If you’re in to zin

December 6, 2006 

Paso offers some sinful zin, one of the earliest varietals to be grown in California -- where our zinfandel is red, thank you very much.

Stop by the quaint old schoolhouse that is Peachy Canyon Winery’s main tasting room (1480 N. Bethel Road, 805-239-1918), just a mile off Highway 101 on Highway 46 West. The winery, headed by a pioneer in Paso’s winemaking community, produces only reds and is best known for its various zinfandels. Tasting room staff are friendly and there’s a gazebo and grounds that make for a nice picnic spot.

Continue down Bethel Road to find Turley Wine Cellars (2900 Vineyard Drive, 805-434-1030), known for its signature zinfandels that come from 80-year-old vines on the former Presenti Winery. Italian immigrant Frank Presenti planted the vines in 1923, sold his wine out the back door during Prohibition and continued making wine until he died in his 80s. A visit to Turley’s tasting room is as reminiscent of Italy as the zinfandel is.

Just a short drive north on Vineyard Drive is another canyon-named zinfandel specialist, Dover Canyon Winery (Thursday-Sunday only, 4520 Vineyard Drive, 805-237-0101). Taste their zin while gazing out at the pastoral scene spread out before you, then head further up Vineyard Drive to face The Monster and other zins at Norman Vineyards (7450 Vineyard Drive, 805-237-0138).

Back on Highway 46 West, the name says it all at Zin Alley Winery and Vineyards (3730 Highway 46 West near Vineyard Drive, 805-238-0959). The winery was started by Presenti grandson and third-generation winemaker Frank Nerelli, but tasting is by appointment only, so you’ll need to call ahead.

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