Padron Peppers in wine country


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

Padron peppers harvested at the Charles Krug winery
Padron peppers harvested at the Charles Krug winery

About Padron Peppers

Padron peppers or Pimientos de Padrón are very much the rage in California wine country. Padron peppers have been one of the staples of the Spanish Tapas scene for many ages. Now Padron Peppers are popping up on many wine country restaurant menus and folks are growing them in their vegetable gardens. These Padron peppers were growing in large pots at the Charles Krug winery. We met Patty outside Charles Krug’s Carriage House as she was picking the Padron peppers. Patty, the special events coordinator at Charles Krug, grows the peppers and offers them to various catering companies that are used for events at the historic carriage house. Patty believes the Padron peppers grow best in containers. The Padron peppers were about three to four feet high, with an abundant amount of peppers ready to pick and devour.

The most popular way to prepare these peppers is to fry them quickly in a pan that is hot and contains a small amount of olive oil. When the Padrons blister and soften, they are removed from the pan and tossed with course salt.

How to grill Padron peppers

Patty suggested that we put them on the grill. “First, coat them with a small amount of olive oil and then toss them on the grill. When they blister and wilt a bit, take them off the grill and add the coarse salt. Serve them with a glass of white wine; Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc or Charles Krug Chardonnay are nice choices.” Patty gave us a very generous supply of the peppers. Later that evening I grilled the peppers just as Patty had suggested. Scrumptious! Now for you folks out there that think these peppers are too spicy or hot, the Padron Peppers are mild. Once in a while for some strange reason, one pepper in the lot will be hot. You can purchase Padron peppers at farmers market but they are pricey, about $8 a pound. Better yet, if you live in the warm climate areas of the wine country, you can grow them in your garden. I checked at the nursery in St. Helena and they have them in stock.

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.