The Definitive Paso Robles Wine Guide
27 Wineries That Should Be On Everyone’s Radar
Directory (in alphabetical order)
4Bodega de Edgar
7Cordant / Nelle
10Epoch Estate Wines
16Law Estate Wines
19Nenow Family Wines
20Paix Sur Terre
21Royal Nonesuch Farm & Kinero
2825 Adelaida Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446
As you start your drive out on Adelaida road into the heart of vineland, one of the first stops you encounter is Alta Colina—a small, family-owned winery known for hand-harvested farming and high altitude terroir. Their classy, intentional lineup of wines are all estate-grown from the 31 acre property and maintain polish and elegance across the board. When a traditional winery like this makes something (somewhat) out of their wheelhouse, like their summertime Pét Nat, it should feel askew. But it somehow fits the high-quality nature of the vineyard and their commitment to producing pleasureful, balanced wines for the table. Their up-leveled private picnic tasting at the hilltop behind the winery is stunning. And for your next visit, consider booking one of the 5 vintage trailers on the property in an area known as the Trailer Pond.
2020 Carbonic Grenache | $38
1585 Live Oak Drive Paso Robles, CA 93446
If you’ve met the man Austin Hope himself, then you’d understand the level of hospitality and commitment that this tucked-away modern barn and outdoor patio present. The whole place imbues its surroundings like a quiet retreat and greets you like you’re at a trendy wine country restaurant with impeccable service and zero attitude. As for the wines, don’t sleep on the massive appeal and wide distribution that has thrust the brand into megawatt status on dinner tables all over America. The namesake Austin Hope line of wines are big, rich, creamy, and opulent. If wine were comfort food, this place feels like a home-cooked meal.
2018 Austin Hope Mourvedre | $65
2959 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Brothers Arnaud and Guillaume Fabre (winemaker/proprietor of Clos Solène) are infusing their French heritage with the best that Paso has to offer, to craft premium luxury wines dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon and Spanish style blends. The portfolio is ultra-refined, and though the wines display the intense character and structure of the region, they drink softer, prettier, and more ethereal than you’d imagine. That grace and elegance isn’t always easy to come by. The tasting room (and outdoor area) in Tin City feels like you’re at a friend’s house, alternating from the cozy living room setting to the covered patio for a potluck meal. Which makes sense since the phonetic translation of Benom (or binome) is ‘a project together’ and this operation is ideal for a friendly affair.
2019 Origin | $75
Bodega de Edgar
3550 Combine St. Paso Robles, CA 93446
Anyone who seeks an industrial-style tasting experience secluded from the busyness of downtown or that other warehouse district known as Tin City, should find their way to a random, funky, ironworks complex off Highway 46. The surrounding space is a vastly desolate amalgam of car dealerships, gas stations, steel construction yards, heavy machinery, and random parking lots full of retired emergency service trucks. It’s not the prettiest site, but it’s also not intended to be. And new structures like Bodega de Edgar give you the wine you need to enjoy the dusty, old west quirks of the gravel pit setting with affordable, Spanish-style wines that expand your horizons on the region. These are steady, flavorful, food friendly wines that should get more attention.
2018 La Milla | $50
2644 Anderson Rd Paso Robles, CA 93446
If there’s a sexy place to get bad and bougie, the new hillside tasting room at Booker is the spot. With or without a cave tour, the dressed up ambience is screaming with Cabo San Lucas vibes—from the cabana-like adornments to the open air kitchen+bar, to the loungey music pumping through the outdoor speakers. It’s a bustling oasis on a vineyard with pretty grounds and even prettier people. The wine’s not too shabby either. Fans of Booker’s namesake wines as well as their second tier label “My Favorite Neighbor” can get the day started in fashion. The service reflects the newness of the operation, but perhaps that’ll get figured out sooner than later. Either way, no place has more style for a trendy wine brunch.
2018 Ripper Ext | $85
2040 Niderer Rd Paso Robles, CA 93401
A family-owned winery tucked away in the westside of Paso Robles, Clos Solène is a dream. As you pull through the gate and wrap around the cottage, you’ll find a quaint tasting room and patio in the vines of the 28-acre estate, which feels like a writer’s retreat. You’re sitting in the backyard of owner/winemaker Guillaume Fabre and his wife Solène (for which the brand is named). Everything about the experience is peaceful and resolute. It’s a rare botanic garden in the heart of wine country, with awe-inspiring, French-influenced winemaking techniques that showcase the oft-forgotten finesse that can still be delivered from this bold, sunny region. Don’t forget the home-cooked, fresh-baked bread that accompanies the tasting. Salivating.
2020 La Rose | $45
Cordant / Nelle
3310 Ramada Dr Ste A Paso Robles, CA 93446
Winemaker Tyler Russell always aims to please, and his dual-functioning project Cordant / Nelle does just that. The Cordant side of the brand is all Pinot Noir focused, while the Nelle side of the brand experiments with blending trials and co-fermentation techniques to create signature Rhone blends. The wines here are as approachable and fun loving as the big man creating them. His enthusiasm to pour and hang out with his guests is palpable (he may even be cooking for the staff in the back). The tasting room, with its bohemian vibes, vintage record player, and large speaker system suggests you may want to smoke a joint and have a glass without moving for a while. Khruangbin and Syrah never paired so well together.
2018 Coastview Syrah | $54
2777 Hidden Mountain Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
You probably recognize Daou from the grocery store, and if you want the closest thing to Napa in Paso Robles, Daou is the writing in the sky… literally. Perched atop one of the highest elevations in the entire region, Daou Mountain is picturesque in every way. The property is vast and incredible with over 200 acres and 270-degree views that will have you awestruck. It’s perfect for large groups and makes you want to squat at a table for a few hours, order the giant mezze plate, crack open a few bottles, and take it all in. Like a picnic in the park with your besties. Just beware, it can get windy up there. The high-end, limited-production releases that will be part of your flight add to the experience. They’re big, brooding, and built to wow.
2018 Reserve Seventeen Forty | $75
7970 Vineyard Dr Paso Robles, CA 93446
Dilécta is a boutique wine project from Orion Stang, a well-known vintner in the area who previously held winemaking roles at Booker, Herman Story, and Law while standing up this label. Since inception, Dilécta has been pumping out high-octane red wines with power and persistence. The modern barn tasting room on vineyard drive is like a cool HGTV guest house with great indoor/outdoor space (tasting bar included) that spills out into the picturesque vineyard. The label art on the bottles, as well as the corresponding large-scale prints for sale that are posterized throughout the tasting room are done by Stang’s mother Betty Wick. Who knows, you may leave with a six pack and a new living room piece.
2017 Bien Nacido | $62
Epoch Estate Wines
7505 York Mountain Road, Templeton, CA 93465
Isolated in the York Mountain AVA, about 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean, this microclimate site in the woods experiences cooler and wetter temperatures than nearby Paso Robles with chiseled wines that express the rigid terroir. Nestled on the historically significant and integrally-preserved property sits a beautiful winery (formerly York Mountain Winery with commercial operations tracing back to 1882), a 1898 farmhouse, a horse barn that ‘rivals the best in Texas,’ a quaint cottage, and a state-of-the-art production facility. It’s a secluded, winding drive (15-20 mins) from town, but well worth female winemaker Jordan Fiorentini’s superb wines, thoughtfully curated tasting experience, and the establishment’s pristine modern rusticity.
2017 Sensibility | $75
$30 per person
2660 Anderson Rd Paso Robles, CA 93446
Imagine a beautiful, organically farmed, 100-acre vineyard (30 acres planted) with rolling hills and crumbling, deep-rooted limestone soil that produces some of the area’s premium vineyard designates. You’ll get the appeal of Fulldraw Vineyard in Paso Robles. The prized land was paramount to Connor and Rebecca McMahon’s decision to buy the property back in 2012 with Connor working first as vineyard manager and then assistant winemaker at adjacent Booker. Fulldraw’s wines always have great intensity and refinement. The new production and tasting facility, which opened right before our initial lockdown in March 2020, is a beaming, architectural warehouse perched up on a hill away from the initial gate overlooking the back of the property. You don’t want to miss it.
2018 Chopping Block | $85
1227 Paso Robles St Paso Robles, CA 93446
Anyone that names one of their wines “late bloomer” and uses old 1980’s yearbook photos as the feature frame has an incredibly twisted sense of humor. If you’ve ever had one of owner/winemaker Russell From’s big central coast wines, read his quirky missive on the website, visited the pseudo auto parts garage that acts as a tasting room, or hung out with his motley crew of personalities that help craft the wines (all of which have their own side labels), you know that no team is having more fun or laughing harder. Think of the scene here as something out of the “Fast and Furious” franchise. It’s like Dom’s family all gathered around the dinner table. The wine just flows.
2019 Milk & Honey
2929 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Riley Hubbard of Hubba Wines is all about taking inspiration from friends, family, and whatever the day brings to craft modern, holistic wines at her new outpost in the back corner of Tin City. After various pit stops in Australia, France, and Italy working harvests, Hubbard navigated back to the Central Coast to work as an Assistant Winemaker at Law and then Desparada before launching her own label. Her minimal approach and wanderlust mentality let these carefully restrained wines speak for themselves. Almost all of the vineyards she sources from are focused on organic or biodynamic farming, leaving her with the purest fruit possible. Like the playful cartoon sketches on her bottles, each wine has its own distinct character in the portfolio.
2019 Mutha Chardonnay | $42
2929 Limestone Way Paso Robles, CA 93446
An older project by Paso standards, Jacob Toft wines are still somewhat under-the-radar despite major access to killer fruit throughout the central coast. Super small production and with almost no distribution whatsoever, you’d be lucky to find these wines anywhere outside of the tasting room—an atmosphere that feels like you’re hanging in grandma’s living room—but in the best way possible. Like the super hip, fun grandma that keeps popping bottles and showing off her antique collection. Even the labels look like artwork that Grandma would hang at her place. The artisanal wines are deliciously bold, silky, and mouthwatering.
2017 Maggie’s Cuvee | $60
2815 Live Oak Road Paso Robles, CA 93446
You’d be hard pressed to go anywhere in Paso Robles without hearing the name Stephan Asseo. Just like a legendary coaching tree in sports that spawns historic careers for the entire staff, all lines lead back to Stephan and the singular impact he created on crafting luxury “Paso Blends” —a mixture of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals —in the heart of westside Templeton Gap long before it was cool. The entire estate is hidden, private (cell service optional), minimalist, and built into the most immaculate cave you’ll ever see. One walk through and you’ll be enamored. Don’t forget to get that picture perfect photo op in front of the cave wall or a sneak peak at Stephan’s private wine collection. As for L’Aventure wines, it doesn’t get much better. They are amongst the most age-worthy in the region, with ‘special occasion’ written all over them. A true classic.
2018 Côte a Côte | $98
Law Estate Wines
3885 Peachy Canyon Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446
If you’re into modern architecture, sweeping views, exceptional hospitality, and premium world class wines that pay homage to Rhone and Priorat style blends, look no further than Don and Susie Law’s Holy Grail high atop Peachy Canyon Road. High-elevation, steep slopes, and limestone soil are just some of the signature surrounding elements that contribute to winemaker Philipp Pfunder’s (Chateau Angelus, Screaming Eagle) deft touch on these powerfully balanced wines. The entire estate property, from the drive up the hill to the grand staircase, is taut and mesmeric, just like the wines. Mix in the vibey, high design, living room tasting lounge and you’ll wish you could host a Super Bowl party here. All it’s missing is a big screen TV.
2017 Aspire | $78
5425 Vineyard Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446
If you spend a good amount of time in Paso Robles becoming familiar with the local flare and small town gossip, you’ll hear rumblings about this enigmatic under-the-radar project from winemaker Mark Adams, who may be the region’s most covert talent. Situated on his family’s Adams Ranch estate on the west side of Paso, the word family becomes synonymous with the entire experience. This is a private tasting on the family’s actual property, in their actual home, with the actual family members (dogs too) in attendance. You may even hit some golf balls off the patio, prepare a home-cooked meal, or have an impromptu jam session while the record player cranks classics from Bob Dylan. Very few places are this discreet and enlivened by their own anonymity, and yet with Ledge, the wines revel in that mysticism. These are rare classics that capture a different aura.
2018 James Berry Vineyard | $65
2975 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Winemaker Bret Urness knew to follow the vineyards. As a result of that, he is sourcing fruit from established, top-notch sites all over the central coast that produce big, bold California red wines with seductive balance. The tasting room is a fun sleek shell, like an artist’s loft in Venice, CA with Urness’ signature artwork that adorns the labels readily displayed throughout. The industrial scene is openly comfortable, stylish, and well poured with some of the best-priced, high-quality wines in Paso Robles. Each vintage, the Levo brand undergoes a complete overhaul, a chameleon transformation that feels more like Supreme than a standard wine label. Hey, if musicians can have different album names, cover art, and thematics every couple years, why can’t wine? Go big or go home.
2018 Under The Gun Syrah | $50
Nenow Family Wines
3860 Peachy Canyon Rd. Paso Robles CA, 93446
Newly minted up on Peachy Canyon Road comes this family affair from winemaker Drew Nenow and his sister Tracie Roesbery. As second generation winemakers with a family lineage in Napa (their father started Robert Nenow Winery, and their aunt and uncle own Behren’s Family Wines), the formula here is to craft singular wines of distinction from top sources throughout Paso Robles and Santa Barbara. Drew is the current winemaker at ONX in Tin City and has honed his skills making delicious, flavorful blends from their estate. With Nenow, his personal style is evident in the glass, while the charming tasting room bungalow and outdoor deck has total Southern California vibes.
2018 Kimsey Syrah | $60
Paix Sur Terre
5070 Vineyard Drive Paso Robles, California 93446
While the name itself may have you dusting off your old high school French, Ryan and Nicole Pease are doing some really cool things at Paix Sur Terre (aka “Peace on Earth”). Few wineries in the area have generated as much local buzz for their small lot wines, majority of which are single vineyard, 100% varietals, including lesser-known grapes like Picpoul Blanc and Ugni Blanc. The reds are pure and honest with great layers of complexity and fruit. And the whites are unlike anything else made in the area—the type of wines you’ll want with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The only downfall is that they sell out quickly. This spot is a fun, woodsy, treehouse environment to taste on vineyard drive.
2019 Ugni Blanc
Royal Nonesuch Farm & Kinero
PO BOX 852 TEMPLETON, CA 93465
The Royal Nonesuch Farm, with great tragic reference to Huckleberry Finn, is the York Mountain home of talented vintner Anthony Yount and his entire family (three generations to be exact). When Yount isn’t tending to the family farm, raising livestock, or growing fruits and vegetables, he has two full time gigs as winemaker at Denner and the newly opened Sixmilebridge up on Peachy Canyon. But it’s his personal projects—the white wine focused Kinero and the singular focused Royal Nonesuch—that continues to impress and evolve. With just 7 acres of vines planted on the namesake property, Yount only makes one Royal Nonesuch red wine per year, based solely on whatever yields he’s able to generate for each vintage (elements be damned). Super unique and limited production (<500 cases annually), these wines are well worth seeking out.
2018 Royal Nonesuch Red | $55
9339 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
The Perrin Family of Chateau de Beaucastel and Haas Family of Vineyard Brands came together to create Tablas Creek Vineyard back in 1989, establishing the brand as one of the pioneers of California’s Rhone movement. The friendship (and partnership) came with famed cuttings of clones from the Southern Rhone, which introduced quite the facelift of varietals to make a classic Châteauneuf du Pape style blend in the central coast. It’s as “old world” as it gets every time you pop a bottle of Tablas Creek, so if you’re looking for a little lighter and more refreshing style of wine from Paso Robles, they should be high on your list. The place is an institution, with approachable and elegant wines generated by their beautiful biodynamic vineyards. With a wide-ranging portfolio, there’s something for everyone.
2018 Tablas Creek Grenache | $35
8355 Vineyard Dr Paso Robles, CA 93446
As a true respite from the city and other fanciful wineries just down the street, Thacher should be on everyone’s list. It’s exactly what you’d expect of a bygone era in a small, wine country town. The famous “KR” markings on the 1920’s barn are a landmark of the old west when the property was known as the Kentucky Ranch—part of 4,000 acre Spanish Land Grant from the 1800’s. Combine homey hospitality, great wines, and ranch atmosphere with abundant farm animals roaming around and the place is a total throwback. The wines play nicely off the farmstead setting with the majority focused on Rhone varietals, as well as some old vine Chenin Blanc and Nebbiolo which you don’t see too often in Paso Robles. Fun place to visit.
2019 Valdiguie | $36
2323 Tuley Ct, Unit 120, Paso Robles CA 93446
Need to repair some tractor equipment, fabricate some steel, or weld some metal? The east side industrial business district isn’t the first place one thinks to go wine tasting. But if you’re a geeky oenophile looking for some of the best wine in the region, look no further than what husband-wife proprietors Stanley Barrios and Elena Martinez are crafting. Their wines are pure, focused, and impressively built to age. They know they’re onto something special (so do the locals), which also means supply is limited. The stealthy operation is intentionally no glam, no frills. If you taste outside, you may have to shout to drown out the freeway noise zipping past. Then again, after a few sips, you may be shouting “Holy Sh*t” regardless of traffic.
2018 Precision | $70
6360 Peachy Canyon Road Paso Robles, CA 93446
Torrin came from humble beginnings to being surrounded by some of the best Paso Robles has to offer. And that’s not an accident. Owner/Winemaker Scott Hawley is one of the guys that helped usher in new talent during Paso’s transitional period in the late 2000’s. Hawley himself is an ethos-driven, technical wizard with sometimes unorthodox wines. Still, they always seem to hit the mark exactly how you want them to, and in exchange, have created a loyal following. While their main label irrefutably delivers on the high-powered Rhone influence, don’t sleep on their Lagom collection which is exclusively focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Altogether, the brand ranks high up there for the quality in a bottle, and the wines are some of the most sought-after in the region.
2019 Lagom Spanish Springs Chardonnay
3075 Blue Rock Rd, Unit A, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Owner/winemaker Don Burns has unique VIP access to some of the region’s most legendary fruit sources, such as Saxum’s James Berry vineyard and G2 vineyard. The resulting wines offer a combination of power, clarity, and grace—a true representation of terroir—and tend to be a favorite regional selection amongst local Sommeliers. Which is to say, these are significant wines that span the spectrum from geekiness to giddiness. Those who have been mentored by Justin Smith (Saxum), approach farming and winemaking with meticulous detail. That focus shows in every bottle. Still, Turtle Rock keeps a relatively low profile with an unassuming tasting room in Tin City that feels like your neighbor’s back porch. What better way to sip wine?
2018 Plum Orchard | $60
5995 Peachy Canyon Rd Paso Robles, CA 93446
With a stark commitment to wholly sustainable farming and winemaking practices, Villa Creek Cellars is on the frontline of the natural wine movement in Paso Robles. The tasting room and winery are situated on the certified biodynamic and certified organic MAHA Estate Vineyard, a breezy serene setting with a calm and casual demeanor. The wine list captures a bit of everything, mostly with a focus on Grenache and Syrah, but they also have an Italian white varietal called Fiano thrown into the mix as well. Altogether, vintage to vintage, they showcase the technique and style of the brand. If you’re interested in upping the ante, consider the MAHA tasting where you’ll get some additional pours of their limited-production releases.
2018 High Road | $85