Ultimate Food Weekend: Paso Robles Wine CountryBy Lesley Balla | December 20, 2013 By Lesley Balla | December 20, 2013
The Central Coast wine scene is one of the most vibrant in the country, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. The hills around Santa Barbara County are well known for the pinot noir and chardonnay, but go up the coast a bit more, and you hit Paso Robles, which is gaining notoriety for its Rhone varietals, big reds, bold blends and crisp cool whites. It's so up-and-coming, it was even named the wine region of the year, beating out other more recognized regions around the globe.
People have been growing grapes here since the 18th century, but it wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s when more modern (and very drinkable) wines were made. With more than 200 wineries in and around the area now, new hotels, restaurants and a charming downtown square are growing with the wine scene. In short: it’s a great place to visit, and a lot closer than some of the big wine regions up north. Here’s a quick primer on where to eat, sip, stay and shop.