11 Boutique Wineries in Paso Robles You HAVE To Visit:
When it comes to wine tasting in Paso Robles, many big brand wineries are easily found by most tourists via review engines such as Yelp and commonly referred to by local hotels. However, if you’re looking for lesser-traveled, off-the-beaten-path experiences, the region has you covered as well. Smaller winemaking operations are typically family-owned and operated, producing small-batch wines that you can’t always find everywhere else.
In this article, we have compiled a list of must-visit boutique wineries, each offering something special, from unique blends and varietals to stunning vineyard views and delightful food pairings. So, grab your glass and join us on a journey through some of the best boutique wineries in the country.
Here’s a list of boutique wineries in Paso Robles that are sure to please any hidden-gem hunting wine taster:
1. Brochelle Vineyards
Brochelle Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery tasting room located on HWY 46 East at the point where city and country edges meet. The winery was founded in 1998 on Paso’s western hillsides, and they have been consistently producing top-quality wines ever since. Their current flagship varietal is a Zinfandel, which adds to their repertoire of excellent Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sparkling Wines.
Brochelle Vineyards stand apart from many other wineries in the area with their usage of old-world farming and winemaking techniques. They utilize low-impact practices, purposely gearing their harvest to produce tiny, flavorful yields using minimal interventions. Their dedication to producing simple, elegant wine has gained them a 5-star reputation in the Paso Robles wine region.
When you visit Brochelle Vineyards, you’ll be treated to a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The tasting room is cozy and intimate, with friendly staff who are happy to share their knowledge of the wines. The winery also offers merchandise and attractive gifts – a charming atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy a glass of wine with friends.
If you’re looking for a memorable wine tasting experience with excellent wines and a commitment to tradition, Brochelle Vineyards is a must.
2. Linne Calodo
Linne Calodo is another boutique Paso Robles winery well-deserving of its high marks. The winery specializes in producing Rhône-style blends with a focus on, but not limited to, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. Their wines are made in small batches without chemical manipulation and known for their unique and complex flavor profiles.
One of the standout features of Linne Calodo is their beautiful tasting room. The space is modern and chic, with large windows that enable views of the surrounding oaks and sky. Outside you’ll find comfortable seating areas where you can enjoy a glass of wine and take in the sights and sounds of the secluded environment just off the 46 West Highway.
When you visit Linne Calodo, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff (and cats) who are passionate about their wines. They offer an sophisticated flight of the Linne Calodo varietals and additional flight of their newer brand, Slacker.
Plus, Linne Calodo member parties are some of the most epic food, wine, and music events in the area. Need I say more?
3. Jack Creek Cellars
Jack Creek Cellars is a distinguished family-run boutique winery nestled in the scenic west side of Paso Robles’ Willow Creek District. The cool micro-climate here is ideal for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Grenache, and Syrah. For bubbly fans, a sparkling wine often kicks off the flight. Visitors here will be treated to a personalized experience unlike many others in Paso Robles, sometimes involving intimate conversations and stories with the winemaker himself.
When you visit Jack Creek Cellars, you’ll enjoy sweeping and expansive views of vineyards and rolling hills in all directions. Tastings are typically conducted outdoors with the winemaker or staffer but can be conducted indoors as needed.
Showcasing their excellent wines in full power, Jack Creek Cellars’ wine club provides members with exclusive access to their limited-production varietals, members-only events, and guaranteed allocations. If you’re looking for a boutique winery with exceptional wines, stunning views, and a welcoming atmosphere, Jack Creek Cellars is not to be missed.
*Bonus fact* A unique feature of Jack Creek Cellars is their offering of RV sites on the property. When not occupied by the family, they avail sites with a concrete pad, picnic table and fire pit.
4. Volatus Winery
Volatus Winery is a small, veteran-owned and operated winery located in Paso Robles, California. The winery was founded in 2004 by graduate of Notre Dame and a 2-time TOPGUN instructor Hal “Bull” Schmidt.
The winery is situated on the west side of Paso Robles, where the climate and soil are ideal for growing the grapes to produce his wines.
When you visit Volatus, you will also have the opportunity to taste the wines of Dark Star, with whom they share the property. The relaxed outdoor patio is perfect for soaking in the sun and views of the surrounding hills and vineyards, and on select days they have been known to host live music and karaoke.
Volatus Winery has a wine club, the “Ready Room”, offering exclusive perks to its members including access to its limited production bottles twice yearly. Check them out!
5. Whalebone Vineyard
Not many wineries in Paso Robles epitomize the term “family-run” as well as Whalebone Vineyard. The Whalebone story is one of the richest in the AVA, resulting in a truly and uniquely genuine Paso Robles experience that has kept visitors, grape buyers, and bulldog lovers coming back for decades.
Before embarking on the viticultural practice the Simpson family were (and still are) successful cattle breeders and farmers, utilizing their ranch land for multiple purpose. The first vineyards were planted in 1989, making the Simpsons one of the earlier families to grow grapes in Paso Robles.
The winery excels in bold profiles of Cabernet (see BOB wine), including some unique blends and limited-release wines. They also produce their own line of oils, vinegars, jams, and spreads available for purchase. On Saturdays you can often enjoy a complimentary helping of home-made chili to accompany your tasting. How Paso is that?
The tasting room at Whalebone Winery is open to the public, offering visitors a chance to taste their wines and learn more about the winemaking process. Walk-ins are welcome and visitors are welcome to picnic on their sunny patio.
Overall, Whalebone Winery is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts looking for high-quality, unique wines in a beautiful setting. As for why it’s called Whalebone? You’ll have to visit to find out.
Kiamie Winery is a favorite boutique winery on the west side of Paso Robles wine country. Owners Aram Deirmenjian and Greg Johnson, produce high quality wines from the Adelaida District and Templeton Gap AVAs, sourcing from sustainable and dry-farm grape growers.
Tastings are conducted in a peaceful outdoor setting, among the oaks, dogs and pet goats. Tasters enjoy small-lot, handcrafted wines such as rose, white kuvee, rhone and meritage style blends. These wines are known for their depth, complexity, and balance, and have earned them an excellent reputation from Paso Robles visitors.
Kiamie Winery should not be missed by anyone who loves wine, animals, and a fun, rustic vibe in the Adelaida hills.
7. Mcprice Myers
Robert Parker said, “California needs more of these wines in the marketplace.”
Since 2002 McPrice Myers has been crafting wines of excellent quality and appeal, and today oversees 20 acres of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc.
The winery is located on the west side of Paso Robles along Adelaida Road, where the climate is influenced by cool ocean breezes and the soils are rich. This terroir allows McPrice Myers to produce wines that are complex, balanced, and expressive.
McPrice Myers Winery focuses on Rhone varietals, such as Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, as well as blends that incorporate other grape varieties including a sparkling wine, zinfandel, and chardonnay. The winery sources grapes from carefully selected vineyards throughout in Paso Robles and the Santa Ynez valley AVA.
A new tasting room is being constructed and is slated to open in 2023. Wine lovers who appreciate handcrafted, great-value artisanal wines that reflect the unique terroir of the Central Coast should not miss this experience.
8. Hammersky Vineyards
Historically a farm owned by Mennonite minister and teacher Frank F. Jantzen, the property since 1997 has been the planted with grapes and is now owned and operated by Doug Hauck, who named it Hammersky after his two sons, Hamilton and Skyler, nicknamed Hammer and Sky.
Tastings here are primarily conducted outdoors overlooking beautiful rolling hills, vineyards, and massive oak trees. Bordeaux-centric wines crafted from their 25-acres of estate grape make up the flight including Cabernets, blends of Cabernet, Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot, and a Sparkling Wine.
Hammersky is a hugely popular boutique stop, conveniently located in the middle of Vineyard Drive. Excellent for photo opportunities, picnics, and relaxed hang-outs in the sun with a group of close friends and family. Visitors who booked a designed driver through Destination Drivers enjoy 2-for-1 tastings here when booked through their office.
9. Lone Madrone
Lone Madrone Winery is a fantastic boutique winery with a storied history, located on Highway 46 West in Paso Robles, California, known for producing distinct, dry-farmed, small-lot wines that take advantage of the prime terroir of the region. The winery was founded in 1996 by Neil Collins, with support from his wife Marci and sister Jackie, slowly growing over decades into a standout wine experience.
The winery today features a spacious patio, full kitchen with lunch options, and broad selection of excellent wines including but not limited to Whites & Rosés, Red Rhone Blends & Varietals, Zin Blends and Varietals, Tannat Blends & Varietals, Limited Release Reds, and Cider.
In addition to its tasting room, Lone Madrone Winery hosts special events, dinners, vineyard tours, and offers a guest house with excellent views. For those who appreciate organic farming and wine-making exceptional, handcrafted wines, food, and tasty cider, don’t miss it.
10. Caliza Winery
Caliza Winery specializes in limited production wines made from the limestone soils of Paso Robles Templeton Gap. Caliza is family-owned, producing Rhone styles such as Sryah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Viognier.
Here are some notes by reviewer Jeb Dunnick of Caliza Winery wines:
- Azimuth – ..elegant on the palate.. elegant and seamless
- Companion – ..a ripe, expansive mouthfeel…as a whole, the wine is terrific.
- Grenache – ..outstanding and a terrific example of the variety
- Syrah – ..Full-bodied and balanced, with a solid mis of richness and freshness.
- Reserve Syrah – ..perfectly balanced and light on its feet.
- Cohort – ..beautifully done and well worth seeking out.
Caliza offers indoor and outdoor seated tastings by appointment Thursday through Monday. They offer elevated experiences including Vivant Fine Cheese pairings for purchase during tasting. The site is appropriate for picnicking with outside food as well.
Visitors are welcomed to join in on a variety of ongoing experiences such as vineyard hikes, blending parties, live music, club member events, and more listed on their website.
11. Lago Giuseppe Winery
Lago Giuseppe Winery is a family-owned and operated winery located in Paso Robles, California on the route toward the HWY 101 Coast.
The wine here is distinctly Bordeaux and Italian-inspired, including Sangioves, and Nebbiolo, with blends of zinfandel, grenache, syrah, white blends, Cabernet, Petit Verdot, and others.
Visitors are warmly welcomed here and treated to stories of the family history, Sicilian upbringing, not to mention the wine, pizza, and lakeside views. The winery is situated on a picturesque property that features rolling vineyards, olive trees, and a serene lake. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the lakeside and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
Lago Giuseppe is also a hugely popular wedding site with a substantial short-grass lawn overlooking the lake, surrounded by mighty oak trees.
Overall, Lago Giuseppe Winery offers a unique and authentic Italian-inspired wine experience for any lover of bold Bordeaux reds. The winery’s beautiful surroundings, delicious wines, and welcoming atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts and travelers alike.
In conclusion, visiting small boutique wineries is a wonderful way to experience the passion and artistry of winemaking of Paso Robles. These wineries offer a more intimate and personal experience than larger, commercial wineries, allowing visitors to connect with the winemakers, learn about their unique techniques and philosophies, and taste one-of-a-kind wines. So, if you are a wine enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and memorable experience, consider visiting a small boutique winery for an unforgettable taste of local terroir and hospitality.