The 7 Best Wine Caves in Paso Robles
November 5, 2019
In Paso Robles Wine Country wine caves are ideal places to age, taste, and even make wine. Over the years several wineries have upped the game by building subterranean caverns for wines to chill out and age graciously. And in true Paso-style, wineries have also crafted one-of-a-kind tasting experiences and special events underground. So next time you’re in Paso, visit one of our cool caves.
Flanked along the west hills of Paso Robles is the 100-acre estate of the renegade brand of Booker. These are the newest of the caves in Paso and are unique in that they actually have different temperature chambers. Currently, they have the front tunnel heated for the wines go through malolactic fermentation during harvest. The mid-section of the cave tunnels are all extremely cool. Guests are surprised to walk through a door and feel two drastically different temperatures. The VIP room is under construction in the caves that have an exposed wall showing the natural rock and striations in the earth. Their cave-digging geologists said that about every 18 inches or so across this wall is equivalent to about 10,000 years and that this land was under ocean water (a very long time ago)! During construction, the crews found fossilized fish scales in the sandstone. There is also an elevator in the caves that when construction is completed will transport guests to and from the caves to the new ‘cave top’ tasting room in the middle of the vineyards. The new tasting room and wine cave experience will open its doors in the fall of 2020.
A pioneer of Paso Robles, Gary Eberle founded Eberle Winery more than 40 years ago. Today, Eberle is one of the highest award-winning wineries in the U.S. and ranks in the top 10 of gold medal award-winning wineries in the country. This iconic winery is a must-visit offering wine by the glass, a scenic picnic deck that overlooks Paso Robles, bocce ball court, cornhole, complimentary tastings, and spectacular cave tours. Gary Eberle was the first to build caves in Paso Robles which were dug out by a Welsh coal mining machine with roadheader and completed in 1999. The 16,800 square feet of caves can hold up to 2,700 barrels! The distance from the surface to the below caves is an average of 30 feet with 12- inch thick reinforced concrete walls. Caves are a perfect place to age wine being that their natural consistent temperature of between 59-64 degrees. The Eberle Caves are a staple in Paso and feature the elegant Wild Boar Room, where winemaker dinners are held, and the VIP Room which is ideal for small and intimate experiences. Eberle offers cave tours daily.
Historic Halter Ranch is a vineyard and winery located in the heart of Paso Robles’ westside Adelaida District. The 2,000-acre estate includes 281-acres under vine and the remaining land is set aside for conservation. In 2011, a new production facility was completed with a state-of-the-art winery that uses a multi-level gravity flow system in all aspects of the winemaking process. Soon after the completion of the winery facility Halter Ranch constructed 20,000 feet of barrel caves, an integral piece to keeping the winery energy efficient. Cool mass provided by the limestone in the hillside, along with concrete in the walls, stabilize the temperature at 56 degrees. About 1,500 barrels are stored in the caves amounting to 450,000 bottles of wine or 37,500 cases of wine! Storing barrels underground also helps moderate humidity and limits the evaporation of wine through the porous barrels. Guests can experience these magnificent caves with two unique tours and tastings. The complimentary Winery & Cave Tour, where visitors see the winemaking process up close on an educational tour of the state-of-the-art winery and barrel caves. The Reserve Tasting in the Caves in which guests have an intimate reserve tasting experience tucked deep inside the caves with wines selected by winemaker, Kevin Sass.
Iconic JUSTIN combines Old World methods with New World technology, creating big, Bordeaux-style wines. They are also known for their exquisite and unique cave system that houses anywhere from 2,700-3,200 barrels at a time and stays at a natural temperature of 60 degrees year-round. The caves were constructed from 2001-2003, using dynamite to carve out the 17,000 square feet barrel chai, 16,000 square feet of adjourning tunnels, and finally, the stunning ISOSCELES library located deep within the labyrinth of the cave. JUSTIN hosts both private and public events within the caves and offers tours year-round where guests can taste a selection of wines, barrel samples, and learn about the barrel aging process and experience the enchanting atmosphere of this elaborate cave network.
Coming from Bordeaux, Stephan Asseo fell in love with Paso Robles in 1998. The unique westside terroir provides the foundation for his artisan viticulture and winemaking skills. The proof of his passion for quality lies in their estate-grown “Paso Blends”. The new L’Aventure caves were built on ecological reasons, by having caves they no longer have to use outside energy to keep the temperature cool at all times and the humidity just right. The consistency of the temperature and humidity allows them to have less evaporation and also contains a stable alcohol level. The surface is about 8,000 square feet and is a horseshoe design with small alcoves throughout allowing L’Aventure to store barrels, amphoras, cement cones, and library wines. Lastly, one of the most unique traits is the exposed wall of limestone, showing firsthand what their terroir is made of… beautiful limestone. Book a Private Tour & Tasting Experience to see firsthand the vineyard, the winemaking process, walk through the caves and sit down tasting in Stephan’s personal library room.
Discover the essence of Paso Robles with a visit to Robert Hall. Taste the limited-production wines, enjoy a picnic on the terrace, or tour the expansive caverns. Spoil yourself with a delightful wine & cheese pairing or play one of the many outdoor games while overlooking amazing vineyard views. The 20-month cavern project, designed by Robert Hall himself, was completed in 2001 and consists of 16,000 square feet of usable cavern space. The method used in building these gorgeous caves is known as the “Cut & Fill” method. Forms were built in the proper shape then placed in the massive hole, then the concrete was then poured into the forms using 700 tons of rebar and was also built to withstand an 8.5 earthquake! Guided educational tours are available daily to learn about the winemaking process from the vine to the glass.
For those who are unfamiliar with Saxum, just know that they are one of the most highly acclaimed wineries in Paso Robles. They focus on producing Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre based blends from the Willow Creek District. Their rocky calcareous soils, steep hillsides, sunny days, and cooling ocean breezes speak through the wines. Keeping the yields low, picking the fruit at the peak of ripeness, and using a minimalist approach in the cellar help express their terroir. Respect of the land and sustainable farming keeps production at about 6,000 cases a year. Competed a couple of years ago, their unique caves are large enough to fit their entire winery operation inside. Besides storing barrels, they crush, ferment, and press in the caves. Another really awesome feature is the cool hooka lounge. A perfect spot for the hardworking team to relax at the end of long harvest days. *Note – Saxum has no tasting room and is not open to the public.