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More Than a Taste in Paso Robles A look at what's happening along the wine trails of this distinctive wine-country farming community.

The adventure of wine tasting in Paso Robles is growing only richer with possibilities through the years. The longtime farming community continually demonstrates its love for the land and its neighbors with farmers' markets, winemaker nights at local restaurants, and other arm-in-arm business ventures. And three distinct, easy-to-follow wine trails have emerged. You can visit wineries along Highway 46 East with rolling pastoral views; wineries along Highway 46 West among fields growing grapes and other crops; and wineries off the winding country roads of Far-Out Paso (Vineyard Drive, Adelaida Road, and Chimney Rock Road).

At many Paso Robles wineries, wine tasting is just a way of introduction. Visitors and locals alike who appreciate a winery's wines and like its vibe are finding more reasons to linger or return again and again.

Castoro Cellars

Perhaps it's the convenient location along Highway 46 West or the slant of its rolling vineyard (ideal for sunset watching) that attract so many people to Castoro Cellars' concerts. Or perhaps it's the music. The venue boasts a year-long lineup of musicians from around the world. In warmer months, shows are held outside, with the vineyard and the sinking sun providing a beautiful backdrop. Cooler-month concerts during the Zinfandel Festival in March, the Paso Robles Wine Festival in May, and the Harvest Wine Tour in October are just as hot.

D'Anbino Vineyards & Cellars
This family-run winery has a lively tasting room located in the historic downtown train depot. A professional music stage stands right beside the tasting bar. Here, locals and visitors alike can enjoy performances by accomplished musicians and groups. There's music memorabilia on the walls and real furniture to sit back and relax in. The tasting room feels more like a lounge or traditional coffee house. There's even free Wi-Fi access for those who want to settle in.

Eberle Winery

A leading name in the history of Paso Robles wine country, Eberle Winery has a gracious tasting room with great gift items and magnificent wines to try. Be sure to contact the tasting room first, though, because you'll want to dig deeper and visit the winery's caves. Guests on the VIP Tasting tour are led 35 feet underground to an impressive 16,000-square-foot catacomb of tunnels and cubbyholes designed for storage and barrel aging. The caves provide a naturally cool environment for the wines and for parties, which occur frequently throughout the year. Wine Spectator called Eberle's VIP Tasting tour "one of the best tours on the Central Coast." Visitors are treated to a private tasting with refreshments, often including a sip from a nearby barrel—all for just $25 per person.

Niner Wine Estates

This fairly new winery has just completed construction of its Hospitality Center along Highway 46 West. The charming tasting room is pouring magnificent wines. The wines are said to represent the whole of Paso Robles, since Niner's two estate vineyards are located on opposite ends of town. The Hospitality Center includes a private wine club lounge and patio facilities, plus the pièce de résistance: a demonstration kitchen for visiting chefs. Plans for seminars, cooking classes, and demonstrations are in the works. It's best to check the winery's website or call ahead for updated information when planning your visit.

Sylvester Vineyards and Winery
Wander through this gourmet food emporium and sample all kinds of tempting tidbits. The winery's selection of cheeses is one of the most extensive in the region. Also be sure to try the estate-grown pistachios. Winemaker dinners are prepared by famed chef Walter Giovanni Filippini, whose signature dish is a traditional raclette cheese fondue. Raclette is a semi-firm cheese that originated in the mountainous Swiss canton of Valais. Happily, thanks to Walter, it has found its way to Paso Robles.

Robert Hall Winery

Visitors be warned: Bocce ball is a serious pastime at Robert Hall Winery. The two regulation Bocce courts are entirely Old World, right down to the court surface, composed of crushed oyster shells and oyster-shell "flour." But serious doesn't mean not fun by any means. Robert Hall Winery encourages wine tourers to bring their entire family along. It is advisable, however, to reserve your court ahead of time, either by phone or email.

Villa Toscana Bed & Breakfast

Martin & Weyrich Winery has added a new, cozy, all-suite Italian inn on the east side of town. Each suite is named after a Martin & Weyrich wine. The spacious rooms are individually decorated and have Jacuzzi tubs, wood-beamed ceilings, kitchenettes, fireplaces, and great views of the vineyard. If you're traveling with friends or family, look into the winemaker's suite, a two-bedroom suite with a garage, private courtyard, and an outdoor Jacuzzi tub. A full breakfast is included.

Just Inn Bed and Breakfast
On the west side of town, Just Inn B&B, located at Justin Winery, has four luxury suites appointed in a style reminiscent of a European inn. The landscaped grounds include English gardens and a seasonal outdoor pool and heated spa. Guests are treated to a full breakfast and a winery tour during their visit. v

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