Brecon Estate is where the Norman Monster Zin once roamed
One of the old standby Paso Robles wineries, Norman Vineyards, sold its facilities and vineyards on Vineyard Drive in 2013. It is now Brecon Estate, with a totally different approach to winemaking. The Norman winery continues to operate in a warehouse area of Paso Robles. In 2014, Brecon Estate opened the newly-remodeled tasting room. There are some big plans for making the area even more comfortable for the wine tasting crowd. But for now the tasting room is very sleek and modern with beautiful artwork displayed on the walls. The room is bright and inviting. The best part of the Brecon Estate are the wines. We spent three days tasting wines in Paso Robles, mostly at the latest wineries to open their doors in the area. Overall, we thought the wines at Brecon Estate were the most delicious of the wines we tasted. The winemaker is Damian Grindley, a veteran of 20 years of making wines around the globe. We started with the Albariño wine. The grapes come from vineyards very near the Pacific Ocean, within two miles of the ocean according to our server. This is so similar to the climate conditions of the famous Albariño region of Spain, Rias Baixas. The Rias Baixas wine region is just off the Atlantic Ocean. The Brecon Estate Albariño in my estimation is the best California Albariño I have tasted. There is a certain richness to the wine, but the appealing acidity and citrus characters of this great Spanish wine grape are not sacrificed. Another white we enjoyed was the Conviction, a Rhone blend of Viognier, Marsanne, and Rousanne. It is a joy. All the red wines we tasted were perfectly balanced, with a great velvety mouthfeel. The Brecon Zinfandel was our top red choice, so vastly different in style from the popular Norman Monster Zinfandel. The reds were all in the mid-14 percent alcohol range. These are all delicate and approachable wines to be enjoyed with food. The prices for the wines are in the premium range, above $40 for the reds, and the white wines in the mid-twenties. We miss the old Elvis cutout at Norman and the informal atmosphere of the tasting room. Brecon Estate is more Napa Valley like. Is this a good thing for Paso Robles wine country?
Along Vineyard Drive there are several other wineries nearby to visit. We have outlined our favorites on the Vineyard Drive Wine Trail. It is a good idea to pack a lunch because picnicking at Paso Robles wineries is encouraged. At Brecon Estate, sip a glass of Albariño with your deli lunch along side the vineyards. Life can’t get much better than this.
Additional Paso Robles wine country details
Brecon Estate Slide Show