Wine Tasting in Paso Robles

If you’ve read my blog for a while now then you probably know I’m a big wine fan. Notice I say “fan” and not “expert” because I am still learning new things every day. I absolutely love wine tasting and have done it all over the world from Australia to Argentina, California to Canada and of course how could I forget Waiheke Island off the northern coast of New Zealand!

For the Christmas holiday my girlfriend and I are doing two days of wine tasting in Paso Robles as we make our way up to my home city of Berkeley. I’ve been tasting in Napa many times but this is my first experience in Paso Robles and we are having an incredible time!

I’ve learned a lot about the region and as usual have taken some basic notes on the wineries we have visited. Paso Robles is known for Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon but so far the Zins have impressed me the most. Paso gets piping hot in the summer making it a great place for reds and attributing to some very unique and complex wines.

Tomorrow we are doing a VIP tasting at Eberly which should be amazing. The VIP tasting is a 1.5 hour private tasting in a special room within their wine cave. We did a tour of the cave and when we saw the private tasting room we knew that we had to do it! We visited six wineries today but I did much more tasting than drinking since I really wanted to appreciate the different wines.

As I’ve said before – I want my blog to focus on domain names but still have a post like this every once and a while because I feel a blog should also tell you a bit about the person who is writing it. Rick Latona recently launched his wine club which features wine from Georgia and boasts a beautifully-designed site. I signed-up for the newsletter today and will most likely become a happy member of Rick’s wine club since everything he does is of incredible quality so I’m sure the wine club will be on-par with everything else he has done!

Below are the notes I took on the wineries we visited today – if you ever visit Paso Robles I hope these can help point you in the right direction!

Chronic Cellars
New, hip winery run by the son’s of the owner of Peachy Canyon. They have very non-traditional wines but big bold flavors in a trendy and welcoming environment. The prices are reasonable and the artsy decor gives make the whole experience stand-out from the crowd.

Tobin James
Set in a “Wild-West” saloon – the tasting room dares to be different. The interior was inviting and definitely gave you a feeling of being somewhere with a lot of character. The wine had very strong Berry notes and would definitely be popular for lovers of fruit-flavored wines. We were not big fans of the wine and felt the experience was a bit lackluster as the people behind the counter seemed more interested in other guests and promoting their wine club.

Famous for their wide distribution you can find Meridian wine just about anywhere. They have a huge expanse of land in Paso Robles and a beautiful long drive up a hill to reach the winery and tasting room. We had a tasting paired with cheeses which was absolutely divine! Each cheese matched the wine perfectly and the wines we tasted were all only available at the winery – which is really where Meridian wines stand-out. Excellent wines, great cheese, and friendly hosts made the experience one to remember!

Eberly was recommended to us as a winery with great Cabernet’s and that recommendation could not have been more spot-on. The red’s were all incredible with a very clear and refined taste. We did the cave tour which was a great way to learn more about the winery and wine-making in general. They talked about the fact that caves are essential in an area like Paso Robles as the hot summers cause the oak barrels to expand and then the cold causes them to contract oftentimes damaging 10%-15% of the wine. Caves keep an even temperature allowing them to keep almost everything that they make. Eberly has a VIP tasting area that we decided to book for tomorrow. The VIP tasting involves a private tasting lasting about an hour and a half, in the cave, while sitting at a table surrounded by wine barrels…I don’t think it could get much better than that!

Peachy Canyon
This is one of the most well-known wineries in Paso Robles and we definitely found the two Maine Coons the highlight of our visit! The tasting room is small but has a lot of character. Great Zin’s and lots of great wine-related nick-nacks in the shop. We had the chance to meet one of the son’s who now runs Chronic – very cool experience to meet the wine-makers and something that seems to happen quite frequently in Paso Robles.

Zenaida Cellars
Directly across the street from Peachy Canyon, Zenaida offers a nice elegant environment with a long list of excellent tasting wines. The wine was excellent with a particular wine called “Zephyr” definitely ranking high on my list. The cabernet was also phenomenal and I think this somewhat undiscovered winery is going places! We had a brief chance to meet the owner and the entire experience was very relaxed and enjoyable.

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton