When we first ventured down to Paso Robles to visit wineries in 1998, the locals would proudly tell us that there were 70 wineries in Paso Robles. Today, that number stands at 230 wineries. We were back in Paso Robles in February and then again last week. I have to tell you we were suffering from winery overload. Take Vineyard Drive, for instance. I remember when there was just Opolo and Norman on this road. Now, there are so many on this road it boggles the mind. Should we stop at this winery or that one?
We wonder how many wineries can the area support? Is this a possible “winery bubble” in the making? Some of the new wineries are very lavish and extravagant. Many of these seem out of place in the beautiful farming setting of Paso Robles. We were also surprised at the prices that some wineries are charging for their wines. Many are charging well over the $30 mark. Yes, some of the wines are very worthy of that price tag, but many others are not. I think the cost of building these wineries has to figure into the price of a wine. My favorite wine on our recent trip cost me $24. It is a fantastic wine and one of the best I have tried in recent memory. I found it at Westberg Cellars, a winery that has been in existence since the mid 1980’s.
We have been to 15 wineries on our last two trips to Paso Robles this year. Here are the ones that we can highly recommend to visitors.
Rangeland Wines – A fabulous experience at 1700 feet
Thatcher – Great wines and the Viognier is a standout
Whalebone – Love the Syrah
Edward Sellers – Nice picnic area and excellent wines
Westberg Cellars – Don’t leave without the Turtle Rock Willow Creek Cuvee
Calcareous – Rhone wines are a delight
Venteux Vineyards – More Rhone wines to enjoy
We will be revising our wine trails on WineCountryGetaways very soon and these above wineries are sure to be included in our revisions. I will also be blogging about a few of the above wineries that delighted us above all others.