If you’re looking for a down-to-earth wine country experience, come explore Paso Robles! Here, you’ll be able to sample a diverse range of award winning wines, delight in delicious pairing offerings, and enjoy breathtaking views — at a price point that won’t break the bank! This little slice of paradise, located on the Central Coast halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is criminally underrated! In this guide, you’ll get the inside scoop on some of the very best wineries in Paso Robles!
If you’re ready to start planning your next, great wine country adventure, keep reading!
Exploring the Sub-Regions of Paso Robles: From Adelaida to Willow Creek
In addition to being criminally underrated, most people underestimate the sheer Paso Robles Wine Country. It’s home to 40,000 vineyard acres, more than 200 wineries, and 11 sub-American Viticultural Areas — each with its own unique growing conditions. In this post, you’ll find some of the most popular destinations in each region, but this list is in no way exhaustive!
I recommend using this guide and the map I’ve created for you as a jumping off point! Personally, I always leave myself some room for flexibility in my itinerary and ask for recommendations from the locals!
The most northwestern of the Paso Robles districts, Adelaida is known for its rocky, mountain terrain. It’s nestled into the southern end of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range and its limestone soils are similar to those found in Bordeaux and Châteauneuf-du-Pape — making it home to world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah blends!
Halter Ranch Vineyard
If you’re just looking for a simple, classic wine tasting experience, you can certainly find that here at Halter Ranch Vineyard, but why settle for ordinary when you could have an adventure? The Defender Picnic & Pairing Tour lets guests encounter the extraordinary biodiversity across our 2,700-acre wild estate, and learn more about the estate’s organic farming and viticulture practices while sipping wines amidst breathtaking scenery. It’ll be a small intimate experience — since they can only squeeze six guests into the classic Land Rover Defender — but this in depth wine tasting experience will give you a behind the scenes look you won’t soon forget!
Adelaida Vineyard & Winery
Adelaida Vineyard & Winery lays claim to the highest spot in Paso Robles, I knew this was a view I didn’t want to miss. It’s absolutely stunning!
This family-owned and operated winery makes some killer Zinfandels, and the region is also home to the oldest Pinot Noir in the Central Coast, so you definitely don’t want to skip out on this delicious tasting.
You’ll feel right at home in this lovely tasting room, or if you want to enjoy the beautiful weather, and you can also bring your own picnic to enjoy in their outdoor seating areas. In addition to that, they also offer a hilltop tasting, which I cannot recommend enough! Their hilltop venue is the highest point in Paso Robles, and has spectacular views.
Aside from the beautiful view, Adelaida Vineyards is also home to an organic walnut ranch that surrounds the property, intentional wildlands, and estate vineyards that produce outstanding wines. I was a huge fan of their Mourvèdre!
Tablas Creek Vineyard
As the pioneer of Rhône Valley varietals in the United States, Tablas Creek was an absolute must-see destination during my first trip to Paso Robles. Beyond being a huge wine nerd for things like that, numerous people reached out to me to tell me it was one of their favorite wineries in the area, and insisted I make it a priority to visit. And I’m so glad they did!
The vineyards are home to shallow, rocky limestones, and they also import cuttings directly from Chateauneuf-du-Pape in Rhône, France — ensuring the vines are of the highest quality and well suited to their similar soil and climate.
As for the wine… Tablas Creek also follows the Chateauneuf-du-Pape tradition of blending to produce wines that balance richness and elegance, while ensuring complexity, freshness, and minerality.
While at the tasting room, we had the opportunity to get super nerdy… in addition to crafting beautiful blends, Tablas Creek also has a surprising number of Rhone single varietal wines, including ones I’ve never had solo! It was a fantastic taste experiment to try the wines on their own, then see how they contribute to well-integrated and complex blends.
Parrish Family Vineyard
The Parrish Family Vineyard is home to a ridiculously delicious BLT that I can’t stop dreaming about. Yes, yes, I know we’re here for the wine. But, I’ve just never had anything like this! Candied bacon, creamy garlic aioli, homemade Cabernet Sauvignon sourdough bread… my mouth waters just thinking about it!
Their wine, of course, is outstanding. With a storied history that begins with trellising vineyards throughout famous wine regions (including for Napa’s Robert Mondavi), winemaker/owner David Parrish crafts beautiful, food-friendly wines that are representative of the Paso Robles region. Their tasting room is affectionately known as “the ranch house” — it’s modeled after David Parrish’s own home. When you’re there, they want you to feel like you’re home, like family.
I have to say… next time I’m down there, I’ll definitely be headed back to Parrish! Sitting on their patio, surrounded by vineyards, was lovely all around.
Justin Winery & Vineyards
Justin Vineyards & Winery boasts an absolutely gorgeous, serene outdoor tasting area surrounded by vineyards. As a prominently recognized brand, their wine lives up to the hype and balances quality with price point.
During our visit there, we had the privilege to experience their Chocolate Paired tasting, which was absolutely amazing. Their in-house pastry chef hand crafts these each day, and each chocolate is expertly paired to a different wine for an absolute match made in heaven.
When Justin Winery first opened its doors in 1981, there were only eight wineries. Today, there’s more than 200!. Their founder, Justin Baldwin, had a vision for the area, understanding that the area had all the reasons viticulturally for why you could grow good grapes, and in turn make good wine. His foresight helped develop the area into what it is today. Another “must” on any wine nerd’s visit, and even for those who aren’t!
Found in southeast Paso Robles, the Creston District is known for its “lomas montuosas,” or mountainous hills. Similar to other regions in Paso Robles, you’ll also be able to find some incredible Bordeaux varietals here!
This boutique vineyard is home to some incredible Bordeaux varieties, as well as some premier Petite Sirah, making it a great destination for any dry wine lovers! One of the best things about this vineyard, though, is the recommended recipes that come with each bottle. If you enjoy French cooking, why not bring back a taste of Paso Robles by attempting a Coq Au Vin or a Cabernet Franc Braised Carrots when you get home?
If you want to be at the cutting edge of the beer, wine, and culinary scenes in Paso Robles, you need to check out Tin City! This industrial warehouse district is only three miles from downtown Paso Robles, and is home to a ton of great winery and tasting room options. This walkable little enclave is the perfect spot to go exploring on a laid back, carefree afternoon.
If you’ve been following along on my wine adventures for a while now, you probably already know how much I love getting the opportunity to support women in wine! Riley Hubbard received a degree in Ag Business with a minor in Viticulture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and began her career in the tasting room of L’Aventure Winery. She would go on to work in Australia, and continue her formal education in France and Italy, but eventually felt called back to the Central Coast.
The wines you’ll find here are a reflection of her international influences, and are absolutely wonderful! If you’re planning to spend any time in Tin City, be sure to check out Hubba Wines!
The vision for CONCUR Wines was realized by winemaker Natasha Boffman and Paige Wilson. Together, the two have worked to provide beautifully crafted Rhone-style blends made with a delicate, feminine touch, yet the boldness of the highest quality grapes from Paso’s finest westside vineyards.
El Pomar District
In the El Pomar District, not far from the City of Paso Robles, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot reign supreme! Located in the middle of Paso Robles Wine Country, it’s a great jumping off point to go and explore the other nearby regions.
Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden
This beautiful winery will have you question whether you’re at a tasting or a museum. That’s because it’s a little of both! Sculpterra Winery and Sculpture Garden features beautifully manicured lawns and stunning works of art from California artists! Walkins are welcome, but reservations are highly encouraged if you want to get the chance to enjoy this unique tasting experience.
Another great thing about this winery? You can bring along children and dogs to enjoy the art and culture, too!
Paso Robles Estrella District
The Estrella District shouldn’t be missed if you’re a fan of Syrah! The Estrella Clone was born from cuttings from Chapoutier vineyards in Hermitage, France.
Hearst Ranch Winery
No matter where you sit, you’re sure to have a beautiful view. The indoor tasting room offers glimpses of the Salinas River, and the outdoor patio allows you to sit in the shade of umbrellas and olive trees — and your dog can keep you company out there too! Tasting reservations can be made Thursday through Monday, and for a deeper, behind the scenes look, private tours are offered on Sundays.
Paso Robles Geneseo District
Found in the heart of Paso Robles, the Geneseo District is home to multiple award-winning wineries, including Eberle Winery, which is one of the highest award-winning wineries in the country! Here, Bordeaux and Rhône varieties reigning supreme!
Eberle Winery is a pioneer of Paso Robles. Gary Eberle founded the estate more than 40 years ago, and today it is one of the highest award-winning wineries in the U.S. That same Gary Eberle is also responsible for transplanting cuttings from Chapoutier vineyards in Hermitage, France to create the Estrella Clone.
This iconic winery is a must-visit in Paso Robles. It offers wine by the glass, a scenic picnic deck that overlooks Paso Robles, a bocce ball court, cornhole, complimentary tastings, and cave tours. But, the most important reason to visit this winery? They love their four-legged friends, and always welcome them!
Tobin James Cellars
Tobin James Cellars wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for six extra tons of Zinfandel grapes. Tobin James was a young assistant winemaker when a local harvester showed up with a surplus, so he tried his hand at making his own. The results were a huge success, earning multiple awards, and launching him into producing popular, small-batch wine.
Eventually, he built Tobin James Cellars. You’ll love this tasting room for it’s fun, wild west vibes, and of course, the delicious wines.
Paso Robles Willow Creek District
Sandwiched between York Mountain, the Templeton Gap District and Adelaide, Willow Creek earned its namesake from the creek that runs right down the middle of this district growing region. This mountainous region still experiences coastal weather influences, and is home to some incredible Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Chardonnay varietals.
Booker Vineyard & Winery
This estate tasting room is downright gorgeous and fully swoon worthy! It’s only of the more expensive tastings, but if you want to splurge a little, this winery also features a bocce ball court, culinary pairing options, and tours of the wine caves!
San Miguel District
The San Miguel District has a rich viticulture history that dates back to the 1790s, meaning wine has been growing here for hundreds of years.
Locatelli Vineyard & Winery
This family owned, estate grown vineyard put down roots in the late 1990s, and specializes in limited production red wines. Their current wine list includes Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Melodia (Zin/Petite Sirah blend), Petite Sirah, Chardonnay, and Muscat Canelli, among others.
Templeton Gap is quite literally the coolest of all the sub-AVAs in Paso Robles Wine Country. The cool Pacific Ocean breezes that blow in allow varietals like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and even Viognier to thrive in this region.
Peachy Canyon Winery
At Peachy Canyon Winery, class is in session every day! This historic tasting room is found inside the Old Bethel Schoolhouse — circa 1886. Come get schooled in their award-winning Zinfandels, and study their amazing selection of handcrafted, small batch Rhone & Bordeaux varietals you can’t get anywhere else.
Santa Margarita Ranch
The Santa Margarita Ranch AVA is the southernmost sub-AVA of Paso Robles Wine Country, and in fact, only home to one winery at the moment. Unlike the rest of Paso Robles Wine Country, it doesn’t border onto any other sub-AVAs. It’s a bit of a drive, but an absolute must in my book!
Ancient Peaks Winery
Ancient Peaks was an absolute “must” when planning my trip to Paso Robles.
The southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, and the only vineyard in the Santa Margarita Ranch AVA, it’s admittedly a trek to get here, but so, so worth it.
I got a first-hand tour of their beautiful vineyards from Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins, the winery’s executive Vice President. She’s also the founder of Dream Big Darling , an organization that promotes the success of women in the wine & beverage industry.
Ancient Peaks is a family-owned winery located in the town of Santa Margarita. Their vineyards are on a sprawling array of different soils and their team works to craft beautiful wines that reflect this sense of place. I’m personally a huge fan of their Cabernet Sauvignon — a beautiful wine at an incredibly approachable price point.
You’ll find the York Mountain Region on the western edge of the Paso Robles AVA, sandwiched between the Santa Lucia Mountain Range and Templeton Gap. This region sits at a high elevation, and the coastal breezes that blow through Templeton Gap means the warm days and cool nights — creating a more balanced fruit with great acidity.
Epoch Estate Wines
At Epoch Estate Wines, you’ll find artisanally crafted Rhone, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo varieties grown on their three west Paso Robles estate vineyards – Paderewski, Catapult, and York Mountain. If you’re able to make it out here, the epic views alone will be well worth the drive! But if you thought you were in love with the views, just wait until you taste the wines.
Going into their second act in life, this husband and wife duo knew all about the important role terroir would play in crafting award winning wines! Before they were winemakers, Liz and Bill Armstong were geologists. In their search for the perfect location, they kept coming back to Paso Robles for the weather, unique soils, hilliness, and extreme temperature swings that are known to this region.
Paso Robles Wineries Map
You’ll have lots of great options to choose from while you’re here, so I made this Paso Robles Wine Tasting Map on Google Maps to help you plan your trip! When we decide what tasting rooms or wineries to visit in a day, make a short Paso Robles wineries list and then look at them on a map to decide what’s near each other so we should group them together. Many of these AVAs are near one another, but some are more of a drive than others. You’ll want to keep that in mind when mapping out your day!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Napa Valley or Paso Robles better?
It all comes down to personal taste preferences, but you can still have a quintessential wine country experience in Paso Robles, and it’ll probably be a lot more affordable too! Plus, if you’re a fan of Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux-style blends, this is the perfect destination for you! You’ll also find a ton of things to do here.
How many wineries are in Paso Robles?
Paso Robles includes 11 American Viticultural Areas — so you probably won’t be surprised when I tell you it’s home to a lot of wineries! In fact, you’ll find more than 200 wineries to choose from. This guide is just the tip of the iceberg, so I also recommend having a flexible enough travel itinerary that you can take recommendations from the locals, or go exploring if something catches your eye.
What wines is Paso Robles known for?
The soils in Paso Robles are very similar to the soil you’d find in Bordeaux and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, so while you’re here, you’ll need to sip some Cabernet Sauvignon, of course, along with Bordeaux and Syrah blends.
How much is the tasting fee in Paso Robles?
That all depends on where you’re headed, but usually a classic wine tasting fee can run you as little as $15 to as much as $50. If you’re planning to try some of the more adventurous tasting experiences you read about in this blog post, though, it will run you a bit more.