When I traveled to San Luis Obispo, CA last weekend for my daughter’s graduation from Cal Poly U., I had planned a half day to visit a few of the local wineries. My daughter, not a wine drinker until recently, had only one tasting room recommendation for me: Tobin James Cellars. Located 8 miles outside Paso Robles off Highway 46, Tobin James Cellars is a throwback to the days when tasting rooms were a bit more casual and fun.
As my daughter described it, the tasting room is more like a saloon. There are three tasting bars and a merchandise area stocked with logo’ed Tommy Bahama shirts, T-shirts, assorted wine paraphernalia, and wall art featuring the Tobin James sunsplash logo. The first thing when you learn upon being greeted by a tasting host is that tastings are free. This might explain why each of the bars are packed elbow-to-elbow and everyone seems in such a great mood.
There are no “flights” to choose from – just a list of the wines they’re pouring, which appeared to be just about everything they produce. With one more winery on my list to visit later, I decided to try just a few. Three stood out:
- 2011 “Radiance” Monterey County Chardonnay $16
- 2009 “Primo” Paso Robles Sangiovese $18
- 2010 “Ballistic” Paso Robles Zinfandel $18
When you visit the tasting room, don’t let the rowdy atmosphere or reasonable wine prices fool you. These are serious wines that match or beat the finest producers in the area. But do visit and take advantage of the 10% half case or 15% full case discounts on some wonderful wine.
Tobin James Cellars, 8950 Union Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Tasting Room Hours 10-6 daily
Phone: (805) 239-2204 http://www.tobinjames.com/