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Secrets Revealed! 5 Insider Keys to Paso Wine Country

Let me sock it to ya straight. You may know the difference between acidity and astringency. You may know the world’s most famous wine regions like the back of your hand. You may be an awarded and decorated sommelier with a cellar full of choice bottles. But you might not be all that smart. Let me explain. Truly savvy wine tasters will be the first to tell you that enjoying an amazing insider experience isn’t a matter of knowing a laundry list of esoteric facts—it’s all about taking advantage of local deals and top technology. When the key to Paso Wine Country is sitting right there in the palm of your hand—hello, iPhone and Android!—why wouldn’t you use it to the full extent of its power? Here’s how you can up your wine smarts, zero studying required.

1. Map Smarter

winery mapEven the most well-intentioned itinerary can be all-too-easily thwarted by a hopelessly outdated map. In comparison, this fine physical map of wine country is a lot like a lighthouse: A shining beacon of hope helping you steer the course. Order the printed version online or pick one up at select local wineries, hotels or at the kiosk at Park and 12th in downtown Paso. You can breathe easy knowing you’ve got a nifty key that shows all of the amenities you care most about right at your fingertips. Oh, and it gets better, still (and no, this is not an infomercial, I promise)! You can also download a no-fuss, highly detailed digital version of the map and get it delivered straight to your smartphone or table! The best part? This life-saving map is always updated with the most reliable information, and—once you download the file—it won’t matter if your cell loses service (bye bye, frustrating Google map detours!)

Tip: Did I mention that this map also includes nearby breweries and distilleries, too? Goodbye, FOMO! Today, you’re the envy of everyone’s social media feed.

2. Get Clear on Varietals (the easy way)

We don’t care how long you’ve been drinking fine wine. You might be an avid reader of Wine Enthusiast and a member of a dozen clubs. Still, understanding the hundreds of
varietals out there in the world can be intimidating—not to mention time consuming! Take the stress out of the situation altogether and make learning fun. With this handy varietal guide, it’s easy to find out a) What varietals suit your taste and 2) Where to find those varietals in Paso Wine Country. I mean, isn’t that all you really need to know?

Tip: Learn where your fave varietals are hiding within the comfort of your own home, taking the guesswork out of your next wine excursion in ten seconds flat. With more than 300 wineries in Paso Robles to choose from, it can be tempting to wander till you find the right stop. However, nothing could be more awkward than stepping foot in a Bordeaux-style winery when all you’re really looking for are floral, chilled whites. Eek! Plan ahead and you will reap the rewards with little to no research. It’s almost too easy, right?

3. Nab Insider Deals, No Sciswine-tasting-specialssors Required

You’re not a “bargain for bargain’s sake” kind of person, but you do know a good deal when you see one. The only thing you love more than Paso Wine is a new excuse to get out there and sip more of it. I think you’re ready for the big guns. Presenting Wine Country Deals, updated regularly with oh-my-gosh promotions that go way beyond a free keychain. Think about it. Tasting rooms put out promotions because they’re looking for their next wine club member; the next person who will walk in and buy that perfect bottle for that perfect occasion. Could that person be you? Only one way to find out! Oh, and before you start imagining your mother sitting at the kitchen table cutting coupons late into the night, get this: All you have to do is show the coupons on your smartphone to reap all of the fabulous perks! Click here to bask in the glow of wine discounts, simplified.

Tip: This month, enjoy two-for-one wine tasting deals at Brecon Estate, Hammersky Vineyards, Hug Wines, Cayucos Cellars, Lusso Della Terra, Opolo Vineyards, Rendarrio Vineyards, and Dubost Ranch; Barrel tastings at Écluse Wines, ten percent off case purchase at Four Lanterns Winery; complimentary spice pairings for two at LXV Wine Lounge; ten percent off three or more bottles of 2011 Calon at Lone Madrone Winery; and a flight of five wines for $5, complimentary tasting with wine purchase, and twenty percent off case purchases at San Marcos Creek Vineyard.

4. Be a Couch Potato

Wait—don’t get up! Back in the 80’s we heard a lot about “virtual reality,” but much to the dismay of futurists everywhere, that future never truly came. Until now. Strap your eyes into a pair of cardboard (or plastic) futuristic VR Winery Tour Goggles and take a good long look around. What you see will delight your imagination and defy your senses. As you turn and tilt your head from side to side, you’ll be privy to a real-life, 360-degree view of the winery you wish to visit. All you need is your smart phone. Find these miraculous cardboard goggles at participating wineries or click here to order your own (show them off at your next dinner party and watch your friends be blown away). Unlike some modern-day apps, this gizmo isn’t just cool for the sake of being cool—it’s totally practical. Before you make the long trek to a new winery, why not check it out first? Save gas, time, and peace of mind. Like what you see? Easily share the virtual experience in a text message or through social media in one swift click. You heard right, folks. The future is now!

Tip: Not ready for VR? Explore virtual tours on your computer or tablet, too! Whatever you do, remember that seeing truly is believing.

5. Throw away the keys

Drive805_LogoOn the list of things you may think you are qualified to do: Give a great massage, make a great casserole, dye your own hair—you probably aren’t as good as the pros at Drive 805. See, their job revolves around crafting a wine tasting experience tailored to your specific needs. Put down the keys, say goodbye to worrying over who’s driving, and sink back into the plush interior. It’s going to be a relaxing ride.

Tip: Before you make the call, check out the comprehensive list of wineries, restaurants, and hotels and see what sparks your fancy. Into tasting rooms that offer something special, like olive oil, or behind-the-scenes tours? Want to make a pitstop at a great seafood restaurant? Get a feel for what you like, then let Drive 805 curate the best Paso Robles Wine Country has to offer.



This blog was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for 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 InnThe 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.

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LLa Bellasera Hotel & Suitesa 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.

Directions: Reservationsasera



Hampton Inn & Suites - Paso RoblesHampton 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®

Directions: ReservationsamptonInn



Lekai-Ranch_Featured-ImageExperience 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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