Anyone who hasn't yet discovered Paso Robles wines is missing some of the most interesting and dynamic wines that California has to offer. And anyone who hasn't discovered Paso Robles, would do well to mosey on down there for their 27th Annual Wine Festival in a couple of weeks. Once a sleepy undiscovered little wine town, Paso has become the epicenter of a wine explosion in the last decade with wineries popping up like Spring crocuses every year. The limestone terroir of western Paso Robles in particular is producing some absolutely stunning Syrahs and other Rhone Varietals that every wine lover in California should know about.
The Wine Festival takes place over a (usually sunny) weekend in May. Starting off with events and dinners held at wineries around the area on Friday, the event culminates in a Grand Tasting in the town park on Saturday, which is certainly the highlight of the weekend and should be the goal for anyone looking to learn more about the area's wine.
At only a three hour drive from San Francisco, it makes for a very nice weekend trip should you feel inclined.
Paso Robles Wine Festival Grand Tasting
Saturday May 16th, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Paso Robles Downtown City Park
Paso Robles, CA 93447
Tickets are $55 and should be purchased in advance online.
Remember to wear something you don't mind spilling red wine on; drink lots of water; make sure you have a full stomach; and spit out the wine if you want to actually learn something and avoid a nasty headache the next day. And for this event, I also recommend sunscreen and a sun hat.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Warm Up: The North Fork of Long Island I'll Drink to That: Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards 2015 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 16, San Francisco I'll Drink to That: Ryan Looper of T. Edward Wines Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills: The Wines of Renaissance Vineyards Warm Up: The Wachau I'll Drink to That: Leo Alzinger of Weingut Alzinger Petaluma Gap Wine Tasting: August 8th, Petaluma, CA I'll Drink to That: Monica Samuels of Vine Connections Vinography Images: Cool Climate Chardonnay
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune