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Paso Robles’ Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Wineries

Photo by Venti Views from Unsplash
With more than 250 Paso Robles wineries and countless new discoveries to stumble upon Find fresh wines and these Paso Robles hidden gems that speak to your inner adventurer.

From small mom-and-pop tasting rooms with personalized offerings to epic terraces nestled atop vine-covered hills, there’s dozens of gems to uncover.

Of course, gourmet food, local entertainment and iconic views tend to come with the territory, no matter where you roam. Whether you collect boutique bottles or simply love discovering a new varietal, novel wine discoveries await in Paso Robles. Ready to explore? Journey beyond the usual suspects with these secret tasting rooms of unique character and terroir.

Why explore off-the-beaten-path wineries in Paso Robles?

Sure, we all adore Paso Robles’ wonderfully well-known wineries (what’s not to love?). That said, lesser-known wineries offer up a wealth of rich experiences not to be missed. Encounter delightful discoveries, including exclusive, small-batch wines, warm welcomes from winery staff and less crowded tasting rooms.

Enjoy the intimate atmosphere, sense of authenticity and scenic surroundings that define Paso’s less visible wine offerings. Go on, connect with the wider Paso Robles wine community. You’re sure to appreciate the passion and dedication that goes into each and every handcrafted bottle.

Ecluse Wines Wine

Eclusé Wines

Hidden gem accolades: French countryside vibes, barrel room tastings and a terrific terrace

Uncover French character in Paso Robles Wine Country. At Eclusé Wines, everything starts and ends with the Lock Vineyard, an ongoing labor of love for winery owners Steve and Pam Lock. Planted in 1997, this rolling Willow Creek District vineyard produces a small amount of peak-quality fruit. Remember: small means good in this context! This ultra-special crop is what goes into crafting Eclusé Wines’ limited production, award-winning bottles. Kick back on the tasting room’s lovely outdoor terrace, located just off the crush pad overlooking Lock Vineyard in all of its lush glory. Grab a glass of Eclusé wine or a bottle to share with friends. You may find it hard to believe that you’re sitting a whopping 5,000+ miles away from Bordeaux, France.

Taste: Eclusé Wines are truly handcrafted (and that’s not just marketing mumbo jumbo). Sip outstanding boutique chardonnay, rose, cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah, syrah and zinfandel​​ offerings sure to wow. You’ll also want to try the winery’s collection of popular red blends. The intensely-flavored 2020 Eclusé Wines Insider is an award-winning presentation of tannat, petite sirah and cabernet sauvignon that shows off Lock Vineyard’s expressive character (94 pts – Wine Enthusiast / Best of Class – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition). Visitors should also note that all tastings are held within the winery’s charming barrel room and include current wines as well as exclusive barrel samples.

More to explore: Discover the meaning behind Eclusé Wines. It’s not just the grapes that smack of French excellence, here: The Eclusé name comes from the French word for the “locks,” or closed canal areas used for raising and lowering boats along French waterways. After enjoying their fair share of dreamy barge trips through the French countryside, the Locks knew there could be no better moniker for their dream venture. C’est la perfection!

Eclusé Tasting Room

Tasting Room Hours: 11am-4p.m.
Address: 1520 Kiler Canyon Rd. Paso Robles, CA 93446
More info: Reservations recommended. Reservations are required for groups larger than six. Call 805-238-4999 for more information.

Hayseed and Housdon

Hidden gem accolades: Authentic atmosphere, heartfelt wines and convos with the winemaker 

Be honest: When’s the last time the winemaker greeted you as you walked into a tasting room? At Hayseed and Housdon, this sort of thing is no big deal. Stroll into this unassuming “tasting garage” located on Railroad Street in downtown Paso Robles and you’ll see exactly what we mean. Welcoming to locals and visitors alike, you’ll never feel underdressed or overlooked at this family-friendly tasting room. Simply expect awesome, unpretentious education from winemaker/founder Ted Ross, a water bowl for your pup and even a fun “wine bingo” card to heighten your sensory journey.

Taste: With a simple motto to craft true “hand picked, hand sorted and handmade” wines, you’re sure to find the real deal at this approachable tasting garage. Hayseed and Housdon selects top-grade grapes from sustainably farmed vineyards in the Paso Robles and Edna Valley appellations, allowing for the fruit to shine (with a little help from French oak or stainless steel). Taste this unwavering quality for yourself: Hayseed’s small-batch rose, chardonnay, pinot noir, grenache and delicious red blends have garnered a cult following for a reason.
Tip: Try the Rhone Rodeo GSM for a fresh twist on the tried-and-true Rhone favorite.

More to explore: Hayseed and Housdon wines have a heartbeat within the Paso Robles community. Whenever the tasting room sells a bottle of wine, profits are split with one of several local non-profit organizations. That means when you taste at this cozy-cool garage, you’ll also be supporting important wine country do-gooders like Paso Cares, Wine4Paws, RISE, Operation Surf and CASA of SLO County. Warm and fuzzy feelings, commence!

Tip: Before or after your tasting, head to downtown Paso Robles for an array of enticing restaurant choices. We like Pappy McGregors for elevated pub grub that pairs perfectly with Paso Robles wine, cocktails or a cold craft beer.

Hayseed and Housdon Tasting Garage

Tasting Garage Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon-9 p.m.
Address: 1122 Railroad St, Paso Robles, CA 93446
More info: Walk-ins welcome. For additional questions and group reservations, call 805- 674-4700.

Oceano Wines

Oceano Wines

Hidden gem accolades: Virtuous alcohol-free wine tasting, ocean-influenced flavors, bragging rights

Stay with us here: Alcohol-removed wines are not only a novel idea, they’re also the next big thing in winemaking. Thanks to Oceano Wines, friends and family members who choose not to imbibe in alcohol (due to pregnancy, health or simply personal preference) can join in on the wine tasting fun. Gather your friends or colleagues for a relaxed coastal-themed wine tasting experience hosted at your home, office, or club—wherever you wish! Oceano Wines Founder and Vintner Rachel Martin loves guiding folks through her winemaking philosophy and shedding light on the meticulous process behind crafting exquisite alcohol-removed wines. Did we mention these wines are SIP-certified sustainable, and vegan-friendly, too?

Taste: Far from those outdated non-alcoholic options, Oceano Wines’ “Ocean Zero” alcohol-removed wines are crafted via a painstaking process that removes most of the alcohol yet retains all the wine depth, complexity, and flavor you desire. Not sure? Sip and swirl this California-style pinot noir and chardonnay brimming with modern zest. These are refreshingly vibrant offerings, a natural reflection of the vineyard’s cool ocean breezes, coastal fog, and seafront soils. Tip: For newcomers, try the Oceano New Year Balance Collection, which includes bottles of 2021 Oceano Chardonnay, 2022 Oceano Zero Pinot Noir, and Oceano Pinot Noir. Currently, tastings are only available via an exclusive group private experience and can be crafted to include food pairings upon request.

More to explore: One woman’s brush with the “Dry January” trend inspired a new wave of winemaking. Since giving up alcohol for her first Dry January in 2023, Oceano Wines winemaker Rachel Martin has been on a flavorful journey to find a renewed sense of balance. Crafting a healthier way to enjoy fine  wine—while never sacrificing fun—remains her ultimate goal. Now, you can be the first of your friends to hop on this wholesome alcohol-removed wine trend. Why not enjoy all the flavor, none of the hangover?

More info: Oceano Wines Private Wine Tasting Experiences require a minimum of 15 participants. Book online at or call 805-549-5040.

Bella Luna photo fall 2021 lineup

Bella Luna Estate Winery

Hidden gem accolades: Family-run dependability, bold dry-farmed wines, rural views

Come home to great wine and classic Americana views. You’re sure to get a “friends and family” experience at Bella Luna Estate Winery, nestled along the gently rolling terrain of nearby Templeton. This intimate tasting room is surrounded by native wildflowers, ancient barns and grape vines donning hues of green, red or gold (depending on the season). If this sounds downright dreamy to you, just wait until you taste the dry-farmed wines poured onsite. Slide into an outdoor picnic table and take in the rural ambiance of oaks, blue skies and birdsong. Kids and pups are always welcome to hang as well.

Taste: Taste the dry-farmed difference. Bella Luna is all about boutique wines crafted with grapes from dry-farmed, Central Coast vineyards. For the past 25 years, this small-yet-mighty winery has produced terroir-driven wines with a minimalistic approach that goes a very long way in terms of quality. Sangiovese, barbera, zinfandel, nebbiolo, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay and blends shine among these great offerings. Be sure to sample Bella Luna’s 2013 Estate Riserva (91 points, Cellar Selection, Wine Enthusiast), a Super-Tuscan blend of bold cabernet sauvignon and sumptuous sangiovese. After just one sip, you’re likely to understand just what dry-farmed vineyards can do. Choose from a Portfolio Tasting of six current vintages or book a Vineyard Walk and Tasting that includes an illuminating stroll through the vineyard (lunch provided upon request).

More to explore: Learn all about dry-farmed, hand-picked wines and their concentrated flavor at Bella Luna. Cultivated without irrigation, these wines are stressed to showcase intense, complex flavors, distinct terroir expression and higher natural acidity and tannins. With lower yields, dry farming is also considered more sustainable, conserving water and contributing to environmental practices in viticulture. As co-owner Kevin Healey likes to say: “You can make bad wine from good grapes, but you can’t make good wine from bad grapes.”

Bella Luna Estate Winery Tasting Room

Tasting Room Hours: Daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Address: 1850 Templeton Rd, Templeton, CA 93465


Hidden gem accolades: Exclusive Bordeaux blends, serene tasting settings, architectural elegance

Amidst the ultra-premium wineries on Peachy Canyon Road, Sixmilebridge Winery stands out as a bastion of tranquility and refined taste. The winery’s tasting room is a marvel of design, crafted from corten steel, ipe wood, and limestone, with an interior of cedar that mirrors the natural hues of Paso Robles. Secluded among vine rows and embraced by native flora, this haven welcomes guests with open arms, offering a respite that echoes the beauty of its surroundings.

Taste: At Sixmilebridge, visitors are invited to explore the subtleties of its Bordeaux-style offerings through guided tasting experiences. Whether nestled inside the cozy tasting room or seated on the inviting patio, guests will be led through a comparative tasting flight that showcases the winery’s finesse.

For those seeking a deeper dive, the Reserve Room offers a sensory expedition among reserve wines and barrel selections, accentuated by a tapestry of aromatic spices and fruit profiles. Each tasting is a deliberate journey, accompanied by a dedicated wine educator to enhance the intimacy and enjoyment of the discovery.

More to explore: For those who yearn for leisurely indulgence, the winery’s deck offers a shaded oasis under the canopy of an ancient coast live oak. Here, bottle service allows guests to linger over their choice of wine, with the option to picnic on the patio or deck—a testament to Sixmilebridge’s commitment to creating moments of joy and relaxation. To ensure a personalized and unhurried experience, advance booking is essential, promising every visitor a serene and captivating visit.

Sixmilebridge Tasting Room

Tasting Room Hours: Open Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Address: 5120 Peachy Canyon Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
More info: Reservations only. For same day inquiries please call 805.239.5844

Whalebone Vineyard

Hidden gem accolades: Historic area, fossil-packed soils, killer cabernet sauvignon

Venture to the fascinating Paso Robles enclave of Adelaide, CA, an unincorporated community that is home to a famed winemaking AVA. The Whalebone Tasting Barn is a fitting place to survey this leafy landscape, once populated by miners, ranchers and Mennonite settlers. Nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range west of Paso Robles, this hidden-away tasting room encourages folks to bring a picnic and explore the grounds. Take care to keep one eye on the ground: You may just find a fossil in the rough!

Taste: Established in 1989, Whalebone Vineyard encompasses 128 acres of choice winemaking soil. Here, tasters will find thriving, dry-farmed cabernet sauvignon vines as well as grazing Angus cattle. Savor the terroir of the renowned Whalebone Vineyard with a host of world class cabernet sauvignon offerings (you’ll also find wonderful zinfandel, rose and Rhone blends on the winery’s all-red lineup). Be sure to ask for a sip of Whalebone’s “BOB Wine,” a cabernet sauvignon blend that’s found a cult following since winemaker Bob first created it back in the ‘90s. Tip: Wish you’d brought a picnic basket? Pick up a few local charcuterie items—cheeses, salami, local sheep’s milk ice cream—available on-site. Pets are also welcome to join the party (just be aware there is a bulldog and six cats on the property).

More to explore: Wondering why the Whalebone name? Well, this tiny winery boasts more than the perfect coastal climate. The land is rich with limestone and calcareous soils chock full of fossilized seashells! This also includes rocky south-facing hillsides, famous for coaxing out fantastic wines. In case you were wondering: Actual whale bones were indeed unearthed when planting these vines.

Tip: Nearby Halter Ranch Winery might be well-known by most Paso Robles wine fans, but the famed tasting room could be considered “way out there” in terms of the trek. Complete your off-the-beaten-path journey with a tasting at this acclaimed Adelaide District AVA tasting room, where awe-inspiring views and gourmet eats collide. Check out the Ancestor Vertical Tasting beneath the largest Coast Live Oak in the world, enjoy a Winery & Cave Tour, or hop in a Land Rover or antique Swiss Locomotive for a better view of the incredible property. 

Whalebone Vineyard Tasting Room

Tasting Room Hours: Open daily 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with tastings offered 11-4 p.m. 
Address: 8325 Vineyard Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446More info: Walk-ins welcome. Groups of eight or more must contact the winery directly at 805-239-9020.

Cover Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

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