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Wine Region of the Year, 10 Years Later

November 21, 2023

Wine Region of the Year, 10 Years Later

Ten years ago, in November 2013, Wine Enthusiast magazine announced Paso Robles Wine Country as Wine Region of the Year in its annual Wine Star Awards.

It was the first time an American wine region received the prestigious honor. In the 10 years since, Paso Robles and its over 250 wineries continue to achieve recognition on the world wine stage.

In 2016, Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines was honored as an “American Wine Legend” in the Wine Star Awards, and Paso Robles earned Best Wine Region in the West by Sunset Magazine. In 2020, the “American Wine Legend” honor went to Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery. Hope Family Wines was named Wine Enthusiast magazine’s 2022 American Winery of the Year, and earlier this year Paso Robles was voted number one in USA Today 10Best wine regions to visit, to name only a few.

2023 also marks another significant milestone for Paso Robles wine country. The Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA) was first established forty years ago in 1983. Paso is now home to 11 AVAs, which were approved in 2014, and in November of that year, wineries could officially use the new AVAs on labels. The region continues to evolve, but its foundation remains the same. Paso Robles is a place of exceptional wines without pretension.

The evolution can be seen in the winegrapes grown. More traditional varietals are found alongside unconventional blends, lesser-known grapes (Nero d’Avola, anyone?), and everything in between. Home to 41,000 vineyard acres, producing more than 60 winegrape varieties – from Spanish to Italian, Bordeaux to Rhône, including the area’s heritage variety Zinfandel – the wines of Paso Robles are as diverse as the people.

From the European immigrants who planted some of the first vines, to the mavericks who looked to lands outside what was traditionally thought of as California wine country, to the new vanguard looking toward the future, each winemaker’s unique style and personality is poured into every bottle of Paso Robles wine.

Explore the many Paso Robles wineries to taste the history – and future – of the region in each glass, and cheers to the Wine Region of the Year, 10 years later.