You’d think that finding tasting rooms in downtown Paso Robles would be easy. After all, it’s DOWNTOWN, in the center of the action. But, as I found out in my searches, your thinking would be erroneous.
While it’s one of my favorite “wine trails,” I typically only taste at a couple of rooms at a time because I usually do drinking rather than tasting. The difference is whether or not you use the spit bucket. If you’re tasting, you use the spit bucket. If you’re drinking, you don’t. Because I generally stay downtown when I’m in Paso, I usually drink rather than taste because I can wobble back to our hotel room with little more than Rod’s helpful guidance. Since such world-class landmarks as the Cheval and Paso Robles Inn are within easy staggering distance, I figured that finding a central website showcasing the downtown tasting rooms would be easy. Not exactly.
A few of the tasting rooms also have a winery/vineyard presence outside of the downtown area. Some of them don’t have tasting rooms in the “wilds” of Paso Robles. They just don’t have the time or may be too far out to justify a wine tasting room in the middle of nowhere. So they’re downtown. I figured since such obscure wine trails as the Pacific Coast Wine Trail or the Creston Wine Trail would have such informative web sites and such support for their members, that the Downtown Paso Robles Wine Trail would be a slam dunk, right? (Insert honking noise a la Jeopardy here). Nope.
Here’s the rant. I’ve been everywhere online looking for the downtown tasting rooms. In the old days, we’d go to Midlife Crisis, Pianetta, and Ortman (for example) and then meander back to the hotel room (usually Melody Ranch – inexpensive, clean, and a good place to stay if you’d rather spend money on wine than a hotel room). There weren’t too many wine rooms, and at that time, a map or guide just wasn’t really necessary. The wine room population has boomed, so to speak, and an online guide is a handy thing to have. But I discovered that while there are several downtown wine destination websites, I couldn’t find one that was comprehensive and up to date.
I finally found a list on the Paso Robles Downtown Association Home page. Outdated. So I went hunting for another, and found one at Destination Paso Robles. Ditto on the outdated part. So all the way from Las Vegas, I’m going to try to fix this.
Okay. I have to apologize for sounding so snarky. I just reminded myself that the difficulty of finding all of the information in one place is the primary reason for my deciding to take on this project. Besides, it’s easier for me to keep this up to date than it is on the paper handouts that the (largely volunteer) organizations have to deal with. And this is for me and my visits just as much as it’s for keeping my readers informed. Yes, it’s more or less all about me.
First, here’s the list of the closed wine tasting rooms/wine bars in the downtown area:
- Albeno Munari Vineyard & Wines
- Meritage Wine Tasting Lounge
- Midlife Crisis
- Ortman Family Vineyards
- Vihuela Winery (aka V²)
- Vinoteca Wine Bar
- Zoller Wine Styling
Obviously I listed some that aren’t winery related. Mainly because I figure that when you’re downtown, you have more options within staggering range, so why not take advantage of them?
The wine rooms on the following list are those that I’m pretty sure are current. If you know of any I’ve included that shouldn’t be there, or if you know of some that should be included that I’ve inadvertently overlooked, please let me know. I want this to be very useful, and having mistakes in the list is not an option. I couldn’t find a good map, so I cut and pasted a Google map showing the approximate areas where the wine rooms are.
UPDATE: Yeah, just a couple of hours later, your genius Wineaux found an actual, official map and, like the previous Google map, cut it out of the larger wine map document. When I found it, I also discovered a couple of wineries I’d left off of the list! So NOW it should be perfect. Let’s hope.