Paso Robles is a huge AVA, with over a half-million acres of vines. Huge wineries like J. Lohr, Treana, and Meridian dominate the region. However, in the cooler hills on the westside of Paso, there are smaller treasures. Wineries like Tablas Creek Vineyard Terry Hoage Vineyard are at home there.
Peachy Canyon lives in both worths. A mid-sized winery that offers quality Red Zins at a reasonable price. It’s one of my de facto go-to wineries for BBQ-friendly red wine. Their gungho fruit-bomb style is a perfect accompaniment to hot smoked pork shoulder.
Their Westside bottling is a winner every year. Since it’s from their cooler vineyards, it’s a bit more layered. This vintage is layered with sundried cherries and blackberries—a whiff of black pepper and a huge mouthful of glycerin.
PASO ROBLES in San Luis Obispo County was originally planted with vines in the late 18th century; the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County had a flourishing wine industry in pre-Prohibition times; Santa Barbara town itself was once dotted with vineyards. Yet both counties were virtually devoid of vines in the early 1960s; it was not until Estrella, in Paso Robles, and Firestone, in Santa Ynez Valley, established vineyards in 1972 that others followed.