Paso Robles is the new hotspot for oenophiles looking for the latest in wine country travel. As California's fastest growing wine region and the state's largest AVA in terms of acreage under vine, Paso Robles' modest role of "hidden wine country gem" looks to be over, as the buried treasure of California's Central Coast has been roused and thrust full force into the bright lights of today's international wine stage. Snagging Wine Spectator's4 "Wine of the Year" for 2010 with Saxum's 2007 James Berry Vineyard Proprietory Red, certainly hasn't hurt Paso Robles' growing reputation for stellar Rhone Valley blends5. However, Spectator's top spot is merely a prestigious, high-profile indicator light of the quality and class of wine that Paso Robles is turning out.
There is certainly something to savor in the simplicity of a wine region that prides itself on its roots and doesn't shy away from its growth. Beckoning wine lovers to experience the thrill of the grape in Paso's coveted Rhone blends and beyond, over a million vineyard visitors dig their toes into the dirt of this authentic, accessible and well-rounded wine growing region annually.
Winsome wineries6 welcome guests to the tasting table and often out to the vineyards as well. With many wineries still offering free or nominal tasting fees, visitors to the region7 come face to face with the families that grow the grapes, make the wines and are thrilled to share their labors of love with guests the world over. Merging its red-hot foodie culture8 with the well-worn roots of ranch life, Paso Robles wears its laid-back luxury really well.
Check out the Paso Robles Wine Country Guide here