For Paso Robles natives the small scenic town may just be home, but for everyone else it is a secret slice of heaven. Nestled in between sprawling vineyards and hillsides, Paso Robles is one of the fastest growing wine regions in America. Paso’s Central Coast location is unique in its proximity to the ocean, the Templeton Gap — a literal gap in the valley allowing for a cool marine breeze to flow east — and changes in elevation which create many different microclimates within the area. These conditions are ideal for producing some of the best wines in California, and to prove it can compete with the better known Sonoma, Paso was named Wine Region of the year by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2013.
Wine is important, of course, but it’s not everything in this thriving littoral town. With travel bringing more business each ear, tourists now have a wide range of activities and attractions to experience. Savor the new tastes at the Olive Festival, visit the California Mid-State fair, get active by hiking the miles of scenic vineyards and orchards, or enjoy the famous California weather on horseback. We have fallen in love with this burgeoning city, and compiled the best attractions just for you.
Sometimes you need a refuge from the city noise and the everyday stress, and Allegretto Resort gives you just that. This mediterranean-inspired hotel is located on the East side of Paso Robles, surrounded by its own private vineyards and full with West Coast glamour.
European-style design reminds you of Italy as you stroll through the gardens sipping a glass of Allegretto’s private label wine, stop in at the spa for a vine-inspired Aromassage, take a dip in the pool, or relax in a private cabana before dining at Cello, the hotel’s restaurant. Conveniently located near downtown Paso Robles and with easy access to all of the region’s wineries, Allegretto is the perfect landing spot for your California voyage.
2700 Buena Vista Dr, Paso Robles, CA | www.allegrettovineyardresort.com
Dedicated to making extraordinary wines, this family-owned vineyard is special in many ways. Because Margarita Vineyard is situated along the side of Santa Lucia Mountain Range and only fourteen miles from the Pacific Ocean, it benefits from some of the unique features of the land. Here, the vines grow along five distinct soil types — ancient sea bed, shale, rocky alluvium, granitic and volcanic. The land’s complex soil composition enables the winegrowers to pick which blocks to plant in order produce each specific wine in the collection. The end result is crisp Sauvignon Blancs, refreshing rosés, and even a well-balanced Pinot Noir.
Ancient Peaks Winery was named to honor the peaks that so define the geology of the land. These peaks help regulate the vineyard’s climate, ultimately shaping the wines that are produced. This sophisticated and interesting winery offers tours including viticulture, soils, sustainability and food pairing every Saturday, where you will be able to touch and feel what makes this vineyard so important to the region.
22720 El Camino Real, Santa Margarita, CA | www.ancientpeaks.com
Handcrafted, organic olive oil is the passion that drives Pasolivo Olive Oil Ranch. With a creative flair that translates into exclusive flavors and rich textures, the ranch is a place that feels like home as soon as you drive down the olive tree-lined driveway. An educational tasting will get you hooked on the intense aromas of their first-press extra virgin olive oils, leaving you wondering what the stuff you’ve been buying at the store actually is. Pasolivo’s producers only use the finest and healthiest ingredients, and press the olives at all stages (green, black, and purple) to obtain layered flavors while keeping all of the benefits of the fruit. To create the many varieties — basil and lemon earning great popular appeal — it is not enough to simply infuse the oil. Pasolivo achieves more intensity by grinding the fresh herbs and fruits within the oil then filtering the end product.
The ranch is open seven days a week for tours of the orchards, oil tastings and testing of bath and beauty products. This tranquil retreat is both culturally informative and relaxing, providing the perfect break between wine tastings.
8530 Vineyard Dr, Paso Robles, CA | www.pasolivo.com
Think of Pomar Junction Winery as the cool, funky place everyone wants to hang out at on the weekends. If there is anything better than wine pairings, they’ve found it by fusing wine and music at Train Wreck Fridays, a weekly outdoor live music party perfect for winding down from a busy week. Sitting outside at the picnic tables underneath beautiful trees, or up on the deck overlooking the vineyards is how locals and visitors enjoy the romantic, totally Pinterest-able scenery.
This winery is full of agricultural heritage, owned and operated today by Dana and Marsha Merrill and winemaker son Matthew, but dates back at least eight generations. All of the wines at Pomar Junction Winery are produced under the belief that total control from planting through fermentation and cellaring is key for success. It also ensures sustainability, a concept which has been important to the family for decades. Try the award winning 2013 Brooster, a full yet approachable red, and don’t miss the gold medal-winning 2012 Syrah.
5036 S El Pomar Rd, Templeton, CA | www.pomarjunction.com
This adorable bistro in downtown Paso Robles packs big flavor in a small unassuming package. Designed in rustic industrial aesthetic and displaying original features like the oversize barn door hanging on the exposed brick walls, this restaurant offers a carefully curated menu featuring an abundance of fresh local ingredients.
Working with local purveyors for poultry and fish, and farmers for fruits and vegetables shapes the culture of imaginative dishes, which of course are expertly paired with the perfect wine. Stop in for a quick bite on industry night, or take advantage of the half-off bottles special on Tuesdays. Reflecting pure Paso charm, Thomas Hill Organics is a must-try eatery during your visit.
1313 Park St, Paso Robles, CA | www.thomashillorganics.com
It’s hard to imagine something more awesome than zip lining over 1,800 feet of cabernet lots with a glass of crisp white Sauvignon Blanc awaiting you at the bottom of the valley. At Margarita Adventures, expert guides you will lead you on a tour of the historic Santa Margarita ranch, teach visitors on wine-growing practices, and their role as one of the older operating cattle ranches in California. Perfect for families and corporate retreats, book a kayak tour while there and make this a great opportunity for a little adventure.
22719 El Camino Real, Santa Margarita, CA | www.margarita–adventures.com
Gary Eberle changed his football cleats for lab coats when he finished his schooling at Penn State, and headed to LSU to continue his graduate studies in cellular genetics. During that time Gary fell in love with wine and changed his degree to become a winemaker. Headed to Paso Robles in 1973, Eberle started his career in the wine world, and was one of the pioneers in putting Paso on the map as a wine region. He ended up purchasing sixty-four acres of his own (for less than $10 an acre!), and started what is now known as the crown jewel of Paso, thirty years later.
Favorites include Gary’s complimentary wine tastings, public tours of the underground caves which store hundreds of aging barrels — grab a glass of the Steinbeck Syrah while you tour, it makes it that much better—, and the iconic barbecues on the dog-friendly deck, most likely prepared by the owners themselves. Make your visit to Eberly Winery the grand finale of your trip, and be sure to take a bottle of Full Boar Red home to enjoy later.
3810 CA-46, Paso Robles, CA | www.eberlewinery.com