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Paso Robles: California’s quintessential yet eclectic wine region

If there’s one word to sum up California’s Paso Robles AVA it’s diversity, says Clare Tooley MW, who finds an exciting array of grape varieties, appellations, vineyards, soil types and family-oriented wineries in this must-visit region.

There is something quintessentially Californian about the Paso Robles wine region. Perhaps it’s the golden-hour haze that burnishes the dry-farm dust rising from a patchwork of different soil types. Paso sunsets romantically blur the outlines of the oak trees on the rolling hills. Or perhaps it’s the cold nights courtesy of the ocean proximity? It gives the region the largest diurnal swings of all California AVAs.

Maybe it’s the palm trees and stretching Pacific views from Hearst Castle that hosted a dazzling array of sirens partying in the Hollywood golden era. Or perhaps it’s the pioneering spirit of many of Paso’s wine people, their stories inspired by personal wine rush.

Scroll down for Clare Tooley MW’s tasting notes and scores of 24 top wines from six premium Paso Robles producers

Paso Robles AVA: the facts

Established in 1983, the Paso Robles AVA now has 11 sub appellations. It is the fastest-growing wine region in California, with more than 200 wineries and 16,200ha. Over 60 different grape varieties grow in its Mediterranean climate, which also experiences the greatest diurnal temperature swing of all California’s wine-growing regions.

Paso Robles: 24 top wines from six premium producers

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