Visitors to downtown Paso Robles are finding even more options for sampling wine, with the recent openings of several new tasting rooms. The new spots join more than a dozen tasting rooms already sprinkled around downtown, offering visitors a wide range of varietals and styles.
Tudor Wines, which has had a tasting room in Carmel by the Sea for several years, opened a second location Saturday at 1210 Park St. in the historic Acorn Building just off Downtown City Park.
Winemaker Dan Tudor draws on his family’s 2,000-year history making wine on the Croatian island of Hvar and experience growing table grapes in California since the early 1900s to craft acclaimed pinot noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands as well as chardonnay and riesling. They sell for $29 to $75.
He’s also ventured into ice wine — freezing late-harvest riesling and gewurztraminer grapes after they’re picked, in the absence of naturally frigid temperatures — to produce low-alcohol wines suitable for dessert.
Last weekend’s soft opening will be followed by a grand opening sometime in late October or November, after harvest wraps up.
Amy Butler’s Ranchero Cellars, which has gained a loyal audience of critics and fans over the past few years despite not having a tasting room, set up shop last month at Paso Underground, at the back of 1140 Pine St.
Butler, also a sought-after consulting winemaker for other labels, is one of the local producers credited with driving grenache blanc’s recent popularity. In addition to polished white wines, Butler has earned acclaim for a lesser-known varietal, the dark and spicy carignan.
The label, offering a half-dozen wines from $28 to $40, joins Turtle Rock Vineyards, Edmond August Wines and Copia Vineyards in the shared tasting space. It’s open from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and by appointment Monday through Thursday.
Diablo Paso’s Enrique Torres, also assistant winemaker at Cali Paso Winery, crafts red and white Spanish varietals selling for $23 to $48.
Domaine Degher’s Denis Degher, also known as the performer and recording artist Sleepy Guitar Johnson, makes cabernet sauvignon and Rhone varietals ($38 to $62) from grapes grown on his 4-acre vineyard.
Wine O’Clock is open from 1 to 9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays and Mondays.
Seven Oxen Estate Wines has been pouring its organically farmed Rhone varietals, zinfandel and rosé ($20 to $38) from the bar at Thomas Hill Organics, at 1313 Park St., since December.
Winemaker Bastien Leduc, who grew up in southwest France helping his father on the family’s organic vineyard, has earned critical acclaim for the young label, made with fruit from a 130-acre estate in the Templeton Gap on Paso’s westside.
Wine tasting, which can be accompanied by cheese or bites from the restaurant’s lunch menu, is available from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday.
Another downtown tasting room, LXV Wine, recently made the USA Today/10Best list of top tasting rooms, at No. 7. A panel of experts and 10Best editors compiled an initial list of 20 tasting rooms, whittled down to the top 10 by popular vote.
“Sapphire blue walls and Indian day beds covered in plush pillows create an inviting lounge space at LXV Wine in Paso Robles,” the slideshow accompanying the poll reads. “This dog-friendly tasting room serves interesting flights as well, including a wine and spice pairing curated to enhance or contrast the flavors inherent in the wines.”
LXV, at 1306-B Pine St., offers its range of wines ($27 to $55) from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday to Monday and noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
Other downtown wine tasting rooms can be found at www.downtownpasowine.com, which also offers a series of wine strolls throughout the year, with the next one taking place from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 5.
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