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You Ask: Where To Go In Paso Robles

By Charles Olken

Letters. We get letters. Or, in today’s world. We get emails.

A subscriber writes:
"My wife and I are 20+ year subscribers to CGCW and use it for shopping every month. So keep up the good work. We live in Arizona and are planning a trip to wine country in mid-July. As we will be driving, we thought Paso Robles would be a good destination. We drink almost exclusively reds with Zinfandel our favorite."

"Do you have any recommendations on wineries we should visit and places to stay and eat?"


Thanks for all the years of support for CGCW. It is much appreciated.

Paso Robles is a very much underappreciated destination in my view. We have visited several times recently and have enjoyed each visit.

Paso Zins are typically very rich and concentrated, and I think you will enjoy tasting your ways through them. Do have a look back through past Zin Issues for a longer list of possibilities than the starting points I will suggest here.


It may be a bit of yesteryear in terms of looks and feel, but the Paso Robles Inn in a real favorite of mine because it is comfortable, has nice grounds, is located right in the heart of town, which is a wonderful place to wander in the late afternoon and early evening as the heat of the day dissipates. Most of my restaurant choices are an easy stroll from there.

For more luxury, the brand-new Allegretto Resort east of town is a well-laid out, nicely furnished hotel. It has a nice bar and restaurant although if you want to wander around in your spare time, you have to get in your car to do it. Still, this is the fanciest place at which I have stayed in Paso.

The Best Western Black Oak is located just south of town but near enough to be a five minute ride to the center of the action. A lot of wine country touring originates there and it is a very reliable, well-maintained hotel/motel. More of a motor inn and sufficiently upscale to be quite pleasant.

There are other new places that I do not know, and certainly, any of them might be preferable to the Paso Robles Inn if you prefer modern as opposed to fashionably old. Otherwise, for me, it is the Paso Robles Inn for location and authenticity or Allegretto Resort for sheer comfort and quality.


Artisan and Thomas Hill Organics are my two favorite downtown restaurants. They are a short stroll from the Paso Robles Inn. Bistro Laurent is also a good downtown option.

And my absolute must restaurant in Paso Robles is Mistura. It offers upscale Peruvian food in a dining room with a nice view of the surrounding landscape. Even living in San Francisco, it is fine treat, but it does require that one be somewhat adventurous. And if so, then it is the place to go. Mistura is very near the Allegretto Resort so it is just a bit out of the center of things, but within easy reach.

And, if you would like to relax at a brew pub, the Firestone Walker Brewing Company offers a variety of very fine beers and a good pub grub. Along about the third day in Paso, after all that wine and fancy food, I often head there.


My number one winery to visit is Daou. Impressive wines, impressive winery, impressive view. It is deservedly popular because everything is designed to impress—and does.

Just up the hill from Daou is Adelaida. It has always been a favorite, and is more so now that it has constructed a lovely tasting room, albeit less eye-popping than Daou. Still, Adelaida wines are top notch and if one is visiting the wineries up the hill west of Paso, and one should, then Adelaida is next on my list.

Just up the hill from there, one runs into Vineyard Drive. This road runs across the face of the hill side. If you want to visit a small place that is simply less "moneyed" in its approach, you should try The Farm Winery and/or Thacher, both located at Thacher. Write to them, especially Jim and Esmina Madsen at The Farm and tell them that Connoisseurs’ Guide sent you.

Further along Vineyard Drive, you can visit Denner. We never get to taste their wines because they are always sold out, but I like them and I like the place. If you are looking for more, try Proulx, whose Zin I especially like and Jada. And at the southern end of Vineyard Drive and further up the highway, Epoch has a rustic tasting room and deep, dense wines for those who like the style.

Finally, on the westside, coming back down from Denner, look for Niner. The wines are quite good and the place is worth a visit.

Out on the eastside, the wines tend to be a little accessible and direct, and the prices are often more accessible as well. I like both Robert Hall and Vina Robles. I have not visited Ancient Peaks, but the winery first caught our eye for their good value offerings and it has lately added upscale offerings of good quality so it is on my to-do list for next time.

Paso Robles is a great place to visit. Enjoy

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by TomHill
Posted on:6/21/2016 10:27:55 AM

Well, like Thomas Hill Organics??  Are you sure its not just because the name has a nice ring to it??  :-)

It, too, is one of my favorites. Very good/very fresh food. Their pizzas are the best in Paso.

When I go there, I always introduce myself as "Thomas Hill". They invariably give me this puzzled look until they realize there may be others of them out there.



Thomas Who
by Charlie Olken
Posted on:6/21/2016 11:42:42 AM

I always expect to see you when I go there.

No Subject
by Daniel Daou
Posted on:7/11/2016 1:04:50 PM

Thank you Charlie for the nice mention. We love Paso Robles and appreciate the kind comments.

No Subject
by James Schmidt
Posted on:8/3/2016 1:02:11 PM

We had a great time based on Charlie's recommendations.  We're now subscribers at Daou.



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