Wine & Travel

Snooth User: Brad Borneaux


Posted by Brad Borneaux, Sep 1, 2009.


I am planning a weekend trip to Paso Robles, and am looking for some advice on wineries to visit whilst I am there. As a bit of background, my girlfriend and I are big red lovers. Cab Sauv, Shiraz, Syrah, Zin, and Petite Syrah find their way onto the dinner table most of the time. We're not really into what I will term as 'introductory' reds (i.e: light, easy drinking, simple, no depth or complexity). I'm talking the opposite end of the spectrum... big, inky, complex... something with a lot of depth.

We've found a couple Petite Syrah's that we enjoy from the area (EOS & Peachy Canyon), so we'd be interested to find some other producers of PS in the area while we're there!

If you have any reccommendations on some top wineries to visit for specific varietals, I'd be forever grateful!



Reply by Philip James, Sep 2, 2009.

/bump - i dont know the area, but i've seen people talk about it on the forums before. Hopefully one of them will post a response.

Also, check the search results - see whats come up before.

Reply by chadrich, Sep 2, 2009.

Just returned from my first visit to Paso 3 weeks ago. There's a great map, winery list and varietal search function at Something like 50 wineries came up when I searched for Petite Sirah. I'd recommend the following places for big dark complex reds (I know the first 2 of these specifically have PS, I don't think the others do): Four Vines, Turley, Linne Calodo, Edward Sellers and Adelaida. Have a great trip!

Reply by Brad Borneaux, Sep 2, 2009.

Thanks chadrich! I've already printed off the map from, which is a great resource for the area. I also found a .PDF of a Vintages magazine online, which has multiple maps of different areas of Paso Robles. Here's the link for anyone else's reference:

I can see why it's free online, it's a little old & meant to market the area anyways.

I'll be sure to visit the wineries you've pointed out, thanks so much for the reccommendations!

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 3, 2009.

Some of my favorites:

Eberle, Gary Eberle was intrumental in getting the Paso AVA established and the wines can be really good.

Clayhouse Wines - really nice wines, particular the Petite Sirah

Denner Vineyards - Great Rhone varietals

Norman Vineyards - Classic Zin

Martin & Weyrich Winery - big line-up of wines, really strong Italian varietals

JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery - the regions most successful winery

Four Vines Winery - big Zins and Petites

Robert Hall Winery - Syrah and rhone varietals

Vina Robles - Spanish styled wines

As you can see there's a little bit of everything being grown in Paso. I would love to visit, maybe next year. It's definitely an exciting region to be following!

Have fun.

Reply by lingprof, Sep 5, 2009.

Gregory: I'm also on my way to this region later in the month and was looking for exactly this sort of advice. Thanks!

Is there anything I can do for Snooth while I'm there? I remember you were looking earlier for people to contribute articles.... I'm kind of an "advanced beginner" where the wine itself is concerned, but I could comment on the area or the overall atmosphere. Or go to a particular winery if you'd like to know more about it. -Carmen

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 6, 2009.

Thanks for asking Carmen!

We certainly look forward to reading your reviews here on Snooth but should you wish to contribute a Travelogue or even reviews of each winery experience we would love to have tham and add them to our resource database!

Reply by lingprof, Sep 6, 2009.

I will take my little wine notebook with me wherever I go, and will send you something when I get back for you to look over and see if it's useful at all. We may do some tasting dinners at restaurants in the area, so that might be fun to report on. (Good thing my husband is a nerd too, and won't be embarrassed by my scribbling furiously during a romantic dinner!)

Reply by Brad Borneaux, Sep 8, 2009.

Thanks for your suggestions everyone. I have now returned from my wonderful weekend in Paso! My girlfriend and I stayed on the coast in Morro Bay @ the Anderson Inn, and would highly reccommend this to anyone wanting to visit the Paso wine region.

Morro Bay was roughly a ~30-40 minute scenic drive to the West 46 wineries, and provided nice recovery morning & night from the daytime temperatures we experienced in Paso.

I don't have most of my tasting notes in front of me (will try to update this evening), but here is a summary of our two days of wine tasting in Paso Robles:

Day 1:

- We hired a driver from Lush Limousine Services ( to take us around. Our driver was a younger man named Nick; a local in Paso and knew the area and wineries very well. A huge wine lover himself, he was an excellent guide who proved to be a great resource and had a great sense of humour as well.

Reply by Brad Borneaux, Sep 8, 2009.

- We visited mostly wineries on the West side of 46 which included:

1.) Castoro
2.) Venteux - Rhone varietals mostly. I recall we loved their Grenache, which is interesting since I can't say I've had many I've even liked!
3.) Turley - Left with a free glass from the tasting.
4.) Croad
5.) Jada - Nice blends with a story behind each (owner is a Heart Surgeon and most tie into that theme). They pair all tastings with gourmet cheese from a local Paso shop. We left with a bottle of "Passing" and some amazing Gouda which they sell from the winery as well.
6.) Villa Creek - I recall we loved all their reds... another great Grenache too.
7.) Tablas Creek
8.) Justin - Did a tour here which was informative and fun. Whilst not our favorite wines by any stretch, we liked a couple.
9.) Denner
10.) Four Vines - Open slightly later than most wineries (6pm), we rolled in here last. A few interesting blends going on here, left with a bottle of their Cypher which had many Portuguese grape varietals I had never heard of (and thus the flavour was quite unique). Also left with two free tasting glasses (Tumblers).

Day 2:

- We toured ourselves around in our rental car. My girlfriend enjoying the wine, and myself spitting :(

1.) Peachy Canynon - Can buy a couple of their wines locally in Canada and decided to pay a visit. We love their 2004/2005 Petite Sirah's, although they were pouring a 2006 which didn't seem as great. Besides a "Miss Behave" blend, we were a bit dissappointed in most of their offerings.

Reply by Brad Borneaux, Sep 8, 2009.

2.) Eberle - We enjoyed a bottle of Eberle Cab Sauv (2005 Reserve) on our first night in Morro Bay @ the Galley Restaurant (fabulous seafood) and wanted to pay a visit here. The atmospehre of this winery sticks out most. Gary Eberle himself was out front cooking up BBQ free for all the visitors that day, and enjoying some wine. We did a great tour here of their caves, and left with a bottle of the same 2005 Reserve Cab Sauv we enjoyed on our first night.

3.) Robert Hall - Beautiful winery, although we felt their wines fell a bit short unfortunately. Too bad since we are able to buy some of these in Canada.

4.) EOS - Beautiful winery & picnic area. We did their self guided tour (although the multimedia screens were inoperable during our time there). We like their Petite Sirah, and haven't been able to purchase it locally for awhile for some reason. We left with a bottle of their 2006 reserve, and a free tasting glass.

5.) Tobin James - Western themed winery, and as many have pointed out the theme here is fun. Airbrush tattoo artists were painting the Tobin James logo on those who were willing (i.e: my girlfriend). Free tasting, and for the price... we did like a few of the reds

6.) Pair Valley - A recommendation from our Lush Limo driver, we visited this young winery (Tasting room is but 6 months old, although they have been producing wines for a few years now). Excellent reds (Cab Sauvs & Syrahs), unfortunatly we reached our 4 bottle maximum to take across the border back to Canada, otherwise we may have left with something from here. Be sure to line this place up for a picnic. Off the parking lot you will see a small hill you can drive up with a lonely tree and a picnic. On top of the hill is a stunning view of the Paso hills, vineyards and rolling hills.

Reply by Brad Borneaux, Sep 8, 2009.

Just re-reading my postings, too bad you cannot edit! You can tell I am tired from the spelling errors (i.e: PEAR Valley). Ah well.

Although not related to wine, we visited other attractions near Paso including:

- Hearst Castle (35 minutes from our Hotel in Morro Bay). An absolute must if you are in the area. View the Wiki and you will see why: A sneak peak of the indoor pool (the yellow tiles you see are actually glass tiles leafed in GOLD, wow!):

- Montana De Oro State Park (20 minutes from our Hotel in Morro Bay). Drive through the Park until you come to the Bluffs trail, near Spooners Cove. Here you can do a very easy walk/hike along the cliffs. 5 minutes in and you will be amongst amazing rocks and crashing waves. The site where I asked my girlfriend to marry me this weekend (she said yes) :)

Reply by dmcker, Sep 8, 2009.

Congrats, bRIZZAd on the proposal and the answer!

I spent a lot of time while I was growing up near Morro Bay, so it was nice to see your photos of the rock, Hearst St. Simeon, and to hear about your visits to the wineries. I could almost smell the ocean....

If you're able to post any tasting notes, even on the bottles you take home, they'd be interesting to read. What's the duty when you take more than four bottles across the border?


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 8, 2009.


Break out the bubbly!

Heck of a place to pop the questions but many congratulations from the Snooth team.

Oh and great write up on your Paso trip!

Reply by lingprof, Sep 8, 2009.

Yay!! That was so useful, bRIZZad. I had pretty much decided to skip Hearst Castle, so I'll think about that again. Congratulations and thanks for all the tips!

Reply by Philip James, Sep 8, 2009.

That sugar loaf -esque mountain looks very cool.

The real sugar loaf:

Reply by dmcker, Sep 8, 2009.

Wow, Philip, the locals will be happy to hear themselves compared to down in Rio! At least most of them, anyway.

What's Sugarloaf's nickname with the locals? The most common name in Morro Bay/Pismo beach is just 'the rock'. Not, of course, to be confused with Alcatraz...

Reply by Brad Borneaux, Sep 8, 2009.

Thanks for the congrats everyone! It was an excellent weekend indeed.

lingprof... Hearst Castle is a big tourist destination, so unfortunately the tours are not very intimate. We did Tour #1, and most locals advised us afterwards that it moves too quickly, and the groups are a bit big. A few people told us afterwards that Tour #2 is the better one to take, so familarize yourself with the Hearst Castle website and the descriptions of the tours. Regardless, I enjoyed the history behind it, and imagining some of parties hosted at that estate was fun to think about. The views were amazing, let alone the incredible architecture.

Reply by Brad Borneaux, Sep 9, 2009.

Finally managed to sort through photos, here is a more detailed account of our trip via Facebook. Enjoy!

Reply by teresa vigil, Sep 11, 2009.

I do alot of photoshoots and started really digging Baileyana, they were really nice about shooting on their grounds and i buy a bottle of vintage port for the bride and groom and Its delish! try them out the next time yoru here and btw the galley is def rocking - great choice to eat there-

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