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spacer.gif^ Livermore, CA | Paso Robles, CA | San Luis Obispo, CA | Santa Barbara, CA | OREGON       >> Tasting Dispatches
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PASO ROBLES Wine Country is one of the fastest growing premium vineyard and winery regions in California, with the number of bonded wineries and wine grape acres in Paso Robles more than doubling between 1993 and 2002 and currently boasting 26,000 vineyard acres and over 180 wineries.

paso_pic.jpgPaso Robles is situated 20 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, literally halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and, because of this location, is in the center of the Central Coast wine region which spans from Monterey County to the north and to Santa Barbara County to the south.

Many different varieties of wine grapes are grown in Paso Robles, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Zinfandel representing 76% of the planted acreage and some forty-five other varieties making up the remainder. During the last 15 years plantings of Rhone varietals (including Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Viognier) increased significantly and is what the region is becoming known for.

The region holds (4) major festivals each year: The Zinfandel Fest (3rd weekend in March) which includes special winery activities, as well as a Grand Tasting; the Hospice Du Rhone (3 days over the 1st weekend of May), which features seminars, tastings and an auction featuring Rhone-style wines from producers all over the world; the Annual Wine Festival (3rd weekend in May), which features winery special events and two tastings - one where select wineries pour their reserve wines and the second grand tasting in the park; and lastly the Harvest Festival (which is the 3rd weekend in October), which brings the focus to the wineries with special harvest-themed events like grape stomps and blendings.

For More Information Visit the Paso Robles Vintners Association.

One of my favorite and most frequent haunts due to the great wine, friendly people, lovely scenary and affordable prices. The city has exploded over the last few years adding four major hotels and a number of great restaurants, which makes it a lot nicer and easier to visit this region.

>> CLICK HERE for a list of winery ratings and recommendations

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