If you’re a wine lover, you’ve surely tried some of the world-renowned wines produced in Northern California, specifically in Sonoma and Napa Valley. However, great wines also come from other areas of the Golden State, like Paso Robles. This Central California city has developed a rich wine culture and boasts more than 200 wineries, some of which are producing wines that rival those from the exceptional wineries up in Northern California.
Check out the following list of two of the best wineries to visit in Paso Robles.
DAOU Vineyards & Winery
Located on DAOU Mountain and founded by brothers Georges and Daniel Daou, DAOU Vineyards & Winery produces excellent wines that are garnering recognition from major wine critics. The region benefits not only from a Pacific microclimate but also a calcareous soil that resembles that of the Right Bank of Bordeaux.
The winery especially excels at producing Cabernet Sauvignon, and its 2016 vintage is no exception. Earning 92-94 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, this wine features aromas of cooked blueberries, dark chocolate, blackberries, and mushrooms and notes of licorice and crème de cassis.
DAOU Vineyards & Winery’s other exceptional red wines include the 2016 Estate Soul of a Lion, which received 98 points from wine critic Jeb Dunnuck and 94-96 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. This wine boasts a diverse aroma profile of black currant, licorice, cassis, ripe plum, incense, and a bit of vanilla.
The winery’s new releases include the 2017 DAOU Unbound, which is a blend of Tannat, Petite Sirah, and Tempranillo. With aromas of boysenberry jam and blueberry pie, this ink-colored wine features a vanilla crème flavor as well as a bit of mint.
White wine lovers should try the 2017 Chardonnay, which earned 92 points from Wine Enthusiast. Aged in French new oak barrels, this wine comes from grapes grown in Paso Robles’ western hills and is the most balanced of the winery’s Chardonnays. The winery also now offers a Rosé, a tribute to the Rosés the Daou brothers became fond of during their time in Southern France.
Visitors can try these and other wines during a variety of wine tasting experiences, which includes wines from the DAOU Estate and DAOU Reserve tiers. Reserved seated tastings take place by the fireplace or on the patio with beautiful views of the mountain. One of the winery’s most unique tastings is the Vintage Retrospective Experience, which begins with a sample of DAOU wine before visitors are taken on an ATV ride with views of the estate vineyard. They then have the opportunity to taste wines from the Daou brothers’ library and see how the wines evolve over time in the bottle.
To learn more about DAOU Vineyards & Winery, visit www.daouvineyards.com.
Eberle Winery was founded by Gary Eberle, a native of Pennsylvania and former football player at Penn State. He went on to study molecular genetics at Louisiana State University but developed a love for wine during his studies. He changed tack and decided to study winemaking. With a degree in enology from UC Davis, he moved to Paso Robles to help his family to establish Estrella River Winery & Vineyards.
After purchasing land down the road, he started his own winery and released his first wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon, in 1979. Today, the winery’s flagship wine is the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 vintage of which features flavors of black cherry and cassis and pairs well with beef tenderloin with a blue cheese sauce or grilled lamb chops.
Occasionally, Eberle Winery also offers a Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, but only when it develops an exceptional vintage. To make this wine, the winery carefully selects the best grapes from its lots, and the winemaker tastes the barrels regularly while the wine ages in French oak barrels for 24 months. The 2016 Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon has flavors of currant and black plum and goes well with prime rib, steak, or roasted lamb leg.
The winery’s white wines include the 2017 Chardonnay, which features aromas and flavors of Meyer lemon, pineapple, and green apple and goes well with lighter fare like grilled salmon and crab cakes. White wine lovers should also try the 2018 Côtes-du-Rôbles Blanc, a blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Viognier.
Eberle Winery offers free daily tastings and tours of its wine caves as well as the opportunity to reserve a private tasting with a tasting attendant in the VIP Room. Guests can also sample the wines on the winery’s deck, which offers views of the 38-acre vineyard below. The winery also hosts special events, including barbecues featuring outdoor games like bocce ball and cornhole, live music on the deck, and special dinners in the vineyards and caves. To learn more about Eberle Winery and its wines and upcoming events, visit www.eberlewinery.com.