Paso Robles


I preface this by saying that this is my first (and, after others read it, potentially last) blog entry, but I wanted to share some recommendations from our recent visit to Paso Robles. First off, though, if you’re looking for cabs or pinot noir, Paso Robles may not be for you. The Paso Robles area has become a world class producer of Rhone-style blends or “GSMs” (blends of grenache/syrah/mourvedre) and zinfandels.

My sense is that Paso Robles is much like Napa 25-30 years ago. It’s not commercialized and it’s still easy to meet the wine makers and owners. We visited the following:

• Linne Calodo ( (appointments are required) (top-notch GSMs)

• Denner ( (appointments are required) (top-notch GSMs)

• Booker ( (appointments are required) (top-notch GSMs)

• Caliza ( (no appointment required – next door to Booker) (top-notch GSMs)

• Turley ( (no appointment required – a Zinfandel cult wine…one of the best producers of zinfandel and petite sirah in North America…Turley sources its grapes from Paso Robles, Napa, Sonoma, Lodi, and other areas in California)

• Epoch ( (no appointment required) (GSMs and zinfandel)

• Tablas Creek ( (no appointment required) (one of the oldest Rhone-style blend producers in Paso Robles; it is affiliated with Chateau de Beaucastel, which is a top wine in the Châteauneuf du Pape region of France).

• Sextant ( – Before flying out of San Luis Obispo, we had some time to kill, so we stumbled upon Sextant’s tasting room in “Old Edna.” The tasting room is in a 19th century general store that has been converted to a tasting room and gourmet deli.

One of the coolest areas in Paso Robles is the “Tin City” area. It’s a community of small production wine makers, as well as a brewery. Most of these wineries require appointments, but we were lucky to stumble upon a block party where all of the tasting rooms were open. If you’re looking for rare gems with low production, this is the place to go. We visited the following – all of which produce top-notch GSMs:

• Brian Benson Cellars (

• Jacob Toft (

• Nicora (

• Onx (

Restaurants -- Dinner

• Artisan ( – regarded as the best restaurant in Paso Robles with a good bar scene, too.

• Thomas Hill Organics ( -- can’t go wrong…good outdoor space.

Restaurants -- Lunch

• Niner ( – It’s part of Niner’s tasting room and within a half mile of Turley, Linne Colodo, Booker, and Caliza. Get the cheese plate and duck confit.

• Nino’s Grill in Templeton ( – Nino’s, in downtown Templeton, is like going back in time to an old western town. Go get the tri tip sandwich and one of their many craft beers on draft.

Category: California // Cities

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