Robert Hall Winery
The winery’s owner, Robert Hall, had many years of experience in the hospitality sector prior to acquiring the Hall Ranch in Paso Robles. After planting his vineyards, he put all his energy and hospitality knowledge to work to create a winery and hospitality center that would welcome guests. The smallest of details can make a huge difference when it comes to entertaining. “I wanted to create a warm and beautiful place in Paso Robles that people would visit time and time again. I had envisioned a facility that would be suited for formal weddings, casual BBQs and everyday celebrations.”
As visitors walk from the parking lot to the hospitality center’s tasting room, they are greeted with the relaxing sound of water from the large fountain. The walk continues by the reflecting pool giving the sense of elegance and, in the warmer months, a cooling effect. Bright flowers can be seen in almost every direction with something in full bloom each season. Over 500 rose bushes are planted on the property. The large mahogany and glass doors lead into the spacious tasting room, designed and painted by artists Steve Kalar and Margaret Burrell. Steve Kalar’s work can be viewed on the walls, ceiling and even the floors. Through the tasting room windows, views of the estate vineyards studded with large oak trees complete the scene.
The tasting experience at Robert Hall may be customized to fit the guests’ desires. Up to six wines may be selected from either the standard tasting or for a slightly higher fee from the reserve tasting lists. A pre-packaged box of three cheeses paired with the wines is also available for purchase. At press time, the current offering from Vivant Fine Cheese (located on Pine Street in Downtown Paso Robles) includes Ewephoria from Holland paired with the 2008 Merlot, Beemster Vlaskaas Gouda from the Netherlands paired with the 2006 Petite Sirah, and Sartori Parmesan from Wisconson paired with the 2008 Pape de Robles, which is the winery’s flagship Rhône blend.
The winery produces all of the traditional California varietals and blends that thrive in Paso Robles including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Additional varietals produced include Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Orange Muscat, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah and Vintage Port made from the traditional Portuguese grapes. Most of the wines have won top awards in competition and in 2010 the winery was named the Golden State Winery of the year. 3,000 wines were entered from 600 wines and only one was honored with the award. With so many wines there is something for every palate on the list. The tasting room staff is very knowledgeable and are delight to help make the tasting experience a memorable one.
For guests who want to linger, there are plenty of things to do at Robert Hall. Every day the winery offers a guided, educational tour of the large caverns, winery and hospitality center. The tour is included with the tasting fee and is a great way to learn more about how the wines are made. Everything from the vineyard to the bottle is discussed with a barrel tasting offered in the caverns. The tour lasts approximately 30 minutes.
The hospitality center also offers several settings to enjoy a picnic. Guest may purchase wine by the glass or bottle to enjoy, and a deli station is stocked with cheese, salami and crackers. The Garden Terrace overlooking the vineyards provides café seating, the amphitheater offers bench seating with yet another water feature to enjoy, and the grassy knoll beside the winery has several picnic tables under the trees. The two regulation Bocce ball courts, created old world style with crushed oyster shells, are available for guests to enjoy. The winery does recommend making a reservation if you are planning a group outing to use the courts.
Kristin Odenwald, Robert Hall’s Hospitality Manager, is planning to add several more events throughout the year, so be sure to check the winery’s website for details. “Our main events have been so successful that this summer we are considering additional, smaller scale events that club members and locals can enjoy during the week”.
The Cavern Club members also enjoy special events and private tastings in the winery’s gorgeous Wine Library. Ashley Bartels, Robert Hall’s Wine Club Coordinator, invites people to become members. The club is rapidly growing since she stepped into the position and she is eager to add new club perks. As an incentive to join the club, new members receive a 30% discount on their first purchase. Other club perks include complimentary tastings for members and their guests, private VIP tastings, special club events, recipes, winery updates and discounts on all purchases.
— Lisa Pretty
Robert Hall is located at 3443 Mill Road off HWY 46 East in Paso Robles is open daily 10-6pm. For additional information visit roberthallwinery.com or call (805) 239.1616. They are also on Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Robert-Hall-Winery/108359655905974.