San Luis Obispo Stories and Tips

Wine Tasting in Paso Robles

Wine tasting is a must-do on the Central Coast, with up and coming wineries, which are currently producing some world class wine. A easy 40 minute drive to Paso Robles will offer you dozens of vineyards to chose from. They range in size from very small to industrially large. Some of the commercialized vineyards sell wine at many grocery stores (Sylvesters, EJ Gallo, etc.), while others sell primarily from their tasting rooms.Each vineyard has its own tasting policy. Some offer free tasting, while others charge a small amount (about $2-$5, and a souvenir glass is sometimes included). All of the vineyards I have visited offer a healthy menu of wines to try, allowing you to try many varieties to discover your preferences.Clautiere offers a unique experience, with a deliciously lavender tasting room and wigs and hats to try on once the wine kicks in. This vineyard charges a tasting fee of $5, for about 7 "shots" of wine, served in a take-home glass. The staff is incredibly friendly and it is a wonderful environment for first-time tasters and seasoned veterans. (805) 237-3789, www.clautier.comPenman Springs is another secluded vineyard, offering a host of wines to try, and other delicious goodies available for purchase in the tasting room. Definitely worth a visit, especially if you want to soak up a little local culture. Open Fridays and weekends only, (805) 237-7959.There are a slew of other vineyards in the area, you may want to look some up online or pick up a guide at the first vineyard you stop at, there truly is something for everyone.Wine tours are another option, but since most of the vineyards offer free/low cost tasting, and they are all relatively near each other, driving yourself is an option, but this does limit your tasting opportunities.

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