As California’s fastest growing wine region and largest geographic appellation, the 24-square mile territory encompasses more than 40,000 vineyard acres and 200 wineries: making it the State’s third largest wine region. With a greater day-to-night temperature swing than any other appellation in California, distinct micro-climates, diverse soils and a long growing season, Paso Robles is a unique wine region blessed with optimal growing conditions for producing premium and ultra premium wines. More than 40 wine grape varieties are grown in Paso Robles, ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, to Syrah, Viognier and Roussane, to Zinfandel, the area’s heritage wine varietal.
The Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established in 1983, and expanded in 1997, it is a large, diverse appellation located within northern San Luis Obispo County. It is comprised of a number of distinctive grape growing regions generally characterized by rolling hills east of the Salinas River and steeper hillsides, cut by small canyons west of the River. In 2014 the Paso Robles AVA was divided into 11 AVAs (sub-regions) demonstrating the diversity of the Paso Robles Wine Country.
Its western boundary is just six miles from the Pacific Ocean. The appellation lies on the inland side of the Santa Lucia coastal mountains in San Luis Obispo County, and roughly forms a rectangle 42 miles from east to west, and 32 miles from north to south. It extends from Monterey County border to the north, to the Cuesta Grade below Santa Margarita to the south, and from the San Lucia Mountains to the west, to the Cholame Hills to the east.
The appellation comprises 614,000 acres of which more than 40,000 vineyard acres. It is the fastest growing and largest by far of three AVAs in San Luis Obispo County, and the main reason that the county ranks behind only Napa, Sonoma and Monterey Counties in planted acreage among the state’s coastal growing areas.
The Paso Robles Region east of the Santa Lucia Mountains has acquired a reputation for wines of distinct characteristics, as witnessed by the award-winning Estate bottled varietal wines grown here. The Region’s wines have won international competitions and have won acclaim from many experts. The upsurge in winery interest in this area is due to the unique climatic and soil conditions of the area.
Expert research Enologists of U.C. Davis have determined that this area has the classifications of Region I, II and III (classifications reserved for areas suitable for planting grapes which could become the finest table wines). So, according to the experts, Central Coast vintners are taking advantage of this fine climate to produce premium quality grapes."
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