The 11 Distinct Wine Regions of Paso Robles

AVA map created by Steve De Long

Original Article Appeared:

When the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area was established in 1983, it contained just five bonded wineries and 5,000 acres of vines. Now home to more than 200 wineries and 32,000 vineyard acres, it was divided into 11 smaller AVAs in 2014:

Adelaida District

Rugged terrain spanning Santa Lucia slopes and foothills with lots of limestone-rich, calcareous soils, modest marine influence and high average annual rainfall of 25 inches. Wineries/vineyards: Tablas Creek Vineyard, Halter Ranch Vineyard, Justin Vineyards and Winery, Adelaida Vineyards & Winery, Daou Vineyards.

Creston District

A warmer region with less rain, about 11 inches per year, spanning a plateau at the base of the La Panza Range with fertile alluvial soils, granite and sedimentary rock. Wineries/vineyards: Chateau Margene, August Ridge Vineyards, Shadow Run Vineyards & Winery.

El Pomar District

Old terraces and hills with rich, loamy soils, some calcareous rock and sandstone, moderate rainfall and strong marine breezes with heavy fog. Wineries/vineyards: Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, AmByth Estate, Still Waters Vineyards.

Estrella District

Rolling plains in the Estrella River Valley with deep, mineral-rich alluvial soils and high day-to-night temperature variations of up to 40 degrees. Wineries/vineyards: J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Le Vigne Winery, Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery.

Geneseo District

A warmer area of upfaulted hills along the Huerhuero-La Panza fault with low rainfall featuring alluvial soils along with older granite and gravel cementation. Wineries/vineyards: Eberle Winery, Robert Hall Winery, Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery, Cass Winery.

Highlands District

The warmest district in the region, with diurnal temperature swings over 50 degrees, at the base of the La Panza range with deep alluvial soil. Wineries/vineyards: Shell Creek Vineyards, French Camp Vineyards.

San Juan Creek

A younger river valley with sand and clay loam soils in a warm, low-rain area with high temperature swings. Wineries/vineyards: Red Cedar Vineyard (which crosses into the Estrella district).

San Miguel District

The footslope of the Santa Lucia range, covering Salinas and Estrella river terraces, with a moderate climate, deep sandy loam and some clay loam. Wineries/vineyards: San Marcos Creek Vineyard, Locatelli Vineyards & Winery, Caparone Winery.

Santa Margarita Ranch

Spanning high mountain slopes of the ancient Salinas River bed and its current path, with a mix of alluvial soils and the highest rainfall in the region, at 29 inches. Wineries/vineyards: Ancient Peaks Winery.

Templeton Gap District

Rolling slopes and broad terraces with a pronounced marine influence from ocean breezes and fog, decent rainfall and loamy soil with spots of calcareous rock. Wineries/vineyards: Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards, Castoro Cellars, Peachy Canyon Winery, Zenaida Cellars.

Willow Creek District

A hilly region with a strong marine influence, rain between 24 and 30 inches a year, and lots of limestone-rich calcareous and loamy soil. Wineries/vineyards: L’Aventure Winery, Opolo Vineyards, Denner Vineyards, Rotta Winery, Niner Wine Estates.