Wine & Beer

Paso Robles named Best Wine Country Town by Sunset magazine

Paso Robles wineries join together to showcase their wines during the Paso Robles Wine Festival’s Grand Tasting in the city’s downtown park in 2015.
Paso Robles wineries join together to showcase their wines during the Paso Robles Wine Festival’s Grand Tasting in the city’s downtown park in 2015.

Sunset magazine named Paso Robles the Best Wine Country Town in its 2016 Travel Awards for “offering the perfect wine getaway — four-star lodging, terrific food and world-class wine.”

The Canyon Villa in Paso won Best Bed and Breakfast in the annual awards honoring excellence and innovation in tourism across 13 Western states, British Columbia and Alberta.

Other San Luis Obispo County businesses were finalists in the awards, including Ancient Peaks Winery/Margarita Adventures and Justin Vineyards and Winery for Best Vineyard or Tasting Room Experience. Vina Robles Amphitheatre was a finalist for Best Outdoor Music Venue, and Bristols Cider House in Atascadero, founded by Tablas Creek and Lone Madrone winemaker Neil Collins, was a finalist in the Best Microbrewery/Distillery category.

“The vibe is nothing if not laid back,” Sunset said of Paso Robles wine country, which Wine Enthusiast named Wine Region of the Year in 2013.

Many of the wineries are family-owned, Sunset notes, with a historic town square circled by shops and chef-owned restaurants. It highlights Highway 46 as “a bucolic drive with more than a dozen wineries that pour in barns, cafes, underground caves and cattle ranches.”

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, which will hold a tasting in Oakland near Sunset headquarters on July 28, said the region’s winemakers, restaurateurs and hoteliers are thrilled to be held in the highest regard among some of the West’s most recognized wine-producing regions.

“We are humbled and honored by this recognition, which recognizes the efforts of the entire Paso Robles community that comes together to create the Paso Robles Wine Country experience,” said PRWCA Executive Director Jennifer Porter. “As our fans know, and new visitors are sure to discover, the entire Paso Robles wine community is passionate about what we do and sharing it with our guests.”

Sunset called the Tuscan-style Canyon Villa “blissfully unpretentious for an upscale hotel,” noting its setting on 11.5 acres overlooking vineyards and cypresses, access to nearby hiking trails and four luxurious suites with private patios and “romantic gas fireplaces.”

The winners will be featured in Sunset’s August issue.

Sally Buffalo writes about wine, beer and spirits. Reach her at or on Twitter @sallybuffalo.

The 34th annual Paso Robles Wine Festival was held May 19 through May 22, with the main attraction being the Grand Tasting. A few thousand visitors flocked to City Park to enjoy music, food and — most importantly — samples from 73 area wineries.

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