The Highway 46 West Wine trail includes wineries very close to the downtown area of Paso Robles. No need to drive several miles to take in some enjoyable and exciting wineries. These are all within 15 minutes of Paso Robles. Grab a picnic lunch in town and head out to explore these terrific wineries. Leave the Paso Robles town center and head south on Highway 101 and immediately watch for the exit to Highway 46 West to Cambria and then head to the Highway 46 West Wine Trail.
Top Wineries on Highway 46 West Wine Trail
• Zenaida Cellars – Estate wines and the “Loft” – great vineyards
• Castoro Cellars – Best overall value in wines, sweet picnic spot
• Peachy Canyon Winery – Zinfandel heaven, great picnic area
• Dark Star Cellars – Limited production of reds
• Midnight Cellars Winery – Many excellent red wines
• Niner Wine Estates – New and glorious winery and tasting room
Dining and Lodging Recommendations
More information on the Paso Robles wine country
Paso Robles California: A Travel Guide To An Out Of The Ordinary Weekend Escape In California’s Budding Wine Country
Winery Descriptions, Driving Directions, Tasting Room Hours
Zenaida Cellars will come up fast on your right. The owner and the winemaker is Eric Ogorsolka. Eric began producing quality Zenaida wines in 1994. Zenaida produces small amounts of nine estate varietals from its 65 acres of vineyards. The staff is amicable and accommodating, and they will keep you well informed as you sample these charming wines. There is an attractive picnic area that overlooks beautifully arranged rows of vineyards. There are lodging accommodations available at the winery. The Loft is above the tasting room and accommodates up to six people. It is close enough to the towns Paso Robles or Templeton for a dinner meal.
Just down the road from Zenaida and on the left side of the road is Peachy Canyon. The winery is famous for Zinfandel. Ask to taste and compare the different Zinfandel wines. It is fun to see if you detect differences in aroma and flavor in the Zinfandels from different vineyards. The Incredible Red, which is 100 Zinfandel grapes, is a good value and a great everyday wine. The winery also produces other varietals, including a very lovely Malbec. Peachy Canyon has a cottage with two units accommodating two people each. There is a beautiful picnic area, and this is an excellent place to have your lunch.
Leaving Peachy Canyon, turn left and stay on Bethel Rd. You will see the signs that lead to Castoro Cellars. Castoro Cellars is an excellent winery producing several varietals. This family-owned winery, producing fine wines since 1983. Their wines are reasonably priced and all very tasty. Our favorites are the Syrah and the Petite Syrah. The picnic area is beautiful and another excellent choice for enjoying a picnic lunch. One last thing about Castoro, farming is sustainable, and much of the winery uses solar power.
Head back to Highway 46 and make a left and immediately begin looking for Anderson Road on the right. Shortly, up the wide gravel road, you’ll find two very small and really interesting wineries.
Dark Star makes small lots of premium, hand-crafted wines, including traditional Bordeaux and Rhône styles, creative California blends, and some things not everyone has: Montepulciano, Tempranillo, Viognier, Roussanne, Rosé of Grenache and a Port. Dark Star is a pet and family-friendly with a spacious indoor-outdoor tasting area. Check out the observation beehive, ax throwing pitch, free-range chickens, and winery cats.
Next door to Dark Star is Midnight Cellars, another family-owned winery in this area. Next to the tasting room, you will notice a new warehouse-type building where the winemaking and barrel storage takes place. Ask to take a peek inside so you can get an idea of Midnight’s approach to winemaking. The winery also has 25 acres of vineyards on its property. For a small winery, about 6500 cases per year, Midnight Cellars produces several different varietals of wine and some fascinating blends. Most of the wines are very good, and are all reds, except for one Chardonnay.
The Niner Wine Estates is one of Paso Robles’s newest wineries and one of the grandest in the area. The winery is about a half-mile from Midnight Cellars on Highway 46 towards the coast. It may not look like it at first glance, but the winery is one of the most environmentally friendly on this wine trail. The buildings are LEED-certified, and the farming sustainable, officially SIP Certified. Niner Estates produces several different wines, but their Bordeaux style wines are the flagship wines. For visitors, there are a variety of tastings and tours offered. Consult the Niner Website for complete details. Niner is an exciting winery to visit.