Gone fishing? Gone golfing? No way! We’re hanging our “Gone Wine Tasting” sign at our desk and making a dash for vineyard-dotted hills. We’re all looking to get away this time of year, and Paso Robles is a top destination for wine lovers who enjoy exploring off the beaten path. It’s not hard to see why. With casual, friendly folks, even chiller tasting rooms, and world-class wines nestled amongst a gorgeous setting, this slice of wine paradise is a breeze to pack for. Just follow these tips and you’ll be Paso-ready in no time.
Casual is key
Sure, Wine Enthusiast named Paso Robles as its 2013 Wine Region of the Year, and plenty of fancy wine critics are die-hard fans of our Bordeaux and Rhone style offerings, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear heels to sip. Pack a good pair of cowboy boots and you are good to go in Paso Wine Country. From vineyard tours to picnics to hiking, biking, and horseback riding, you’re sure to get a little dirt on your denim. That’s half the fun!
Slather the SPF
Summer temps soar in Paso Robles Wine Country, easily breaking triple digits regularly. That means you’ll need a quality tube of SPF and probably a hat, too. Plan your wine tasting excursion start for approx. 11 a.m. when the sun is a little less intense, then head for one of our beloved restaurants for lunch around 1 or 2 p.m. when the sun is at peak blaze. Of course, there’s nothing better than cooling down with a summer sunset at a beautiful outdoor tasting destination like Opolo Vineyards. Tip: Opolo also offers pizza on its outdoor patio, meaning you can cool off, wine taste, and savor a late lunch all in one shady stop.
Bring a coat
Even though summers sizzle, Paso Robles Wine Country is known for its drastic swings in temperature. One vineyard might lose 30 degrees from day to night and that means you should always bring a jacket, even if the weather report calls for a steamy sticky sunny day. Fun fact: These swings in temperature, especially in the Templeton Gap region of Paso Wine Country, are credited for creating incredibly well balanced fruit.
Taste all there is
From beautiful organic farms, boutique shopping, farm-to-table dining, and Hearst Castle to the north, there is always more than wine to explore in Paso. Make a plan to take in some fun art galleries, drive iconic highway 1, or hop on an agritourism adventure bursting with Paso freshness. Tip: Grapes love Paso, but so do olives! That means EVOO is ripe for the tasting everywhere you look. Stop by one of the area’s rustic olive oil tasting spots—like Pasolivo— for a sumptuous accompaniment to delicious wine.
Stay like a local
It’s so much more fun to explore Paso Wine Country like a local. Check in to the rustic warmth of Adelaide Inn or Hampton Inn and know that you are getting an authentic Paso Robles hospitality experience in the heart of wine country. On the flip side, Paso’s top tier boutique hotels are known for mixing upscale luxury with a dose of down home charm. Bolstered by a Mediterranean-meets-Golden State mood, Allegretto Vineyard Resort and La Bellasera Hotel and Suites deliver the whole package: pool, wine tasting, restaurant—even vineyards!
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.