Don’t us wrong, we love Napa wines—they’re delicious! Napa the place is also great too…it’s just not exactly the kind of wine tasting vacation we had in mind. Here in Paso Robles, it’s all about super friendly down to earth service, affordable tastings, casual winemaker encounters, and kicking our cowboy boots up on the furniture. And, when it comes to the wine, Paso Robles has caught up with Napa in terms of wine quality, terroir, and offerings, too! The only difference? We don’t really feel the need to brag about it so much. Here are a few more darn good reasons why you might want to re-route your GPS South to low key Paso Robles for your next wine tasting excursion.
Yes, we should expect to pay good money for good wine, but when it comes to tastings, Paso Robles is way more affordable than our neighbors to the north. That’s a good thing, as you probably want to be able to try the wine before you buy it, right? In friendly Paso Robles, tastings usually cost no more than $10 per person, and that fee is often waved if you purchase a bottle (At Sextant Winery, a $10 tasting even includes a free wine glass). Napa, on the other hand, is known to charge $50 or more at the high end. Maybe it’s just us, but we want to save a little dough for a nice meal after we’re done sipping and swirling. Click here for amazing wine tasting, barrel tasting, wine purchase, hotel, and limo deals that you have to see to believe. Plus: In Paso Robles, coupons are digital, so all you have to do is flash your iPhone to get a wicked discount. If you aren’t sold yet, you probably shouldn’t even read on!
Paso Plus: Text “Specials” to 24587 for incredible Paso Robles Wine Country deals.
When you walk into a winery, how do you want to feel? Intrigued, engaged, and excited or freaked out and intimidated? If you prefer the former, Paso Robles is totally for you. Here, you get an intimate atmosphere with folks ready to show you the ropes (plus, it’s common to run into the owners, winemaker, or vineyard manager right there in the tasting room). Pretention has no place in Paso Robles, as you can see from a visit to Rotta Winery, one of the oldest in the region. Here, even jug wine is elevated to high class (you will want to check out their gorgeously screen printed jugs filled with premium Paso wine). Not sure how to pronounce a varietal? Want to know more about the vineyard? You’re in luck! Paso Robles Wine Country is all about connecting, not condescending.
Mapping and Directions to Rotta Winery: speedfind.com/RottaWinery
Paso Plus: Friendly winemakers, friendly farmers! Farm fresh abundance is everywhere in Paso Robles. Stop by the gourmet farm stand at Limerock Walnut Orchard or olive oil taste at Pasolivo and you’ll start to realize why SLO County is considered one of the happiest places on earth.
Mapping and Directions to Limerock Orchards: speedfind.com/LimerockOrchards
Mapping and Directions to Pasolivo Olive Oil: speedfind.com/Pasolivo
Mapping and Directions to Pasolivo Downtown Paso Robles: speedfind.com/PasolivoPaso
No one wants to go wine tasting, then head back to the hotel, with a “beautiful view of the parking lot.” Paso Robles’ natural beauty shines at a plethora of airbnbs, vacation rentals, and hotels, including the Hampton Inn and Suites and La Bellasera Hotel, both of which offer luxury wine country stays without the high-end price tag.
Mapping and Directions to Hampton Inn & Suites: speedfind.com/PRWine.HamptonInn
Mapping and Directions to La Bellasera: speedfind.com/LaBellasera
Paso Plus: If you book a rental near downtown Paso Robles, you are set to enjoy more than a dozen walkable wineries and more foodie pleasure than you can shake a fork at.
No Reservation? No Problem!
Really? Seriously? Oh yes. If you’re group is under six people, you will have no trouble strolling into the bulk of Paso Robles Wineries for a wine tasting, barrel tasting, or tour. In Napa, appointments are (sadly) a way of life, as the region is so overcrowded and overextended. Paso Robles has its fair share of fans, too, but more than 250 wineries and more laid back vibe allow for tasters to breeze in whenever they feel the urge. The lush estate vineyard, manicured topiary, and elegant tasting room at HammerSky Vineyards & Winery might feel upscale, but you’ll never be booted due to your lack of reservation. Get ready to be welcomed to the bar, poured a lineup of fantastic wines, and ushered into the fold. You’re in Paso Robles Wine Country now, and that means you’re family!
Mapping and Directions to HammerSky Vineyards & Winery: speedfind.com/HammerSkyVineyards
I mean, c’mon. Need we say more?
This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally 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.
Majestically 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 & 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 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®
Experience 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.
Enjoy 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.