Paso Robles is the wild west of the wine world, and winemakers here are true rangers — pioneers making some of the boldest wines in the country thanks to the warm weather in California’s sunny Central Coast.
Paso Robles is hard to define; an immense range of wine styles at all price points makes the southern region a source of fantastic wine for connoisseurs and inexperienced wine enthusiasts alike. And although a few years ago, the region wasn’t seen as a top-tier American Viticultural Area, that’s not the case anymore — Paso Robles is up there with the finest regions in the country and the world.
Vineyards Blessed by a Radiant Sun
Paso Robles has many similarities to southern France, so rustic and untamable grape varieties like Grenache, Syrah and Viognier are not a hard find. Of course, there’s plenty of astounding Cabernet and Chardonnay growing in the region, but don’t expect the manicured wines found up north — instead, expect passion and a fiery spirit in every bottle, glass and drop of wine.
With 26,000 acres of vineyards, Paso Robles is an immense playground for over 200 wineries to experiment with every possible wine style, and it’s easy to imagine there’s a wide range of soil types and microclimates, making the region a winemaker’s paradise.
Paso Robles Grape Varieties
Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay might be the most planted grape varieties in the country, and they are no strangers in Paso Robles, where they show a wilder, bolder personality.
Still, Paso Robles winemakers champion Rhône Varietals, including Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and the white Viognier, Muscat, Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. These unique grapes feel right at home in the warm wine region, but don’t expect to find many mono-varietal wines — Rhône varieties show their best as part of complex ensembles.
Then you have the human element, and plenty of talented winemakers call Paso Robles home. Astounding producers, including Tablas Creek, J. Lohr Estates and Robert Hall, have elevated the region to extraordinary heights with world-class-quality wine that just tastes like Paso Robles.
How Does Paso Robles Wine Taste Like?
With so many wine styles, Paso Robles wine cater to every palate. What they all have in common is a ripe fruit aroma, often balanced by a bold mouthfeel and high alcohol levels. Both white and red wines are deliciously expressive, making them superb partners at the table.
A classic Rhone blend is the perfect pairing for equally bold and wild foods, including slow-cooked barbecues, lamb, char-grilled steaks and game. Rosemary, thyme and other dried herbs are common descriptors in Paso Robles wine, making it even more compatible with country-style cuisines.
Paso Robles, the Final Frontier
For big bold and exceptionally nuanced wine, Paso Robles has no competition. No, this is not Napa — it’s uncharted territory, and only the brave dare explore the astounding wine coming from the region’s sun-drenched vineyards.
Paso Robles is still the country’s best-kept secret, but the secret is out. Paso Robles is gaining popularity fast, so join the craze and become an authentic pioneer.