Below is a round up of some popular wineries and local favorites that we were recommended to from uber drivers, hotel concierge to wine servers from other wineries!
This is one of the big guys in Paso Robles putting out 90,000 cases of wine per year, of that 50,000 cases are of their Zinfandel. Our main reason for visiting this winery is because as Paso Robles is becoming more known for their GSM blends, they were originally put on the map from their Zinfandels. What better way to get a try of what now seems to be a varietal on the down (which we will never understand because we love a good Zin) in this wine country than go to one of the biggest producers of it. When you get to the winery you’re greeted with a beautiful vineyard ride up to the tasting room which has a nice rustic barn feel. This is definitely a popular spot as when we arrived it was super busy and bustling.
We had Daniel has our server and he was incredible and super knowledgeable about the varietals and wine at Opolo (you can follow him @grapementality7) I have to say my favorite wine there was their 2018 Montagna Mare which is a 50/50 blend of barbera and sangiovese – it was light bodied but rich in flavor and it definitely pulled more of the barbera flavor which I loved! We also tried their 2018 Mountain Zinfandel which is what they’re most known for and it was described to us as “the cranberry sauce of Thanksgiving”. When we tried it it was silky and sweet with notes of raspberry and on the front end quite a bit of tobacco.
Although we did the wine tasting there, Opolo also offers a distillery tasting as well as food options (that smelled really great). This is a great place to pop into if your between reservations or have an opening in your day 🙂
This is a little mom and pop winery that puts out about 4,000 cases of wine a year. What I love about this is that it feels like a mom and pop winery with how personal the wines are to them down to what they’re named and the quality is there! Our tasting table was nestled up on the top porch of the winery with beautiful nature views surrounding us. We loved our server, she was super sweet and excited to tell you about what they have to offer at the winery – you could tell that she loved working at Jada.
I’ll just jump right in and tell you the Jack John is their GSM blend and the best wine on the menu hands down, it’s grenache focused (yasssss) and aged in concrete with spiced vanilla notes – it was incredible and so velvety. The name of this wine “Jack John” is the owner’s dads name and their next wine I’ll talk about “Hells Kitchen” is named after the district in NY that their parents met. Hells Kitchen is another GSM blend put out by this winery and it is more spice driven with notes of pomegranate and cherry – they have definitely figured out how to put a great glass of GSM in front of their visitors!
Super cute farm rustic feel on the outside. The servers were all super pleasant and friendly and made for a good experience for just popping in for a glass of wine. What I loved most about this winery was how laid back and chill it felt sitting in their adirondack chairs and it being an almost one with nature feel to it.
We decided to do a glass of wine at Epoch and I’ll share a little secret – my note next to my glass of their GSM Blend was “out of this world good, best I’ve tried in the region this trip”. They served it slightly chilled which was so welcomed on a hot day! We also did a glass of their rosé which was really nice, it was light, crisp and refreshing on the heat wave of our visit.
Tooth and Nail
I debate putting this winery on here but I know that it has a loyal following and the building is so instagram worthy. I’ll just be upfront with my issue on this winery so we can move on and I can tell you all the great things about it… The tasting experience we did was extremely overpriced for the quality wine that is poured… it’s not very often (and I mean I can count on less than one hand how many times I’ve done this) that I have to dump a wine and I had to dump it in this tasting for one of them and debated it for a second one. With that being out in the open – I know some of the wine travel is for pictures and memories so on to the good!
This winery is super cool because it’s a castle (like one in a cartoon) and has a moat entrance that you cross a little bridge over to get to the tasting room. They also have these interactive labels when you put your camera on them a scene unfolds – kicking myself for not getting a video of it because it really is so cool, you can google it to see what I mean though.
We did the Twilight tasting which was a new experience that they do in the evening in response to COVID restrictions. The tasting came with their ramble board which I did not realize and was SO HAPPY to have… it originally came out with nuts on it which obviously for me I had to send back to avoid anaphylaxis but they were super sweet and accommodating to my allergy and made sure there was no nut contact any where, verified oils were nut free for me and so on – it was really nice knowing they were taking the extra precautions when they found out about my allergy. This cheese board came with honey and figs on it and was one of the best boards I had this trip – it was soooo good! Make sure you order it if you pay this winery a visit! We also tried their chicken sliders and homemade potato chips and both of those items were delicious as well 🙂