Please comment on my itinerary for Paso Robles wineries.
My wife and I will be in the PR area next week. Have been to Napa/Sonoma many times but this area is new for us. We like all reds, wife really likes Pinot. Tend to go to smaller places. Not looking for any tours, just tasting (If I have to do one more tour I am going to stick a fork in my eye! ;) ) Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated:
Here is what we have chosen:
Vines on the Marycrest
I am almost embarrassed to put J. Lohr down as it really does not meet our preference of "small". But I am sure they have some winery only options and it would seem to be a good place to get some history on wine making in this area. Am I wrong?
Tablas Creek is the best place to get a history on the area, tours, seminars etc. They brought a lot of the vines from France after all, and are one of the key wineries in CA promoting lesser known varietals (including Syrah).
I would take out one from your list (not Tablas Creek) and replace with one of the following (which I always group in my head)
For a really, really big style:
Linne Calodo (appt only)
For a slightly lighter touch:
Denner (appt only)
Those 6 are often all mentioned in the same breath, a lot of the winemakers know each other, and they are among my favorites. Out of those 6 you should at least go to one.
From your list, I like Opolo (although I'm not sure I've been to their tasting room), Turley and Tablas Creek . I don't care much for J. Lohr and haven't been to the others.
Others that I'd recommend:
Denner (the best wines in PR)
Jada (nice cheese pairings at the tasting)
Have also heard good things about Linne Calodo but haven't made it there yet. Justin is worth visiting too if you have extra time but it's big and I wouldn't make it a priority unless you wanted to do a barrel tasting.
You'll probably need appointments at most of the smaller places, some of which might not even have anything to pour. The 15 degrees wine shop/wine bar off of Vineyard Drive is a nice place to stop for a bite to eat and get some recommendations from locals and the highly knowledgeable staff.