No trip to California is complete without a visit to wine country. Paso Robles, which translates from Spanish to mean Pass of the Oaks, is so named for the breath-taking oak-studded countryside that surrounds the city. Scattered between the rolling hills are row after row of grapes that form the backbone of the city’s award-winning wines. Recognized a few years ago as Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Region of the Year, the rural city is
home to wine trails and tasting rooms that cover more than 200 neighboring wineries.
In May, these award-winning winemakers gather together for the 34th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival — from 19-22 — in the downtown historic square. As the city’s epicenter, the square plays host to many wine, food and cultural events throughout the year, such as its regular farmers’ markets and summer concerts. And this year’s calendar is already jampacked with opportunities to sample the region’s delicious wines. In late March, the city dedicates a weekend to the Zinfandel grape, which is the region’s heritage grape, first planted
back in 1880s, with its Vintage Paso: Zinfandel festival. Meanwhile, October sees Harvest Wine Weekend come to town.
In addition to the city’s square, on the edge of town there’s another breathtaking venue, the Vina Robles Amphitheatre, which has played host to some of the world’s biggest bands. Built in 2013, the
outdoor site was designed to reflect the historic missions dotted throughout California. There’s also a bulging catalog of cultural attractions, including Studios on the Park — an art center in downtown Paso Robles — and numerous local galleries. pasowine.com, travelpaso.com TravelPaso, PasoRoblesWine