Paso Robles – the wines, part 1

view towards Cayucos

Exploring one of California's most diverse AVAs. Gaps in the Santa Lucia Mountains separating the vineyards from the Pacific can have a dramatic effect on the local climate – and resulting wine styles. Above, the view towards Cayucos. See also part 2, the wines of Paso Robles' sub-AVAs, tomorrow.

Until 2014, Paso Robles was the largest undivided AVA in the state of California – which I wouldn’t bother mentioning if it wasn’t absurdly amusing. The AVA has more soil types than Alsace, boasts 68 planted varieties (California has an estimated 90 in total), and spans climates that run from...