In Search of Wine in Paso Robles

Wine Trails in Paso Robles

Wine Trails in Paso Robles

We headed down to Paso Robles wine country this past week to do some fun wine tasting, searching for exciting and delicious wine at bargain prices. Paso Robles has over 200 wineries divided up into eleven wine appellations. It used to be Zinfandel was the primary grape in Paso; now that has shifted to Rhone-style wines. The Rhone wine emphasis was all started years ago by Tablas Creek Vineyard. It took time, but this is where Paso Robles is at its best.

Right up front, we found few wine bargains in Paso Robles wine country. Since my last visit, two years ago, I discovered that wine prices and wine tasting fees are creeping upward. Paso Robles has become a wine destination spot and with that comes many Napa-Valley-like characteristics. Give me the old Paso Robles!

I did discover two wineries that had some excellent wines at very reasonable prices. At Bianchi Winery, Vintage Wine Club member Ray and I split a case of two varietals of wine, Refosco and Cabernet Franc. Sale price by the case was $15. Refosco is an Italian grape seldom found planted in California. Both wines were terrific and a real bargain. Both were easily worth twice the price.

Rio Seco winer

Baseball and more in the Rio Seco tasting room

At the Rio Seco Vineyard & Winery, an old family winery, several of their wines are priced at under $20. They are not outstanding wines, but delightful enough to buy a few. If you are a baseball buff, you will love the wine labels.  Example: Stealing Home, Grand Slam, and Clubhouse Red. The Winery was founded by Tom and Carol Hinkle.  Tom had been a Major League Baseball Scout for 30 years.

If you travel to Paso Robles wine country, these two should be a tasting room stop. They are very close together on the east side of Highway 101.

Where to find real wine bargains in Paso Robles

In Paso Robles, people in the know say to go wine tasting and once you find out what wines you like, go to the Paso Robles Albertsons on Niblick Road.  You are likely to find your favorite Paso Robles wines in the wine department selling for a whole lot less than at the wineries.  I purchased these wines at Albertsons. I listed the tasting room price vs. the Albertsons price. Albertsons is owned by the same company that runs Safeway, so they have the same six-pack wine sales.

Local wines at Paso Robles Albertsons Market

Local wines at Paso Robles Albertsons Market

Price Comparison Winery Price vs. Paso Robles Albertson

  • Cass Rousanne $26 vs. $16.98
  • Cass Marsanne $26 vs. $16.98
  • Margerum Sybarite Sauvignon Blanc $21 vs. $14.98
  • Bianchi Geste $32 vs $19.99
  • Vina Robles Petite Sirah $29 vs. $16.98
  • Felten Street Pinot Noir $21 vs. $15.98

Paso Robles is a fantastic wine country trip. The old historic downtown has several upscale restaurants, along with boutique and antique shopping. There are many lodging choices, including the reportedly haunted Paso Robles Inn. It takes about 3.5 hours to drive from San Francisco, a straight shot down Highway 101.

More information on Paso Robles Albertsons’ Wine Department

Complete Travel Information – Paso Robles Wine Country Planning Guide


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