Not sure if it is appropriate to say this is a tourist trap but the cost could be outrageously expensive. It is all dependent on you and how well you can function on tasting wine all day long. My boyfriend and I have learned to share one tasting between the two of us and we are very selective on which wineries to visit. We don't rush from one winery to the next. We make sure to eat a good breakfast before getting started for the day. Maybe, a light lunch so we can enjoy a nice dinner.
If you are not confident on your driving abilities having consumed quite a bit of wine, then a tour is probably the right thing for you. It is not worth a DUI (driving under the influence) which will end up costing you US$10,000 to US$15,000.
Unique Suggestions: Here is an example of a wine tour I saw this past weekend.
- Wine Tasting
A recent trend in Paso Robles is the opening of "themed" wineries. Most of the tasting rooms we visited in Paso were very quaint- usually a large room in a house along the highway. Nothing fancy. And with great wines who needs fancy or gimmicks. We made a conscious effort to avoid these winieries: Eagle Castle (medieval themed with a drawbridge and suits of armor) and Tobin James (western themed).
Unique Suggestions: Be prepared for crowds and others who "want to party".
Fun Alternatives: If you want something a little different, check out Clautiere Winery where the tasting room is painted in bright colors (purples, reds, etc) and they have a huge box of wigs and hats to wear while you taste. The difference is that these wines have won awards.
- Wine Tasting
Ya gotta tour a Winery, try Robert Hall
Robert Hall Winery is one of the best on the road down 46 East heading out of Paso Robles. Not only do you get a wide range of tasty wines to refresh you, but these grounds have some wonderful architecture, a nice outdoor area to sip wine while gazing over the grape fields, a free grill style lunch, and a really nice tour of the downstairs distillary and wine making process. Friendly people, hot gals who pretend they are in the movie 'Sideways' for the day. What more can you ask for? The website address is www.roberthallwinery.com.