Paso Robles – Top 3 Recommended Wineries

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Niner Wine Estate_Heart Vineyard

In keeping with last year’s tradition, we decided to go on another wine tasting adventure up in Central Coast California to celebrate our anniversary, this time to Paso Robles. The only difference this time around is we have a little furry one with us and we really wanted her to be included on this trip since she is part of our little family now. Last year’s trip to Napa was grown up fun, this year’s trip to Paso definitely had a more casual family vibe. Paso Robles has a very laid back feel, which is also reflected across most of their wineries. We didn’t have to make any reservations ahead of time and the average cost to wine taste was around $10. We experienced more cozy family owned wineries as opposed to sprawling high production wineries. The best part? The wineries are pet friendly. =) So our little Lexie got to experience her first wine tasting experience {well technically, she was just water guzzling in wineries}. Below are my top 3 wineries to check out in Paso Robles…

~ Tablas Creek ~

Most people were often surprised that my hubbs and I didn’t belong in a wine club, given how much wine tastings we would participate in…and how frequent we consume wine in general. After our first winery stop at Tablas Creek, that statement is no longer true. Of all the wineries we visited, this one would have to be our favorite…and they must have left a great impression on us given that we spent about an hour and a half there and we finally committed to a wine club…our first winery stop no less.

An insufferable heat wave took over Paso Robles while we were up there, so it was blistering hot as we moved from winery to winery. Luckily, Tablas had a large bucket filled with ice-cold water canteens that we can take in with us. We really enjoyed sampling their estate tasting list {which cost $10 per person, but fee is waived with bottle purchase}. What also made the experience even more pleasant was the person walking us through the list. He was so incredibly helpful and knowledgeable about the wine. Who doesn’t like to learn while enjoying some wine?

Wine Recommendations:

Grenache Blanc 2012 – I really love this light white, which is more a “hanging out” kind of wine. Great for pairing with seafood or salads.

Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2011 – If you prefer more full bodied, I would recommend this one. It is their ageable white, {up to 20 years} and has a more nutty, hazelnut note. Ideal for pairing with rich seafood, like halibut or even with turkey for Thanksgiving.

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~ Niner Wine Estates ~

One of the more beautiful and larger estates in Paso, I’m so glad I insisted on stopping by Niner on our last day…even though we had a morning wine tasting session {what better way to start the day right?}. Family run and operated since 2010, the most unique characteristic of their winery is their naturally heart shaped grove of oak trees, which has been around for about 80 years. The estate has ample seating indoors and especially out in their patio area, so it’s a great winery to visit for a larger group setting.

Wine Recommendations:

2012 Estate Petite Sirah – If you prefer a more full bodied red, this estate petite sirah is definitely more oak-y and heavy in tannins, which would pair nicely with a steak dinner.

2013 Silhouette Du Couer “Silhouette of the Heart” – A little citrus with some floral notes, the winery recommends pairing this with an herb salad.

Niner Wine Estates

Niner Wine Estate Interior

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~ Kiamie Wine Cellars ~

Tucked away from the main roads, Kiamie is the most intimate of the three wineries and also a small production winery. Kiamie is definitely Lexie’s favorite stop because not only did she make a friend with the owner’s Labrador {Logan}, they even have a llama and a goat out in the back! She had never seen any of those animals before, so she was quite taken with them. We also spent a bit of time there as well as it was just us and the owner, Greg. We had a fun time wine tasting with Greg while he had some great tunes playing in the background, chatting about his time in New York and how Kiamie came to be. Plus, we also got to feed the animals while Lexie played with Logan. It was a fun and relaxing way to end an afternoon of wine tasting.

Wine Recommendations:

2012 Kiamie Rosé – My favorite from their wine tasting list, I would say this is more of a refreshing and fruity rosé.

2011 White Kuveé – Though it’s another fruity white, it’s definitely more full bodied with some floral notes and bright acidity.

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