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Paso’s Hwy 46 Corridor and the Tourist Trade

The Paso Robles wineries on Highway 46 East and West pick up at the lion share of tourists even though there are beautiful wineries on both sides of the 101 freeway. We encourage you to taste the wineries outside the Highway 46 corridor, places like Still Waters, Barr, Graveyard, Bella Luna, Calcarius & MYV.

We recently entertained guests on a weekend and visited one of these Highway 46 wineries (and in this case distillery as well.) We ran headlong into large traveling groups and bachelorette parties out for a weekend of tasting during Paso Robles’ Harvest Festival. 360 guests poured through this venue this day. The place was Pourin’ & Hoppin’. Sounds like a good name for a Syrah.

Visiting Barton Family Estate on Highway 46 West we ran into groups of people drinking and having a raucus good time. All the while they were trying to talk over the loud cacophony of voices, singer and amped up guitar. It made it difficult to converse in their enclosed patio. The entertainer would have been wonderful without the amplifier.

Enough of that. What did we taste:

2021 Green Eyes (Gruner Veltliner from Santa Rita Hills) $40 ✰

2021 Holiday (Clairette Blanche from Willow Creek) $40 ✰

2020 Mr. Jones ( a soft Grenache from Willow Creek) $65 ✰

2019 Lineage (a soft blend of Cab, Malbec, Merlot & Petit Verdot) $55 ✰+

Soul Mate Red (GSM blend non-vintage) $55 ✰+

Lady in Red (carignon & grenache non-vintage) $50 ✰++

2018 Stayin’ Alive (Merlot) $65 ✰

2019 Alpha (soft palette Cabernet blended from several vineyards) $55 ✰+

The $30 tasting is waived if you purchase three bottles of wine. Winemaker Brad Ely is creating softer palette wines. He’s not chasing the heavy bolder cabernets some wine drinkers seek from Californian. Good for him, because that’s where our palette is happy. I just wish they’d pull the plug on the guitarist’s amplifier.


Bill Hodge & Erin O’Neill-Hodge enjoy a good bottle of wine, visiting and enjoying California wineries from Lake County to Orange County, from the Paso Robles Gold Coast to Gold Country and from Lodi to Bakersfield.

Some notes on our wine ranking system.

– -✰  means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰  means -Not liking it too much
✰ means  -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+  with a slash, it means we disagree.

– -✰  means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰  means -Not liking it too much
✰ means  -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+  with a slash, it means we disagree.