Santa Barbara's Los Olivos, Lompoc, and we are now moving on to Paso Robles wine country. Paso Robles is located just about half way up to San Francisco, if you are driving up from Los Angeles. The area used to be known as the bulk producer of reasonable wines. However, with the technological advancement and the increased attention from wine professionals, the area is starting to build its reputation as a new Cult-status high quality wine region.
Places to go:
Turley Wine Cellars：Considered as the top pioneer of quality Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. Their small production top cuvee Zinfandel wines are one of the most sought after wines rarely available on the market. There is also a waiting list for the Member Mailing List. Country style elegant tasting room offers several tasting programs, and “Library Selection” is the most popular.
Hug Cellars：This is a boutique winery owned and operated by the Ms. and Mrs. Hug. Specialized in French Rhone varieties. The style of the wine is fruity and very balanced which are perfect with a wide range of cuisines. As in the name, the wines will be a perfect gift for a special / romantic occasion.
Robert Hall：One of the big three wineries in Paso Robles. The tasting room building reminds of a palace and you can enjoy a beautiful view of vineyards and sunshine from the patio. Perfect location for photo shooting and group gathering. The winery offers a variety of selection of grapes, with much focus on French Rhone varieties.
EOS：The winery is named after the Greek Goddess of Dawn. Their focus is the classic Californian
style so you can enjoy the state’s best ripe fruits aroma and flavor. The winery is known for its Zinfandel
and Petite Sirah but do not forget to taste the newly released dessert wines.
Stanger：This is up-and-coming brand from Paso Robles. The wine price starts at $100+ and it is no doubt that the brand is a next generation Cult Wine. The winey specializes in Bordeaux blend with Cabernet Sauvignon base. However, if you have a chance, make sure to taste their new project on Spanish varieties such as Tempranillo. Tasting and tour are appointment only.
Bistro Laurent：Classic French bistro with a wine shop next door. Very romantic atmosphere with the authentic cuisines made with fresh local ingredients. You can bring in a bottle that you purchased at the next door shop and also the restaurant offers unique By-the-Glass options selected by the Sommelier.
(Original article was published in Japanese by Alice Hama on Restaurant News Magazine 2013 November issue)