Paso Robles Wine Country
Through the Rolling Hills
|Mileage||22 miles (36 km)|
|DurationThe duration is an estimate of a one-way drive and does not include any stops or side-trips.||36 minutes|
|SeasonsThe seasons listed are the best seasons for this scenic drive. If Winter is not mentioned, the road may be closed during the winter.||All Seasons|
|Roadways||California Highway 46, Adelaida Road, and Vineyard Drive|
|ServicesThe cities or towns listed have either Food or Services such as gas, pharmacies, etc.||Atascadero, CA▼, Paso Robles, CA▼, Templeton, CA▼, Cayucos, CA▼, and San Miguel, CA▼|
4.1 average from 11 votes
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Touring the west side wineries of Paso Robles will introduce you to the newest American Viticultural Area in California and will delight you with tastings, scenery, and the warmth of the people.
Our scenic tour begins at Paso Robles on the US-101 heading south to the CA-46 West exit. You will pass rolling hills of hay and grape vines. At Vineyard Drive, turn right to enter a country road lined with towering oaks and sycamore trees. You will surely meet some of the most interesting and diverse people who have come to this area from other walks of life and now produce world class wines. Note that some wineries offer complimentary tastings and others charge a small fee which can be applied to a wine purchase, but please limit the amount of wine you drink if you are the driver.
Wineries and vineyards are located on both sides of the road. One of the first you will see as you make the turn is Linne Calodo Cellars. A stop in the ultra-modern tasting room will have you sampling Rhone and Zinfandel blends. Proceed about three miles to the turnoff on the left to the home of Per Cazo Cellars. Your hosts Lynne and Dave Teckman will welcome you with sample of their Rhone style blends while relaxing poolside adjacent to a tree-lined creek. Continuing north on Vineyard, you will pass many wineries and might be tempted to stop at each one.
But your next stop should be Opolo Winery where on a weekend you will be able to enjoy not only their selection of wines but their barbecue specialty of Cevapicci, a Yugoslavian delicacy made up of ground meat. Should your visit coincide with the fall harvest festival, you can join in on Serbian dancing under the big tent atop a hillside overlooking the vineyard.
As you leave Opolo Winery, consider a side trip on Peachy Canyon Road (T1), which will be on your right. Spectacular scenery and more wineries await.
At Thacher Winery you will meet Sherman and Michelle Thacher and be introduced to this small family operation. They make wines on this historic property once known as the Kentucky Ranch, home of thoroughbred race horses. The large KR barn still stands where the horses used to be housed and many special events are held here.
At the fork in the road where Vineyard meets Adelaida Road, you can’t miss the large white 22-room Victorian farmhouse at Halter Ranch Winery. This is a great place to bring a picnic, pair it with a wine selection while seated outside on a large patio near the fireplace.
Continue east on Adelaida Road heading back towards Paso Robles. There are several wineries along this historic road, but one in particular will catch your eye. Wild Coyote Winery is owner Gianni Manucci’s little bit of New Mexico here on the hillside below his vineyard. All the buildings designed in adobe style and a ceremonial teepee greets you at the entrance. In the tasting room enjoy sampling Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Meritage. Gianni does not produce any white wines.
A short distance from Wild Coyote is the Mount Olive Organic Farm where you can sample a variety of their products such as cured olives, salad dressings, olive tapenades and of course olive oil. A tour of the farm will allow you to get up close to llamas, goats, alpacas, geese, bantam chickens, bunnies, and visit all of the gardens. From Mount Olive you will continue on Adelaida Road back into the city of Paso Robles.
In town, visit the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum (M1) located next to the California Mid-State Fairgrounds. Open Thursday through Sunday, this 20,000 square foot building features exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of the area from the time of the dinosaurs to the early 1900s. Admission is free.
Mission San Miguel (A1) is located just off the 101 Freeway in San Miguel, north of Paso Robles. A National Historical Landmark, this beautiful mission was founded in 1797. It is still an active parish and 28 Franciscans live here studying to become either Fathers or Brothers. Inside the church you will see frescoes that were completed in 1821 by Esteban Munras and are the only ones in California left untouched.
Across from Mission San Miguel is the Rios-Caledonia Adobe Historical Site (A2). A tour of the old adobe dwellings depicts life in the early mission days. Originally an inn and stage stop, the preserved buildings, period furnishings and beautifully landscaped grounds are fascinating to explore.
Back in historic downtown Paso Robles, stop at Studios on the Park (A3), where you can visit artists at work creating paintings, sculpture, printmaking, photography, ceramics, and more. Or stroll the historic square where specialty shops, boutiques and eclectic and casual dining choices abound.
Taking the picturesque Nacimiento Lake Road out of town will bring you to Lake Nacimiento (W1), the largest lake in San Luis Obispo County. The lake is a popular recreation area featuring boating, fishing, water skiing, and hiking. Continuing north beyond the lake on Interlake Road, you pass into Monterey County arriving at Lake San Antonio. Here too, there are recreation opportunities such as boating and fishing, kayaking and canoeing. Both lakes attract a number of waterfowl and you may glimpse bald eagles in the trees and mule deer feeding along the shores.