California’s impressive wine country boasts many an accomplished winery. None though are quite as underappreciated as the Central Coast’s Paso Robles. Read on for some of the best wineries in this part of California.
California’s Paso Robles wine region boasts a robust collection of more than 200 wineries, most of which are family-owned and -operated businesses. These establishments warmly welcome visitors, offering friendly hospitality alongside quality wines and tours of the onsite vineyards. Although there’s no poor choice when it comes to visiting a winery in Paso Robles, here are seven highlights in this part of California that stand out for their exceptional wines.
Tooth & Nail
Tooth & Nail is known as “the first castle on the right,” off State Route 46 West in Paso Robles. This trendy castle-style property sits among the acres of hillside in Paso Robles complete with a water-filled moat and rampart fortress style architecture on top of the upper deck patio, to survey all the vineyards below. Owner and Grower Rob Murray of Rob Murray Vineyards has been making wine since 2007. With 1,000 acres of grapes and four labels served onsite – Rabble, Tooth and Nail, Stasis and Amor Fati – Rob, his Winemaker Jeremy Leffert and his Associate Winemaker Brianne Chase are known to handcraft the very best from the top 5% of grapes grown.
3090 Anderson Rd
Owner and winemaker at Desparada, Vailia From, doesn’t come from a traditional winemaking background. Instead, she began her journey by creating just four barrels before officially moving into her space in Tin City in 2014. From and her team have a soft touch and a scientific approach to winemaking. From occasionally even scraps a creation at the last minute if it’s not coming out as she intended, or barrels one single barrel separately if she believes that a varietal is turning out particularly well. From works with around 20 of the Central Coast’s finest vineyards to create her well-known blends, and offers tastings out of her trendy tasting room in the Tin City district, which is ten minutes outside of downtown Paso Robles.
3060 Limestone Way
The name “Nicora” is actually a blend of two different names. The first, Nick, belongs to owner and founder Nick Elliott, and the second, Ora, is that of his great-grandfather. Elliot was inspired by his grandfather’s entrepreneurial spirit, and channeled it into creating a successful business of his own in the Tin City district of Paso Robles. Elliot has been making wine for over a decade, but Nicora was formally established in 2013. Nicora normally offers intimate, private wine tastings by appointment only. The facility produces roughly 1,200 cases per year, which classifies the brand as an extremely small, boutique sized winery, creating Rhone varietals of wine with a particular focus on syrah. Elliot himself is known by the community to be extremely meticulous in his entire winemaking process, from growing to the production.
2945 Limestone Way
Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery
Alta Colina was founded in 2003 by Bob Tilman who, after 35 years of working as an engineer by day and a home winemaker by night, found the 130-acre parcel of land in Paso Robles’ Adelaida District on which he would later create Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery. It’s truly a family affair, with Bob making the wine and managing the vineyard, and his daughter Maggie shaping the Alta Colina experience through its sales and marketing operations. Bob, Maggie and their team craft about 2,000 cases a year and sell the remainder of their fruit to other Rhone winemakers throughout the Central Coast and Southern California. The winery offers special “Summit Vineyard Tastings” which feature incredible views of the vineyard hillside, in an intimate session with one of Alta Colina’s onsite experts. From Spring to Fall, Alta Colina also runs a glamping camper van complex called The Trailer Pond in the heart of the vineyards.
2825 Adelaida Rd
After years of searching California for the perfect piece of dirt to grow grapes that would produce highly-acclaimed wines, in 1997 Ron Denner finally found his spot in Paso’s western region. Denner began planting his first few acres of grapes in 1999 which have now grown into a total of 130-acres consisting of 20 different grape varieties. Denner is mainly a Rhone-focused winery, hosting appointment-only personalized tableside tasting services. Of two tasting rooms, the first is flanked by vineyards on one side and views of the fermentation room on the other. The second tasting area, out front, offers a large patio, with expansive views of the valley and the vineyards below. Denner offers three main flagship wines: the Ditch Digger blend, which is a GSM (grenache, syrah, and mourvedre), the Mother of Exiles Bordeaux blend, and the Dirt Dorshipper, which is a syrah. Denner is a gorgeous destination to enjoy a laidback tasting with friendly service and pleasing views.
5414 Vineyard Dr
Situated along the beautiful and scenic Paso Robles ‘back roads’ countryside, CASS offers 100% estate-grown Rhone and Bordeaux wines. This boutique family winery covers 143-acres in Paso Robles, with vineyards growing 12 grape varietals. The tasting room and winery are located within the Spanish hacienda-style building. Curated art, designer lighting and a diamond plated, aluminum bar adorn the tasting room. CASS is also home to a boutique hotel called Geneseo Inn. Built out of industrial shipping crates and perched above the vines, this overnight experience includes a tasting and a night amongst the vineyards. CASS also hosts farm education programs and other experiences, such as vineyard tours, wine seminars, cooking classes, beekeeping, archery and horseback riding.
7350 Linne Rd
JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery
Justin Vineyards & Winery spans more than 160 acres. Justin offers a large tasting room and an onsite restaurant with expansive views of the vineyard hillsides. Tasters won’t have to worry about getting themselves anywhere after indulging in just the right amount of wine either thanks to the winery’s appropriately named accommodation “The JUST Inn”. The inn comprises four private suites and for larger parties of guests, there’s the Chateaux at Justin, a 29,000-square-foot hilltop residence with four bedrooms, eight bathrooms, billiards room, and private patios and balconies.
11680 Chimney Rock Rd