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5 Reasons Why Even YOU Can Be a Paso Winemaker in 2018

Some will vow to lose that last fifteen pounds; still others will announce their intentions to start that genealogy blog, some will promise to send out thank you cards for their wedding (now two years overdue), while the rest of us will say we are truly “going to get serious about that daily _______ (fill in the blank).” That’s right. New Years resolutions have arrived and (as always) threaten to be broken! Did you ever consider that perhaps your past resolutions didn’t quite stick because part of you truly didn’t truly want to do XY&Z?

This year, go for a really FUN resolution—one that you’ll want to accomplish and see through! You don’t have to be a certified sommelier or even a fancy wine enthusiast to make great wine. It’s rewarding, fun, educationally stimulating, and—of course—tasty. Here’s 5 reasons why you can make wine with the best of ‘em in 2018!

1. YOU Can Take a Class in Paso Robles

No, you don’t have to be born in France or come from a vineyard-owning family to dabble in winemaking. In fact, The Wine Boss Lounge located in downtown Paso Robles is offering winemaking classes in the New Year (fall 2018 – sign up now), so that means you have zero excuse not to dive in head first. Plus, The Wine Boss Lounge is located near a dozen fantastic wine tasting rooms, including Bodegas Paso Robles, Hoyt Family Vineyards and Tudor Wines. Taste before or after your class for even more hands-on education. For a class schedule or private lessons, email Thomas at [email protected] or call 805-369-2677.

Wine Boss Lounge

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Wine Boss is an art deco themed wine lounge in the heart of Downtown Paso Robles next to Thomas Hill Organics. Founder and Owner, Thomas Booth has been part of the county’s wine industry since graduating with a B.S. in Viticulture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2010. He is the brains behind helping you become a master winemaker.
Mapping and Directions to Wine Boss Lounge



Bodegas Paso Robles

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Bodegas Paso Robles is dedicated to producing wines using Spanish and Portuguese varietals. They take old world vines and make new world wines of the highest quality with the least invasive winemaking practices. Bodegas winemaker, Dorothy, consistently crafts small-lot wines that pull in double gold awards.
Mapping and Directions to Bodegas Paso Robles



Hoyt Family Vineyards

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When Carol and Stephen first decided to leave Hollywood and move to Malibu they either wanted a home where they could walk to the beach or grow grapes. They happened upon a property that could do both. In 2001 they planted their first vineyard in Malibu which has expanded to an estate vineyard in Paso. Carol is the celebrated winemaker behind their trove of award winning wines.
Mapping and Directions to Hoyt Family Vineyards, Downtown Paso Robles


Tudor Wines

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The Tudor family has been growing grapes and lavender – and making wine on the Island of Hvar in Croatia – for over 2,000 years. The family began growing grapes in California early in the 1900’s and continues to farm premium table grapes  to this day. Tudor specializes in crafting world-class, luxury Pinot Noir that receives high scores from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.
Mapping and Directions to Tudor Wines



2. Winemakers…They’re Just Like Us!

In Paso Robles, everyone’s “locally famous,” but no one’s a rock star. This town is just too down-to-earth for any kind of pompous attitude, no matter how high your latest wine might score. While we’re proud to be home to many multi-generational vineyard growers and winemakers, there’s plenty of people who stumbled upon winemaking as a second or third career. Eclusé Winery owners Steve and Pam Lock are a great example. As native Californians, wine had always been big in the couples’ lives, but they hardly thought it would ever become a profession. By chance, they visited a friend in Paso and fell in love. The next thing they knew, they were planting 30 acres in Paso soil. Their first vintage came in 2001—and since then many awards—they’ve never looked back. You don’t have to look hard to find similar stories just like this all over the region.

Écluse Wines

Écluse is dedicated to producing limited production, handcrafted, award-winning wines from their estate, Lock Vineyard. You can experience wine tasting the old fashion way, in the barrel room where you’ll often find Steve, proprietor and winemaker, with the wine thief offering barrel samples!
Mapping and Directions to Écluse Wines



3. You Don’t Need Your Own Vineyard

Plenty of amazing, high-scoring Paso Robles wines are made by winemakers who lack their own estate vineyard. In fact, these creative winemakers often have the advantage of picking and choosing exactly which fruit they desire depending on the vintage. An aspiring winemaker can easily purchase high quality grapes from a local Paso Robles vineyard farmer or broker at a reasonable price. Celebrated Rhône style winemaker Ryan Render of Rendarrio Vineyards sources his wine grapes from the best vineyards across the Central Coast. By working this way, he creates standout bottles that shine with a unique terroir. Whether you plan to make one barrel or ten, this is an inspiring thing to consider.

Rendarrio Vineyards

Winemaker, Ryan Render, was born and raised inside the Orange County curtain of Irvine California. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and since 2003 he has been committed to handcrafting wines of quality and distinction at his micro-winery. Wine Spectator recently scored his 2014 Syrah, “The Lost Ones” at 93 points!
Mapping and Directions to Rendarrio



4. You can Borrow and Share Equipment

Sure, there’s plenty of equipment you’ll need to make even the smallest batch, super rustic wines. However, you can rest assured that Paso Robles offers up several places where one can rent and borrow everything needed, from crusher/destemmers to barrels, tanks and hoses. Don’t believe it’s that easy? Check out the local group Wines and Steins for help with equipment checklists, home winemaking tips, seminars, resources and more.



5. You’re Smart Enough (We Believe in You)

Yes, making wine is hard work, and if you are planning on embracing on your own DIY wine making journey, you probably know this to be true. You’ll need to bring your scientific mind (math, measuring, and critical thinking) as well as your creative side, as winemaking is as much an art form as it is a craft. That said, you’ll get so much out of it. You’ll grow, learn and accomplish a task that once mystified you. You’ll have a fresh understanding and enjoyment of wine tasting, too. From throwing informal “bottling parties” with help of friends and family to being able to gift unique homemade bottles for birthdays and holidays, home winemaking can truly enrich your life. Just uncork a bottle of Kiamie Wine Cellars 2014 Meritage, a rich red blend. Think about the time, effort, and aging process that went into that single bottle. If this thought inspires you, you’re well on your way to the first step.

Kiamie Wine Cellars

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Kiamie Wine Cellars is a collaboration between two guys with diverse, yet complementary backgrounds that came together to reach their dream of developing a fine, small production, California winery. They are known for their unique blends sourced from distinctive Westside Paso Robles mountain vineyards that they, themselves (!) pour for you at their rustic tasting room on the historic Ramage Ranch.
Mapping and Directions to Kiamie Wine Cellars



This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:

Adelaide Inn

The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, loMake Reservationscally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers.




Allegretto Vineyard Resort with BackgroundMake ReservationsMajestically set among vineyards, olive groves and fruit baring orchards, the 20-acre Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a world unto itself, offering breathtaking settings that inspire and bring joy to all who choose this memorable wine country haven. Featuring 171 rooms and suites, on-site spa, grand ballroom, wine tasting room, and inspired culinary creations at Cello, the resort’s full service restaurant.



La Bellasera Hotel & SuitesMake ReservationsLa Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.



Hampton Inn & Suites - Paso Robles

Make ReservationsHampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®



Lekai-Ranch_Featured-ImageMake ReservationsExperience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping.

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JUST Inn at Justin VineyardsMake ReservationsEnjoy the elegance, style and natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at the JUST Inn®. Surrounded by vineyards, our JUST Inn Suites offer luxurious appointments like fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic®mattresses, Frette linens, hydro-spa tubs, and range in size from 600–1,200 square feet. An overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour of the winery and caves.



Paso Robles Vacation Rentals thumb logoMake ReservationsPaso Robles Vacation Rentals, also known as assists guests in creating memories and wonderful experiences by providing quality privately owned vacation home rentals in Paso Robles Wine Country. With over 90 vacation homes to choose from, small enough for a couple’s romantic getaway to large homes amongst local vineyards and olive orchards, has the perfect option for you. Feel free to call 805-423-9174 to talk with a local expert or book online at


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