Arroyo Robles Winery Review
Address: 1317 Park Street Paso Robles,California 93446.
Tasting Hours: 11:00-7:00
Region: Paso Robles AVA, California
Reviewer: Julie Dorris
Review Date: 7/5/2012
Reviewer: Julie Dorris
It was July 4th, and Id already visited some wineries in Paso Robles that were in full swing. Now it was time for Arroyo Robles. But upon settling into the Paso Robles Inn, I discovered that most of downtown Paso shuts down for the 4th, leaving all the action for the estate wineries. Needless to say, the next day I was eager to take a walk from my hotel to see what the Arroyo Robles tasting room had to offer.
The Place:  Arroyo Robles is located a block and a half from the city park, sandwiched between a boutique and a barbershop. Though not as prime as its previous location park side, it is still within walking distance of the downtown Paso hotels, restaurants, quaint shops, and the theater. It is also open later than other tasting rooms, so visitors can pop in on a whim after shopping or before dinner to taste local, handcrafted wines.
The space is long and narrow, more like a neighborhood bar than your typical tasting room. The décor is reminiscent of a city loft, with exposed ventilation and modern fixtures, and a few conspicuous accessories mixed in, such as a giant barrel built into the wall and an antique gas pump. There is a cute gift shop at the front of the tasting room and a patio in the back.
The Experience:  When I arrived at the unassuming glass storefront around lunchtime, I could see that the entire place was empty. Though bright and sunny outside, the lighting was low and moody inside. There was one person working, who happened to be the daughter of the owners, and she was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. I learned that the Shore family had been making wine in the area since 1998.
As I scanned the tasting menu, I eyed some interesting varietals and blends, such as an Albarino and the ER blend. My curiosity was piqued, so I ordered the tasting for $5, which is applied to any purchase. She gave a quick introduction to each wine, then left me to my own assessments while we chatted about life on the Central Coast. The laid-back vibe was refreshing, and I gathered that locals love this spot as much as tourists.
The Wines:  Many of the grapes used to make Arroyo Robles wines are grown at their estate vineyard, including Syrah, Mourvedre, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. They acquire other grapes from both the east and west sides of Paso Robles as well as the Arroyo Seco area in Monterey County. My flight couldnt have started off better on this hot day than with a 2010 Albarino, a Spanish grape that is somewhat rare in Paso Robles. It was light with crisp minerality and notes of peach and apricot. Moving on to the 2007 Rose, I was skeptical yet curious. I had a feeling that with a name like Pink Rock it might be too sweet, but it was pleasantly dry with refreshing berry notes. The 2007 ER blend (Emma & Rileys Emergency Relief) blend was earthy and ripe with the flavors of Paso terroir. Emma and Riley are the winery pooches (lucky dogs!).
Arroyo Robles is a small production winery. Their wines are only sold at the tasting room and to club members, although you may find them at a few restaurants around town.
Extras:  Arroyo Robles offers wine classes at a low cost as well as other events around town. Call the winery for more information.