Newest hot spot is developing rapidly
–Tucked away in a commercial warehouse district just outside downtown Paso Robles is the wine country’s newest and hottest tasting area for wine, beer and spirits, affectionately known as Tin City. This little gem of an area has been rapidly developing into a wine destination spot for locals looking to grab a drink after work and visitors interested in meeting local wine makers and tasting locally produced. high-end and small batch wines.
To get there, take the Highway 46 West exit from Highway 101 and turn east onto Green Valley Road. Continue along to Marquita Ave which is the main entrance road to the industrial area. Tasting rooms are sprinkled around the area and mostly located on Limestone Way and Marquita Ave.
The idea for establishing this new tasting destination came from local wine producers who weren’t interested in paying inflated tasting room rental prices found in other popular wine regions, like Santa Barbara, who charge a premium for small tasting room spaces. Instead, these pioneers decided to rent warehouse space in the Tin City area and developed their own hub for pouring small batch wines and producing vintages. They had the right idea as Tin City has become a unique and exciting place for locals and visitors who are looking for something new and exiting to do in the area.
The first wine makers staked their claim in Tin City about three years ago. Since then the area has blossomed into an up and coming wine scene with over 20 tasting rooms offering a range of libations being produced and poured by the owners on-site, and including wine, hard cider, beer and spirits.
Among the wineries who call Tin City their permanent home is Field Recordings, who’s owner Andrew Jones was recently named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 Winemakers under 40. Jones, 35, is a Cal Poly graduate and has been creating mouthwatering and unique wines for years. Additionally, Jones recently co-created his newest venture in Tin City with several other local winemakers called Tin City Cider Company which brews delicate and deliciously balanced hard apple cider in a variety of flavors aged in bourbon casks made using only California grown fruits.
One of the most alluring places to taste is Desparada Wines located off Limestone Way. Female owner and winemaker, Vailia Esh, describes her life as “working, loving and living in wine” and has produced a variety of high-end wines with goddess inspiration found across her wine labels and vintage names. Desperada’s interior is beautifully designed with locally crafted tables and decor handcrafted by local lifelong fine woodworker, Quill Chase. The winery also hosts events and dinners throughout the year in which Esh invites Wine Club members, using handwritten invitations, to dine in the winery and enjoy a variety of her vintages.
Winemaker and owner Aaron Jackson has been producing wine under his own label since 2002 after graduating high school in nearby Cambria. Also a graduate of Cal Poly, Jackson has studied wine making all over the world since then. Jackson uses his vast wine making knowledge to produce truly aromatic and balanced high-end wines. Aaron Wines are produced with fruit grown locally in the Westside districts of Willow Creek, Adelaida, and Templeton Gap. “Vineyards in these areas produce captivating terroir, low yields (<2 tons/acre), meticulous farming, minimal irrigation, and a holistic respect for the land,” says Jackson. Tasting includes vintages produced with Pinot Noir, Viognier, Pinot Gris and Riesling varietals.
There’s a real sense of camaraderie among the tasting room owners in the area where the winemakers are all friends, lend a hand when their neighbors are in need, and speak highly of one another. Rather than creating competition, they are focusing on building a community where everyone’s light can shine — this is truly the spirit of the Central Coast.
Tasting rooms in Tin City currently include the following:
- Tin City Cider Company
- Barrelhouse Brewing Company
- Field Recordings
- Aaron Wines
- Wine Shine Artisan Spirits
- Clos Solene
- Powell Mountain Cellars
- Marquita Crossing
- Brian Benson Cellars
- Levo, Nicora
- Jacob Toft
- Torrin Wine
- Broadside Wines
- Nelle Winery
- Sans Liege