Paso Robles is a burgeoning California wine country destination nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountains in Central California and offers a multitude of exciting upcoming events, new wineries and dining experiences to be enjoyed throughout the season.
Paso Robles is located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and easily accessible by car, plane and train, this stunning retreat offers the authentic California experience by boasting untouched natural beauty, a bounty of farm fresh cuisine supplied from organic and specialty farms, 200+ wineries, first-class shopping, a wide selection of accommodations, golf and entertainment and an extensive variety of activities and experiences that appeal to everyone – from families, couples and groups to girlfriend getaways, wedding and meetings.
Below is a round up of what’s new for travelers to enjoy during a relaxing getaway to Paso Robles. For more information on attractions, dining and lodging, visit www.travelpaso.com. For the latest news, visit http://blog.travelpaso.com.
PCCHA Derby (free!)
March 13 –18
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Paso Robles Event Center
The Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association returns to the Paso Robles Event Center for their annual “old west style” Derby/Classic-Challenge. In this exciting competition, riders vie for close to $400,000 in prize money by “cutting,” a process where a single calf is selected from the heard, guided into the center of the arena, and then kept from ducking past the horse and escaping back to the heard. Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit www.pccha.com.
20th Annual Zinfandel Festival
March 16 –18
6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Paso Robles Event Center
Zin lovers unite! Celebrating this spicy varietal, guests can sip wines from more than 50 vintners, nosh on Zin-perfect food and try their luck at an auction as Paso Robles honors their heritage grape at the 20th Annual Zinfandel Festival. For those who wish to explore the wine region, wineries throughout the area will hold “Zintacular” activities to add to the experience. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.pasowine.com.
Cattlemen’s Western Art Show (free!)
March 30 – April 1
Saturday10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Paso Robles Event Center
Boasting original art from 60 superbly talented western artists, this three-day extravaganza will spur excitement throughout the weekend. The event kicks off on Friday night with the “Artists’ Wine and Hors d’oeuvre Reception” (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; $20 per person), followed by an artist exhibition and cattleman’s BBQ on Saturday and Sunday. The work of this year’s featured Artist and Historical Narrative Sculptor, Pedro Ramos, will be on display, including his masterful sculptures focusing on the Plains Tribes in the early 1700s. Admission to the show is free. For more information, call (805) 472-9100 or visit www.cattlemenswesternartshow.com.
April 2 –7
Paso Robles Event Center
The first and only event of its kind, 20 renowned horsemen including Chris Cox and Martin Black “break” 40 horses over six days at the Paso Robles Event Center. Guests can witness horses from the first time they are saddled, and watch their progression into being able to do a job. Some of the horsemen will even be exhibiting cattle working, roping and ranch branding demonstrations by the end of the event. Spectators may purchase tickets to attend all six days for $180 or $35 per day. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.horsemensreunion.com.
20th Annual Hospice du Rhone
April 26 –28
Paso Robles Event Center
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Hospice du Rhone is a three-day exclusive weekend celebrating all things Rhône by embracing the enchantment, history and tastes of the 22 Rhône varieties. Throughout the weekend, tip your glass with worldly Rhône wine producers, journey through the largest international collection of Rhônes and savor exceptional cuisine, all while taking in the local Rhône community. Guests can learn all about their favorite varieties from the Rhone seminar series, discover the mouthwatering food fare, take part in the excitement of a live auction, and so much more. New this year are the seminar “Conversations with Châteauneuf du Pape” and dinner “Conversations with Châteauneuf du Pape,” both led by author Harry Karis, sommelier Kelley McAuliffe and vigneron Philippe Cambie, where guests will converse, taste and swoon over Châteauneuf du Pape wines hailing from vintages as far back as the 1950’s. Also new is the “BIG Rhône Rendezvous” featuring producers from far and wide pouring big bottles at this lively affair. Many have dusted off wines from their cellar and others have created something unique to celebrate this momentous occasion. Highly-acclaimed chefs hailing from esteemed Blackberry Farmin Walland, Tennessee will be serving up a taste of the South with food stations billowing with robust and scrumptious bites. For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets, call (805) 784-9543 or visit www.hospicedurhone.org.
Vintage Sidecar Rendezvous (free!)
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Downtown City Park
Enjoy a blast from the past by checking out a variety of specialty vintage motorcycles and sidecars dating back over 60 years. Stroll around downtown city park and check out recycled treasures, arts and crafts. For more information call (805) 238-4103 or visit www.travelpaso.com.
– WINERIES & TASTING ROOMS –
Sip & Savor
Gracefully nestled atop of a beautiful 2,200 feet promontory, the newly opened Daou Vineyards, aka “the tasting room in the sky,” provides unparalleled views of Paso Robles wine country. With a very ambitious goal to create a Cabernet Sauvignon that rivals the very best in the world, this prime location may just help them achieve it, as the winery is on the same land where the first modern commercial winery in Paso Robles was started. Guests can visit the opulent tasting room, where they will find the family style hospitality of the Daou brothers, and can taste for themselves what may be among the very best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. 2777 Hidden Mountain Road, (805) 226-5460, www.daouvineyards.com.
Gin from Grapes?
February 14 will mark the first official bottling of Re: Find Handcrafted Vintner’s Vodka and Gin by Paso Robles Craft Distilling. This micro-distillery utilizes a unique distilling ingredient: premium Paso Robles grapes, a luxury that is normally too expensive for most distilleries to use in production. Paso Robles Craft Distillery applies the excess juice from its sister company, Villacana Winery, to its product, resulting in a high-end vodka and gin made with ultimate sustainability. Paso Robles Craft Distilling shares its space with Villicana Winery, where all the base materials used in their wines and spirits are planted and grown on-site. 2725 Adelaida Road, (805) 239-9456, www.refinddistillery.com. Media Contact: Alex & Monica Villicana, email@example.com.
Join the Central Coast Railroad Festival on the second Sunday of every month for the newly launched Wine-Train Excursion. Take a ride Amtrak’s Coast Starlight up or down the Cuesta Grade to experience one of the most historical and scenic sections of the coastal line between Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo. Rides will stop at two rail-themed wineries, where guests on these delightful excursions will be treated to complimentary wine tastings, lunch and history on the railroad. Ticket can be bought online and are expected to sell out in advance. For more information, visit www.ccrrf.com. Media contact: Curtis Reinhardt, (805) 773-4173, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently opened in Paso Robles is Shale Oak Winery, a premier new green vineyard. With a focus on sustainability, the winery was created with the vision of caring for and keeping in mind the natural resources in Paso Robles. Though predominately Bordeaux and Rhone varietals are grown, a variety of other grapes such as Zinfandel and Albarino can be found among their 80 acres of vineyards. 3235 Oakdale Road, (805) 239-4800, www.shaleoakwinery.com.
Producing award-winning TV shows such as “American Idol” isn’t all that famed producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick are good at. They are also wine aficionados, and this spring Paso Robles will be able to experience their next project. Located on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail in San Miguel, the Villa San-Juliette Winery will open its grand tasting room. This beautiful 168 acre vineyard produces an array of grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. 6385 Cross Canyon Road, San Miguel, 93451, (805) 550-0522, www.villasanjuliette.com.
Nestled among the vines and rolling hills of Paso Robles is the recently opened Broken Earth Winery and Tasting Room. Five white and four red wines are currently being poured in the tasting room, and with no tasting fee, this is a great place for guests to enjoy a sip of delectable Paso Robles wines. With a focus on Rhone varietals, most grapes are sourced from their 2,500 acre Continental Vineyard, located approximately seven miles from the tasting room. 5625 Highway 46 East (805) 239-2562; www.brokenearthwinery.com.
Music to the Ears
Concert-lovers have something big to look forward to! Nestled on a picturesque, oak-dotted hillside, Vina Robles is building a new amphitheater boasting 3,300 seats with a combination of tiered, VIP and lawn seating. The winery is set to break ground on the theater this spring, with the goal of opening early 2013. Once completed, the Vina Robles amphitheater will set the stage to become the premier outdoor concert destination for all of central California. 3700 Mill Road, (805) 227-4812, www.vinarobles.com; Media Contact: Simone Michel, email@example.com.
Hop aboard on Grapeline Tour’s deluxe shuttle for a fun-filled day visiting a variety of wineries while getting an insider’s view of California’s Central Coast. This season, they are offering two special tours:
Zin Fest Shuttle– March 16-18, guests can enjoy the over 50 vintners showcased at the Zinfandel Festival without having to worry about driving. The Zin Fest Shuttle will be available throughout the festival to escort guests from hotels to the festivities taking place throughout Paso Robles Wine Country. For more information, call (888) 8-WINERY or visit, www.gogrape.com.
-DRINKS & DINING-
James Beard nominated Artisan, renowned for locally sourced, creatively prepared American cuisine, is now hosting a variety of specialty dinners. Held every Monday night in February and March, co-owners and brothers Chris and Michael Kobayashi have teamed up with local wineries, farms and ranches to create menus specifically tailored to that evening’s selection. Winemakers or representatives from each of the featured partners will be there to educate diners and answer questions. 1401 Park St., (805) 237-8084, www.artisanpasorobles.com.
Never Be “Boar-ed” Again
The newly opened Boar Hole is the bar with it all, from a great selection of beers and local wines to darts, pool and trivia. Every Friday and Saturday, the Boar’s Hole features rockin’ live music that keeps the party going all night long. 1242 Park St., (805) 835-1894.
For vibrant flavors and a sizzling atmosphere, head downtown to Estrella, Paso Robles’ newest answer to exotic dining. This “Latin Riviera” features a fun fusion of Caribbean, South American and Mexican cuisine featuring menu items such as Argentinian-style grilled rib eye steak, roasted chicken mojo and grilled prawn tacos. The vibe of the restaurant is as exotic as its food, where guests can enjoy an outdoor patio overlooking Downtown City Park or in the vibrant mango-hued dining room. 815 13th St., (805) 226-5406.
Have a phenomenal experience at Paso Robles newest tapas and wine bar. Located in the beautiful downtown area of Paso Robles, Fenomenal Place’s menu features more than 50 hot and cold tapas items utilizing local, fresh and sustainable ingredients. In addition, diners at this new hot spot can choose from over 100 selections of wine, designed to pair seamlessly with the mouthwatering menu. 835 12th St., (805) 227-7154, www.fenomenalplace.com.
Fine Italian restaurant Il Cortile Ristorante, renowned for using locally sourced ingredients, features homemade pastas, fresh seafood, top quality meats and antipasti. Throughout the month of February, they are hosting two fun events:
The Art of Italian Cooking Series– Every Tuesday in February, Il Cortile will open its kitchen for a cooking class series. Classes begin at 10 a.m. and include an Italian lunch prepared by the class of the day’s recipes with wine. Class schedules can be found online at www.ilcortileristorante.com.
Reverse Wine Dinners– Each Wednesday night, Il Cortile will host top local wineries that will offer three selected varietals. Once guests have picked their wine, the chef will “reverse it” and create a 3-course dinner menu based on the choice of wine. Schedule of wineries can be found online at www.ilcortileristorante.com. 608 12th St. (805)226-0300, www.ilcortileristorante.com; Media Contact: Chandra Knee, (415) 839-8930, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A little flair and good times are two things that never go out of style. At the recently opened Sinatra’s Fine Dining, even strangers in the night can find themselves having a good time. With live music, country music concerts and wine tasting, diners can feel like they’re swinging with the leader of The Rat Pack himself. Guests can treat themselves to fresh tomato and basil bruschetta followed by mouthwatering grass fed beef, among other delectable menu items. With its classy and fun atmosphere, guests will get a kick out of dining at Sinatra’s. 835 13th St., (805) 238-6613.
A Taste of History
A favorite gathering place for guests and locals for over 50 years, the Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse offers classic steakhouse dining featuring fresh local products and produce. Throughout the months of February and March, they are featuring several special menus:
Prix-fixe $30 menu- enjoy three decadent courses for $30 this February and March. Cozy up by the fireplace for an unforgettable dinner including items such as caprese salad with vine ripened tomatoes, chicken marsala, roasted tri-tip with wild mushrooms and crème brulee bread pudding with white chocolate and raspberry drizzle for dessert. 1103 Spring Street, (805) 238-2660. www.pasoroblesinn.com
Wine & Dine
Enoteca Restaurant, located inside La Bellasera Hotel & Suites, has join forces with local wineries to host a series of winemakers’ dinners. The first one, held on February 20, features Sharp’s Hill wines paired with a delicious four course dinner featuring items such as Coconut Crusted Halibut, Chioggia Beet salad, Filet Mignon and artisan cheeses paired with Sharp’s Hill Cuvee Rosso. 206 Alexa Court, (805) 238-2834, www.labellasera.com.
-ARTS & CULTURE-
Meet the Masters
Boasting a preeminent artwork collection, recently opened Pierce Modern Gallery features the work of renowned artists such as Mark Bowles, James Coignard, Roy Lichtenstein, and Gary Conway, among others. Original sculptures, entrancing glasswork and mixed media are also on display and available for purchase. 617 12th St., (805) 975-4860, www.piercemodern.com.
Veteran actress Madeline Vale has opened her own contemporary art gallery in downtown Paso Robles showcasing the works of emerging and established artists. With the opening of Vale Fine Arts gallery, the opportunity to discover new talent in the area is something many art lovers are excited about. Open Thursday through Sunday, visitors are welcome to drop in anytime to view the stunning artwork showcased on the walls. 619 12th St., (310) 795-4680, www.valefineart.com.
Featuring 91 fully appointed guestrooms, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites has a new look that includes newly painted guestrooms outfitted with new 37” flat screen HDTV’s and comfy pillow top king size mattress, plus a newly upgraded fitness center. The Holiday Inn also features Jacuzzi suites and extended stay suites, providing the perfect place for a relaxing getaway or business trip. Special amenities include a business center, conference room, complimentary smart hot breakfast and an indoor pool and spa. 2455 Riverside Ave., (805) 238-6500, www.hixpaso.com; Media Contact: Shawn Styler, (805) 238-6199, email@example.com.
No matter what your interests may be , there is something for everyone in Paso Robles this Spring .