The 15 Best Downtown Paso Robles Tasting Rooms
June 17, 2021
There are more than 200 tasting rooms in Paso Robles, many of those can be found within walking distance of one another and centrally located in the heart of downtown. From highly acclaimed brands opening second locations to family-owned and operated micro-wineries to edgy renegades whose style fits best tucked away in an industrial locale. The downtown wine landscape has been growing by not only the number of tasting rooms but also by the type of wine experiences offered.
Known for bold blends and their lively after-hours music scene is Asuncion Ridge Vineyards. One of the first wineries to call downtown Paso home, they are set directly across from the iconic downtown ark, pet friendly, and offer wines sure to please any pallet. Just up the street is the contemporary tasting lounge of Bushong Vintage Company. Eclectic varietals showcase the depth of talent and creativity that is offered at Bushong. Savor the small-lot wines, play some pinball, or choose a favorite record from the collection of over 1,000 vinyl records to play. Cruise over to Hoyt Family Vineyards for a cool beach shack vibe and outstanding wines. With vineyards in Malibu and west Paso, the estate wines offer big flavors. Do not miss the Tempranillo or Petit Verdot!
The spacious outdoor/indoor setting of CaliPaso Winery offers an open-air feel with warm hospitality and outstanding value. You can often find fun events like Sip & Paints happening at CaliPaso along with live music, plus they are the go-to spot for after-dinner wine (they stay open late)! Red-only lovers listen up! Next door at Pianetta Winery you’ll find all reds all the time with a vibrant vibe. This father/daughter winemaking team carefully craft wines that showcase the vineyard and quality farming practices. When you visit be sure to order the cheese and wine pairing flight….and ask about the jug wine. Just across the street, you’ll find the tasting rooms of Copia and Sea Shell Cellars. The 20-acre estate, Copia Vineyards & Winery, is nestled in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles but showcases their highly acclaimed Rhône inspired blends in an elegantly warm space on Thirteenth Street. Adjacent to Copia, discover the first-class wines of Sea Shell Cellars. The bright-tasting space is adorned with a beach mural for an Instagram-worthy selfie or group photo. Taste through the estate wines that showcase balance, vivid fruit, and personality, just like Sea Shell Cellars. As their motto reads, just as every seashell on the beach has a story of its creation so does every bottle of Sea Shell wine.
Mix wine and history at Cloak & Dagger and Derby. Overlooking the park located in the Historic Municipal Bath House is new kid on the block Cloak & Dagger Wines. The bathhouse was built in 1888 over sulfur springs, included a plunge, and 37 bath rooms! The limited production wines are extraordinary, and all have a conspiracy theory theme with unique labels and names Freemasons, Illuminati, Skull and Bones Society, the Trilateral Commission, the Deep State, and even Area 51. Nearby in the Paso Robles Almond Growers Building is home to Derby Wine Estates. This spectacular 11,000 square feet building was once a warehouse and processing plant Paso’s biggest crop, almonds. Taste the diverse wines in the art deco tasting room, tour the historic facility and spend some time in their outdoor lounge.
Tucked away in some really unique spaces are three brands who’ve made a big splash in the Paso wine region: Hayseed and Housdon, Indigené, and Ranchero Cellars. On Railroad Street, you’ll find the super hip collective tasting room, Paso Under Ground, and maverick winemaker Amy Butler. Amy who is a consulting winemaker for a few elite boutique Paso brands has her own solo project, Ranchero Cellars. Using uncommon and tried-and-true Paso rhônes varietals, she crafts small production wines that will blow you away. Across the way is the tasting garage of Hayseed and Housdon. Their philanthropic business model will make you feel good about drinking wine! Not only are the Hayseed wines created with sustainably sources grapes, most importantly they split the profits 50/50 with several local non-profits like Wine4Paws, CASA, and Operation Surf to name a few. Located in the alley between Park and Pine Street and next to local hot spot Jeffery’s Wine Country BBQ is Indigené Cellars. Rock star winemaker Raymond Smith is dedicated to winemaking in its highest form creating noteworthy blends with big flavors. Indigenè is a true hidden gem not to be missed.
Two rebel winemakers that are full of personality and are always pushing the limits of creativity are Straight out of Paso and Herman Story. Nestled in an industrial block is the cellar and tasting room of Herman Story Wines. This boisterous brand colors outside the lines with no-nonsense opulent wines sourcing grapes from the best vineyards on the Central Coast. You’ll find the labels are as rambunctious as the renegade winemaker and his crew, don’t miss these highly acclaimed wines. One of the newest tasting rooms downtown is the second brand of Bodega de Edgar, Straight out of Paso. This new project was started to showcase the varietals that have made Paso Robles into the wine country it is today. The cool tasting room has a great high-energy outdoor space where you can always find local bands jamming.
Perfectly situated across from the downtown park on Thirteenth Street is the second location of the world-renowned JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, JUSTIN Downtown. Enjoy wines by the glass or bottle in the modern space and enjoy lunch in the cozy dining area that features indulgent cuisine from their onsite chef. Be sure to ‘look down’ when you are visiting to see the underground wine cellar. JUSTIN helped put Paso wines on the map back in the 80s and you’ll see why in their downtown location.
Bonus! Add these two hot spots to your list of must-visits in downtown Paso Robles: The Backyard and Paso Wine Merchant. The family-friendly outdoor beer garden, The Backyard on Thirteenth, offers 28 rotating taps showcasing local craft beer, cider, and wine. This cool spot was built out of shipping containers and is the perfect place to relax after a day of wine tasting. The Paso Robles Wine Merchant is located inside the Paso Market Walk on Spring Street. This hip wine bar is also the go-to place to taste and buy wine from boutique wineries that do not yet have tasting rooms. The perfect place to find the newest up-and-coming winemakers.
On your next trip to Paso, explore downtown, you’ll be sure to discover hidden gems and new favorites.