In case you haven’t noticed, wine has gotten pretty big in the US. There are new winemaking valleys popping up all over the country, from Upstate New York to Central Oregon.
But, chances are, when you think about wine in America, there is one state that automatically pops into your mind…that’s right, California.
Now, there are tons of places that make wine in California, you’ve probably heard of Napa Valley and the booming Livermore Valley too. But, there’s actually another incredible wine producing region of California that has been flying under the radar for years, and it’s jam-packed with over 200 different wineries!
This hidden gem? Paso Robles.
In this post, we’re going to show you why you should be skipping Napa, and heading to Paso Robles on your next California road trip.
A winery in Paso Robles, California
So, where is this place? Paso Robles is approximately 2.5 hours south of San Francisco and north of Los Angeles, right off Route 101. It’s tucked into the mountainous region of California’s Central Coastal region.
If you want to fly, there are a number of airports that are a bit closer than the two big hubs, with the closest being the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. But, for the most part, the easiest way to get there is by car.
From Cows to Grapes
In the past, this region was known as the “cowboy country” of the state. With the rolling hills and valleys that are now covered in grape vines once the area where lots of cattle roamed.
For many, this is what makes Paso Robles such a nice change of pace from some of the other wine valleys. This region is much more laid back, many of the local residents and visitors love the fact that the region still keeps the heart of that cowboy feel.
Plus, there’s an added bonus to visiting a lesser-known region, you won’t have to fight the crowds during your tasting tours.
While the local vineyards and wineries are the main draw to the region, in fact, they have a website completely dedicated to both the vineyards and tours, there are a number of craft breweries, hard cider producers and distilleries now growing in the area too.
There’s a lot more to the area than just grapes if you choose to check them out in between tastings, of course!
This region of California is truly an outdoor lover’s paradise. There are tons of hiking trails, especially around the beautiful Lake San Antonio. You can also try your hand at horse back riding on the outback trail and even cycling.
Within a short drive of Paso Robles you can also find a number of luxury golf courses and you can even visit Hearst Castle. Only a 45-minute drive away it’s one of the largest homes in the entire country and offers tours of the grounds.
Are you sold on Paso Robles yet? And, if you live in or have visited this part of California, be sure to let us know, we’d love to hear your thoughts!