Move over, Napa — there’s another wine country that’s on people’s radar. According to Orbitz travel expert Jeanenne Tornatore, the unexpected vacation spot that’s been gaining popularityas of late is the Paso Robles wine region
Those of you who are California residents are probably a little surprised or somewhat unimpressed, but Jeanenne says that the Central California destination is quickly up and coming, especially among out-of-state and -country travelers.
“If you’ve done Napa and you’ve done Sonoma, and you’re looking for something different . . . it’s home to over 600 wineries.”
There’s good reason that Orbitz included Paso Robles in its 2017 travel forecast. In addition to the dense population of wineries in the area, there’s plenty of little towns along the coast that are worth visiting along the way. San Luis Obispo is only a half-hour drive from Paso Robles, and Morro Bay is only about 44 minutes away.
“It’s for wine-lovers and people looking for a warm-weather place that’s a little different and one we’ve identified this year as on the rise,” Jeanenne said.Guess we’ll have to check it out for ourselves! Get a glimpse of the beautiful region ahead.
Grapes were first introduced into the Paso Robles area in 1797 by missionaries at Mission San Miguel Arcangel, where more than one thousand vines were planted. Commercial wine growing, however, wasn’t started until the 1880s with the establishment of Ascension Winery, today known as York Mountain Winery, the longest continuously operating winery in the County. Among the winery’s early producers following prohibition was Polish pianist and composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
Since 1990, when there were fewer than 20 wineries in Paso Robles, a large expansion of activity has seen the number rise to more than 200 wineries today. Wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. commented on the region’s promise of quality of wine, emphasizing the wineries Alban Vineyards, L’Aventure, Linne Calodo, Saxum Vineyards, Doce Robles “Twelve Oaks” Winery & Vineyard, Villa Creek Cellars, Castoro Cellars and Tablas Creek Vineyard as the leading Paso pioneers.
In 2007, a proposal to split the area at the Salinas River and form a new “Paso Robles Westside AVA” was made. The proposal was withdrawn in 2009, and a new proposal was made to break up the AVA into 11 smaller viticultural areas.