—Pear Valley’s first vines were planted in 1999 on a 20-acre vineyard located on the westside of Paso Robles. The property was originally a pear orchard and was the inspiration for the Pear Valley name.
The venture grew to include additional acreage including the Union Road vineyard where the winery and tasting room are located. The winery crafts unique wines exclusively made using grapes from the estate, now comprising almost 100 sustainably farmed acres growing 28 different grape varietals. With two estate vineyards located on the westside and one on the eastside, the winery is able to take advantage of the diverse growing conditions to produce a wide range of wines.
The focus on quality begins in their vineyards with low yields to produce intense flavors. All the fruit is harvested and immediately sorted and processed at the solar-powered, estate winery while the fruit is still cold and fresh. Within the winery the wines are processed and aged to bring out the best the varietal has to offer. By the time it is released the wine is ready to be consumed.
The attention to detail and focus on quality has resulted in the winery consistently winning top awards. In 2021 and 2022 Pear Valley was named the Winery of the Year at the California Central Coast Competition. Winning the award two years in a row is something few wineries have achieved. The winery also received top awards at the recent San Francisco Chronicle Competition with three Best of Class, four Double Golds, one Gold and one Silver Medal. All of the wines entered received awards.
Kathleen Maas, the winery’s owner, attributes a large part of the success to the winemaking team. “Winemaker Jared Lee and assistant winemaker Nico Fritz are a dynamic duo in the winery. They work together extremely well and year after year continue to improve the quality of our estate wine.”
Jared Lee has been with Pear Valley since the winery opened in 2009. He attributes the winery’s success to the fact that everything is done by a small team from vine to bottle. “We are somewhat unique in that we do all the farming, use only estate-grown grapes, and complete all production including bottling on-site. We know the details of each block and after 14 vintages we know how the grapes will best fit into our wine program.”
The estate wine includes a nice selection of standalone varieties as well as blends. From dry to sweet there is something for everyone at Pear Valley. In addition to the varietals widely planted, such as albariño, chardonnay, viognier, grenache, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, syrah, and zinfandel, find some lesser-known varietals such as aglianico, charbonno, nero d’Avola, touriga nacional and the recently added arneis.
Kathleen invites guests to come and enjoy the beautiful setting. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic or purchase snacks, including charcuterie platters, from the menu. Be sure to check the events page on the website for dates when live music is offered on the patio.
Pear Valley’s estate wines are sold exclusively through their tasting room, wine club, and website.
Outdoor seating areas include two spacious patios and a gazebo. Spectacular vineyard views are offered from all seating areas.
Pear Valley Estate Wine is located at 4900 Union Road, Paso Robles. The tasting room with both indoor and outdoor seating is open daily 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information visit pearvalley.com or call (805) 237-2861.
— Lisa Pretty