestone, making this winery perfect for Bordeaux style reds. This is one of my favorite Wineries in Paso Robles. Justin has turned into a cult winery in the past five years and there is good reason for it. Their wines are perhaps some of the best in Paso Robles.
Located just south of Justin, Halter has very similar limestone soil and climate. Halter Ranch uses 100% estate grown grapes which are sustainably farmed. Halter produces Bordeaux and Rhone style wines. The 2009 Ancestor and the 2012 Synthesis are amazing. While you are at Halter Ranch, look at the old farmhouse, does it look familiar? It is the house featured on the movie Arachnophobia. I first learned about Halter Ranch when I attended a Winemakers Dinner at the Winery Restaurant in Orange County. I met Winemaker Kevin Saas who taught us all about their winemaking process. Halter Ranch is still my favorite winery in Paso Robles.
This was one of the more relaxing properties we visited. You pull up to the estate and you feel like you are visiting someone’s really nice house, which overlooks the vineyards. The winery produces Bordeaux and Rhone blends. I recommend you try the 2010 Diosa, which is a Rhone style blend with lots of complexity.
Sextant has some really amazing Zinfandels and Petite Syrah. I had previously tried their wine at the California Wine Festival and fell in love with them. Sextant is located along highway 46, on the west side. The tasting room is perhaps the prettiest of all Paso Robles. The tasting rooms flashy production value matches the quality of wine. I recommend the 2011 Night Watch and the 2012 Chardonnay.
Other West Side Wineries I Recommend
- Tablas Creek
Top East Side Wineries
Bella Luna is located smack dab in the middle of the Templeton Gap, riding the line between East and West Paso Robles. Bella Luna focuses on small lot Italian varietals. This tasting room is low key and welcoming. As you pull up, you will be greeted by their dog Captain, who will steal your food if you leave your door open (true story).
I really enjoyed these wines and they were a welcome break from the Bordeaux style blends I had been tasting all day. Bella Luna was recommended by one of my friends who said that these wines are amazing and do not leave without trying the Fighter Pilot Red. If you meet Sherman in the tasting room, tell him Tom sent you…not that that will account for much. 😉
Eberle Winery was a fun stop and they had great wines. You will be greated by two poodles when you enter the property and then a large brass pig that is famous in Florence Italy. Wine tastings are complimentary at Eberle and you will love them. The staff is very friendly and then even offer a winery and wine cave tour every 30 minutes. Be sure to hang out on the deck, as it features a sweeping view of their vineyard. Keep in mind that you can pre-order a picnic lunch at Eberle, just be sure to call it in ahead of time. Eat your picnic lunch on the deck. I really like the 2010 Cotes Du Robles and the Full Boar Red.
Tobin James should either be your first or last winery. Perhaps you should limit your winery stops the day you visit Tobin James as well. This winery has good wines and they pour extremely generously. The Tobin Hames tasting room feels like a cowboy saloon. The attitude is all rock and roll cowboy, even the crowd is a little spunky. This is probably the party place, although their wines are all business. I recommend the 2011 Black Magic Syrah and the 2010 James Gang Reserve Zinfandel.
Le Vigne is a must stop location near the end of the day, as it is a perfect spot to get a light lunch or snack with your wine pairing. The key amenity of this winery is that they have a full cheese shop in the winery, complete with a very trained cheese monger who knows her stuff. I highly recommend you order the cheese plate to compliment your wine tasting. The Cheese Monger and the Wine Maker teamed up to create a very delicious pairing experience. If you are really hungry, order yourself a paninni. I bought way too much cheese before we left.
Villa San Julliete
Villa San Julliette is my favorite winery in the warmer Estrella area. The property sits atop of a wide rolling hill, so you get great views from their mansion of a facility. Villa San Julliete is as close as you will get to a celebrity winery. It is owned by reality TV producers Nigel and Ken, who are known for “So you think you can dance?” and “American Idol.”
The property is glitzy and opulent as you would expect. Their wines match the luxuriousness of their property. The estate has a beautiful patio fashioned like a Tuscan villa, with views of the vineyards. Villa San Julliete also serve food, so it is a great spot to take a break with one of their Pizzas and a glass of Zin. They also have really amazing sliders made from local grass fed beef. I recommend the 2011 Zinfandel, it is fruity, smooth and lush.
Other places I recommend on the East Side