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May 8, 2006 06:21 PM

Paso Robles Pinot

  • t

Looking for recs on wineries in Paso Robles that (1) has great pinot noir, and (2) does not feel like you're wine tasting in a commercial store. For those of you who have been to Foxen and Koehler, I prefer wineries that are less pretentious and fancy.

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    1. re: PolarBear

      I've never been impressed by Windward. I agree with everyone else - head south to where it is cooler.

      My favorite area (Santa Barbara County) Pinots are Au Bon Climat and Sanford, both from the Buen Nacido vineyards. Lane Tanner and Chris Whitcraft also both make great Pinots but I don't think they have tasting rooms.

      1. re: Snackish

        Whitcraft has opened a tasting room in Santa Barbara- on Calle Caesar Chavez- near the beach.
        Lane Tanner always had her product at Bob Senns tasting room south of town (Los Olivos), and now that he has passed away- I am not sure of a tasting place for her wines- perhaps in SY at the Inn?

        1. re: Snackish

          You can taste those wines at the Los Olivos tasting room. It's right in town, on the main drag.

        2. re: PolarBear

          There are many great wineries in Paso Robles but they are not known for their Pinot Noir. If you do taste in Paso I would recommend going to Turley (which is not far off the freeway in Templeton) for their wonderful Zinfandels and to Clautier Vineyard. Both of these places are small and every wine tasted is fabulous. Clautier is a fun, whimsical place that I think you might enjoy. They have baskets of hats and wigs sitting around and customers have fun trying them on and posing.


          1. re: PolarBear

            I second Windward. One of my favorite wineries in Paso. They usually also have a nice selection of cheeses to accompany the wine tasting. Also check out Adelaida Cellars. It's located close to Justin. Chumeia also had a decent Pinot last time we were there. It's located on the other side of Paso close to Tobin James.

          2. Because of the warmer climate pinot noir grapes do not generally grow very well in the Paso region. The previously mentioned Windward is the only Paso winery I know of specializing in Pinot. Their tasting room is very casual and similar to those you mentioned. If you venture just outside the city of San Luis Obispo you'll find more wineries making Pinot. My favorite of those is Domaine Alfred on Orcutt Rd.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SGB

              Agree about DA, it's a favorite, esp. the Califa. Just tasted their latest release of 2004 (iirc) DA-Red (blend of Pinot and Syrah) at an event yesterday, surprisingly nice wine at a reasonable price.

              Another in that area just south of the 5 cities is Laetitia, vintages can be hit and miss, but it's an easy stop right off Hwy 1 for a taste.

              A friend picked up a few cases of the latest Edna Valley release of PN and likes it a lot, haven't got a chance to try it yet.

            2. A lot of the wineries mentioned here are not in Paso Robles but 50 miles south. If that is not a problem for you I recently tried the Edna Valley Vineyards Pinot and loved it. And, if you are going to be that far south you must do Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Hugh Lipton

                York Mountain Winery in Templeton has a terriffic selection of Pinot Noirs. They offer bottlings of Paso Robles & Edna Valley fruit, as well as a blend of the two. The tasting room is nothing fancy, but the wine is always good, the help is always nice, & the outside scenery is always beautiful :)

              2. Mastantuono Winery
                tel. +1 805.238.0676
                2720 Oak View Road
                Templeton, CA 93465

                It's been a few months since I visited this winery but I've never been able to walk away with less than a case of wines. This last time it was heavy in zin and pinot grigio. Their syrahs are excellent but SWMBO doesn't enjoy that particular style of wine from them so I'm relegated to tasting room samples only.

                Presenti Winery
                tel: +1 805.434.1030
                2900 Vineyard Drive
                Templeton CA

                This was our first winery to try so many different varietals... All through the tiniest shot glass! Sixteen years ago, the owner talked and then walked with us; for three hours, it was a magnificient journey. This is a must-stop place.

                5 Replies
                1. re: The Ranger

                  Pesenti is now Turley. The wine glasses are fancier, and the wine prices are much fancier. I miss Pesenti; it was one of the last old-style Italian family neighborhood wineries.


                  1. re: Ed Dibble

                    Dang! That's too bad! I hope the wine doesn't suffer. (Our last trip there I didn't notice any changes (including the stemware).)

                    1. re: The Ranger

                      If you want to try something from the "old" Pesenti framework - go to ZinAlly on HWY 46W (near Vineyard)and next to the Apple Farm.

                      1. re: cambriahound

                        I know exactly where that is! Thanks.

                        1. re: cambriahound

                          The "apple farm" no caps is Cider Creek, just across the hiway from Mastanuono. Coming west from Paso, it's easy to steam right by. A hillside obscures the driveway to Cider Creek/Zin Alley till you're on top of it.

                  2. Please check out the best Pinot Noir in the Templeton area at Stephen's Cellar.
                    They are by appointment only.