Over the past year, Arroyo Robles Winery & Vineyard has given up its vineyard land and left its highly visible location on the edge of the Paso Robles City Park.
Now in a tasting room at 1317 Park St. — the former home of Ortman Family Wines, which closed at the end of 2011 — Arroyo Robles has less than half the space it had on the corner of 12th and Park.
“It’s been an exercise in downsizing,” said Jason Shore, administrator for the family-owned winery. “After moving off the vineyard last year, this move was relatively easy.”
The Shore family has been making wine on the Central Coast for about 13 years. Starting in See Canyon, the Shores later moved to a vineyard on San Marcos Road in Paso Robles.
At the time, the city was still rebuilding from the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake that caused major damage to the downtown area. Arroyo Robles moved to the corner on the park.
Over the past six years, the highly visible location helped the winery build a following, including a wine club with about 400 members. Arroyo Robles produces fewer than 4,000 cases a year.
“Back in 2006, it was kind of a different economy,” Shore said. “That’s the ‘good ol’ days’ now.”
When Ortman closed, the Shores decided to reduce overhead by moving to the smaller space. The fact that it was already outfitted and licensed as a tasting room helped reduce costs and the amount of time Arroyo Robles would be closed during the move.
“It created an opportunity for us to stay in business,” Shore said. “There were other spaces that were nicer or closer or cheaper, but they would require construction.”
Its current home also offers a new feature that the winery plans to make good use of during Paso Robles’ warm summers: a patio.
On Fridays, Arroyo Robles will stay open until 9 p.m. (two hours later than usual) during the run of the Paso Robles Concerts in the Park series.
A different band is featured at the City Park gazebo from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. most Fridays through Aug. 24. A schedule is available at www.pasoroblesdowntown.org.
The winery hopes to woo concert-goers down Park Street for post-show tasting or half-priced sales by the glass.
Fickle weather and rain on key event weekends was a challenge for using the patio in the spring, but as it warms up, Shore said, the patio and its shaded tables are seeing more activity.
“We do have our own little backyard space,” he said. “I think we’re in the clear to do some events back there.”
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