A Personality of its Own
Tin City, located about four miles south of downtown Paso Robles, is a fun-zone of wine, food, and salivating experiences. It is exciting, eclectic and a must-visit destination. Boasting its own special vibe, you will be consumed by the energy. So, park your car, start walking, explore, and experience this enclave and its unique Paso personality!
You’ll need a week or more to visit all the tasting rooms in Tin City. These are small, boutique wineries featuring hand-crafted wines of the utmost character and quality. In many cases, you’ll be sipping with the winemaker. With over two dozen tasting rooms, here are a few to start exploring:
Aaron Wines: Aaron Jackson is a surfer. He brings the adventure and excitement of surfing to his wines. Aaron’s motto is “boundaries are few on the road less travelled.” Experience his Aaron Wine label (mostly Rhône blends) or Aequorea’s label, featuring Pinot Noirs and aromatic whites (sourced from coastal SLO vineyards). Experience the surfer’s personality in a bottle.
Benom: A partnership between two French brothers, Arnaud Fabre, and his older brother Guillaume Fabre (of Clos Solene). Focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon as the mainstay, explore eclectic blends of Cabernet with Rhône and Spanish varietals. Enjoy quintessential French hospitality.
Emercy: You may be familiar with Orion Stang from Dilecta. Emercy is his new project. Sourcing grapes from some of the Central Coast’s most esteemed vineyards, Orion currently produces several exciting wines. Emercy is located in the Tin City Annex.
Hubba Wines: Riley Roddick is a young, exciting winemaker, with knowledge and experience transcending her age. As Riley says, “I make the wine I love to drink.” And you will also love to drink these fun, exciting wines. Riley sources from select vineyards to express the Central Coast AVA. Her wines are as vivacious as she is. Join her journey, you won’t be disappointed.
Jacob Toft: Jacob Toft is no newcomer to the Paso scene. He has been making small-lot, artisanal wines for more than two decades and has earned a stellar reputation. Sourcing from some of the finest vineyards (G2, Caliza, Stolpman among them), you will be exposed to enticing single varietals and blends of character and excitement.
Monochrome: Dave McGee describes himself as a “contrarian.” His mission was to disprove the notion that “white wines are simple.” As such, Dave produces only white wines, mostly blends. Dave has demonstrated that white wines, given care and effort, will stand side by side to reds in terms of complexity and overall wine profile. Several of Dave’s wines have received accolades being among the highest scoring ever awarded to that particular varietal or blend.
Nicora: Nick Elliott is a Paso success story. Coming to Paso on a construction job over twenty years ago, falling in love with the area and the wines, Nick is one of Tin City’s (and Paso’s) premier winemakers. He was also one of the first winemaker to open in Tin City. His love is Syrah, and if you love Syrah, Nicora is not to be missed.
ONX: With beautiful, comfortable, inviting indoor and outdoor seating, you’ll want to visit ONX. Primarily a blend house, winemaker Drew Nenow works magic with a variety of mostly estate-grown Rhône blends. However, ONX also sources from premium Central Coast vineyards to offer a wide, exciting selection of other varietals.
These are only a handful of the artisan, handcrafted wine tasting rooms that await your Tin City exploration.
Most tasting rooms require reservations in advance.
Please check individual website for details.
There’s no need to leave Tin City to assuage your hunger! Here are a few Tin City eateries:
Lebber’s Pizza: Located next to Hubba. Serving mouthwatering gourmet wood-fired pizza.
McPhee’s Canteen: McPhee’s brings the same commitment to freshness, quality and fun that Ian McPhee has been serving up at McPhees Grill in Templeton, for decades. Whether it’s gourmet pizzas, salads, tacos, or fish & chips, take a food break between your Tin City adventures.
Negranti Creamery: A cornucopia of delicious hand-crafted flavors, featuring sheep’s milk ice cream. Also check out their downtown Paso and Atascadero locations.
Six Test Kitchen: A Michelin Guide listed restaurant, for the gourmet and fine food lover, this is a true “foodie” experience in creativity of ingredients, flavors, and hospitality. With limited seating, advance reservations are a must. Every dinner here is “a happening.”
But That’s Not All
Plan time to explore these other Tin City purveyors:
Barrel House Brewing Co: “Good People, good time and great beer.” You’ll find it all at Barrel House: An ever-changing variety of craft beers, music, a mobile kitchen on site, and most of all ... fun people! Switch it up at the Barrel House Brewing Co., (also in San Luis Obispo, Visalia, and Fresno).
Etto Pastificio: Pastas made fresh daily. Shop for full an assortment of Italian delicacies.
Olivas de Oro: Shop from a selection of “home grown” award-winning olive oils.
Tin City Distillery: Tin City Distillery/Wine Shine is an elite project producing a variety of bourbons, brandies and specialized spirits from Don and Claudia Burns of Turtle Rock Vineyards (located in Tin City, next to Monochrome). A fun experience when the spirit moves you for something out of the ordinary.
Check individual websites, plus the latest news and updates on what’s happening and where to go in Tin City on their website: www.tincitypasorobles.com.
Wine-adult beverages-food-specialty purveyors, it’s all in Tin City. Just park and get your walking shoes on! Cheers!
By Don Sonderling – freelance writer covering California’s Wine Country lifestyle and culture, from the Central Coast up through the Napa Valley and Sonoma. He may be reached at: email@example.com.