By Homer Smith
El Paso de Robles, or “The Pass of the Oaks,” boasts an agricultural history that includes barley, almonds and as all wine lovers know, vineyards.
Located in San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles is California’s fastest growing AVA. At approximately 33,000 vineyard acres, this AVA is well known for its heritage varietal Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Rhone-style wines. 11 sub-AVA’s were legalized in 2014 and driven by growth in ownership by small family-owned producers, the number of bonded wineries has grown from 50 to over 200 since the year 2000.
–Paso Robles Basic Taste Profile: Typically enjoyed in their youth, they tend to be opulent, sweet fruited wines, plush mid-palate, high alcohol levels and firm backbone of acidity.
With over 200 wineries and 250+ tasting rooms, you’ll find a tasting style to match your every mood. If you’re fortunate enough to find yourself in the area this weekend, the 38th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival is happening, May 20 – 23.
Select area restaurants will be hosting winemaker dinners and weekend events include barrel tastings, artisanal food pairings, live music and more. Find additional information here. WineFest2021 Guide FINAL
–Did You Know: Paso Robles was co-founded by Kentucky outlaws Frank & Jesse James’ uncle Drury around 1869.
If you’re not in the mood for crowds, coastal beaches are just minutes away, go exploring and cycle the backroads around sprawling vineyards, relax in sulfur hot springs and stop at a farm stand or olive oil farm. Stroll downtown Art Galleries and Antique Shops, pick up a game of golf, head out on a hiking adventure or visit the Hearst Castle. There’s literally something for everyone.
The California craft beer scene is vibrant and Paso Robles is home to nationally distributed beers as well as boutique brews. You’ll also find spirits such as gin, whiskey and vodka along the distillery trails and neighborhood restaurants feature these distilled treasures in their craft cocktails.
Visit Paso Robles Wine Country for events, lodgings, current policies and general information.