The 15 Best Downtown Paso Robles Tasting Rooms


There are more than 200 tasting rooms in Paso Robles, many of those can be found within walking distance of one another and centrally located in the heart of downtown. From highly acclaimed brands opening second locations to family-owned and operated micro-wineries to edgy renegades whose style fits best tucked away in an industrial locale. The downtown wine landscape has been growing by not only the number of tasting rooms but also by the type of wine experiences offered.0n your next trip to paso, spend your days exploring the diversity and flavors of downtown 

Known for bold blends and their lively after-hours music scene is Asuncion Ridge Vineyards. One of the first wineries to call downtown Paso home, they are set directly across from the iconic downtown ark, pet friendly, and offer wines sure to please any pallet. Just up the street is the contemporary tasting lounge of Bushong Vintage Company. Eclectic varietals showcase the depth of talent and creativity that is offered at Bushong. Savor the small-lot wines, play some pinball, or choose a favorite record from the collection of over 1,000 vinyl records to play. Cruise over to Hoyt Family Vineyards for a cool beach shack vibe and outstanding wines. With vineyards in Malibu and west Paso, the estate wines offer big flavors. Do not miss the Tempranillo or Petit Verdot!

The spacious outdoor/indoor setting of CaliPaso Winery offers an open-air feel with warm hospitality and outstanding value. You can often find fun events like Sip & Paints happening at CaliPaso along with live music, plus they are the go-to spot for after-dinner wine (they stay open late)! Red-only lovers listen up! Next door at Pianetta Winery you’ll find all reds all the time with a vibrant vibe. This father/daughter winemaking team carefully craft wines that showcase the vineyard and quality farming practices. When you visit be sure to order the cheese and wine pairing flight….and ask about the jug wine. Just across the street, you’ll find the tasting rooms of Copia and Sea Shell Cellars. The 20-acre estate, Copia Vineyards & Winery, is nestled in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles but showcases their highly acclaimed Rhône inspired blends in an elegantly warm space on Thirteenth Street. Adjacent to Copia, discover the first-class wines of Sea Shell Cellars. The bright-tasting space is adorned with a beach mural for an Instagram-worthy selfie or group photo. Taste through the estate wines that showcase balance, vivid fruit, and personality, just like Sea Shell Cellars. As their motto reads, just as every seashell on the beach has a story of its creation so does every bottle of Sea Shell wine.

Mix wine and history at Cloak & Dagger and Derby. Overlooking the park located in the Historic Municipal Bath House is new kid on the block Cloak & Dagger Wines. The bathhouse was built in 1888 over sulfur springs, included a plunge, and 37 bath rooms! The limited production wines are extraordinary, and all have a conspiracy theory theme with unique labels and names Freemasons, Illuminati, Skull and Bones Society, the Trilateral Commission, the Deep State, and even Area 51. Nearby in the Paso Robles Almond Growers Building is home to Derby Wine Estates. This spectacular 11,000 square feet building was once a warehouse and processing plant Paso’s biggest crop, almonds. Taste the diverse wines in the art deco tasting room, tour the historic facility and spend some time in their outdoor lounge.

Tucked away in some really unique spaces are three brands who’ve made a big splash in the Paso wine region: Hayseed and Housdon, Indigené, and Ranchero Cellars. On Railroad Street, you’ll find the super hip collective tasting room, Paso Under Ground, and maverick winemaker Amy Butler. Amy who is a consulting winemaker for a few elite boutique Paso brands has her own solo project, Ranchero Cellars. Using uncommon and tried-and-true Paso rhônes varietals, she crafts small production wines that will blow you away. Across the way is the tasting garage of Hayseed and Housdon. Their philanthropic business model will make you feel good about drinking wine! Not only are the Hayseed wines created with sustainably sources grapes, most importantly they split the profits 50/50 with several local non-profits like Wine4Paws, CASA, and Operation Surf to name a few. Located in the alley between Park and Pine Street and next to local hot spot Jeffery’s Wine Country BBQ is Indigené Cellars. Rock star winemaker Raymond Smith is dedicated to winemaking in its highest form creating noteworthy blends with big flavors. Indigenè is a true hidden gem not to be missed.

Two rebel winemakers that are full of personality and are always pushing the limits of creativity are Straight out of Paso and Herman Story. Nestled in an industrial block is the cellar and tasting room of Herman Story Wines. This boisterous brand colors outside the lines with no-nonsense opulent wines sourcing grapes from the best vineyards on the Central Coast. You’ll find the labels are as rambunctious as the renegade winemaker and his crew, don’t miss these highly acclaimed wines. One of the newest tasting rooms downtown is the second brand of Bodega de Edgar, Straight out of Paso. This new project was started to showcase the varietals that have made Paso Robles into the wine country it is today. The cool tasting room has a great high-energy outdoor space where you can always find local bands jamming.

Perfectly situated across from the downtown park on Thirteenth Street is the second location of the world-renowned JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, JUSTIN Downtown. Enjoy wines by the glass or bottle in the modern space and enjoy lunch in the cozy dining area that features indulgent cuisine from their onsite chef. Be sure to ‘look down’ when you are visiting to see the underground wine cellar. JUSTIN helped put Paso wines on the map back in the 80s and you’ll see why in their downtown location.

Bonus! Add these two hot spots to your list of must-visits in downtown Paso Robles: The Backyard and Paso Wine Merchant. The family-friendly outdoor beer garden, The Backyard on Thirteenth, offers 28 rotating taps showcasing local craft beer, cider, and wine. This cool spot was built out of shipping containers and is the perfect place to relax after a day of wine tasting. The Paso Robles Wine Merchant is located inside the Paso Market Walk on Spring Street. This hip wine bar is also the go-to place to taste and buy wine from boutique wineries that do not yet have tasting rooms. The perfect place to find the newest up-and-coming winemakers.

On your next trip to Paso, explore downtown, you’ll be sure to discover hidden gems and new favorites.

Via Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance

Meet Russell Baker: Russell Baker | Owner, The Backyard on Thirteenth

We had the good fortune of connecting with Russell Baker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Russell, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
I feel that “the customer is always right” is an antiquated notion that can be toxic, particularly for our employees who have to bear the brunt of it.  Social media and online reviews in particular have provided a platform for narcissists who thrive on the power trip of entitlement that hiding behind anonymity seems to impart.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
“I’m inspired by people who make bold bets with their time and resources to improve the world around them.”

I’ve enjoyed a successful 20+ year career in the computer software industry having worked for some of the most innovative software companies in the world.  During that time, I’ve gained invaluable skills and experience serving in various sales and sales management roles, and currently hold the position of Director of Worldwide Sales for a multinational software and IT company.

I grew up in San Luis Obispo’s North County and have deep roots in this community. I spent 15 years away from the Central Coast during which time I lived in some amazing cities including Boston, San Francisco, Cupertino, and Raleigh, before moving back to Paso Robles in 2007 to start a family. I volunteer my time as a member of the Board of Directors for a local non-profit focused on providing free after-school arts classes to area youth. Having grown up here, it’s been exciting to bear witness to how much Paso Robles has grown and changed over the years while still maintaining its small-town charm and appeal. I am proud to be a part of this growth and to invest in my hometown, incorporating many of the places I’ve visited and experiences I’ve had into building The Backyard for all to enjoy.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Day 1: Coffee at AMSTRDM (www.amstrdmpaso.com)
Breakfast at The Neighborhood (www.neighborhoodacai.com)
Rent bikes or scooters to explore downtown
Watch local artists at work and buy art at Studios on the Park (www.studiosonthepark.org)
Lunch at Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ (www.jeffryswinecountrybbq.com)
Beer tasting at Silva Brewing (www.silvabrewing.com)
Shopping at General Store Paso Robles (www.generalstorepr.com) and Spice of Life (www.pasospices.com)
Drinks and dinner at The Backyard (www.thebackyardpaso.com)
Stay at Piccolo Hotel (www.thepiccolo.com) or Hotel Cheval (www.hotelcheval.com)

Day 2:
Morning walk around downtown
Coffee at Spearhead Coffee (www.spearheadcoffee.com)
Breakfast at Brunch (www.brunchpaso.com)
Visit Estrella Warbirds Museum (www.ewarbirds.org)
Wine Tasting on the East Side:
– Paris Valley Road Estate Winery (www.parisvalleyroad.com)
– Pear Valley Vineyards (www.pearvalley.com)
– Cass Vineyards (www.casswines.com) for winetasting, horseback riding and lunch
– Head back to town, on the way stop and check out the sculpture garden at Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden (www.sculpterra.com)
Dinner at Les Petites Canailles (www.lpcrestaurant.com)
Cocktail at Tetto Rooftop Bar at the Piccolo (www.thepiccolo.com/tetto)
Stay at Piccolo Hotel (www.thepiccolo.com) or Hotel Cheval (www.hotelcheval.com)

Day 3:
Walk to Paso Market Walk (www.pasomarketwalk.com); Coffee at JoeBella Coffee Roasters with breakfast from Just Baked; Lunch to-go from Finca (www.fincapasorobles.com) and cheese board from The Wine Merchant (to enjoy later while wine tasting)Wine Tasting on the West Side:
– Zenaida Cellars (www.zenaidacellars.com)
– Clos Solene (www.clossolene.com)
– Tablas Creek Vineyard (www.tablascreek.com)
– Thacher Winery (www.thacherwinery.com)
Dinner at The Hatch (www.hatchpasorobles.com)
Cocktails at Eleven Twenty-Two speakeasy (www.eleven-twentytwo.com)
Stay at Piccolo Hotel (www.thepiccolo.com) or Hotel Cheval (www.hotelcheval.com)

Day 4:
Breakfast at Paso Robles Inn (www.pasoroblesinn.com)
Take HWY 46 West to the coast. Look for sea glass or moonstones on Moonstone Beach and explore downtown Cambria; head further north to watch the sea lions and take a tour of Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
Head back inland. Stop in Tin City (www.tincitypasorobles.com) where you can find anything from ice cream, to beer, wine, cider and distilled spirits, to restaurants.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to thank my friends and family for always supporting and encouraging me; my step-father for inspiring me to become an entrepreneur; and my wife, Amy, my daughter, Amelia, and my mother for being my biggest fans.

Website: https://www.thebackyardpaso.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_backyard_paso/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebackyardpaso/posts/4035745849801979?comment_id=4035919919784572

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-backyard-paso-robles

Image Credits
Oak and Barrel Photography

Via Shoutout LA

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