Paso Robles is an incredibly diverse wine region with a range of soils, climate and grape varietals. Typically when you think Paso Robles, you think Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah. While red wines have been the soul of Paso Robles wine production for over a century, white wines are on the rise and showcase its spirit: diversity and ingenuity.
Paso Robles is a big melting pot of people, there are brilliant winemakers from around the globe flocking to Paso to make wine, each bringing with them the grape varieties and expertise of their own region. Some interesting and unique white grape varieties are Clairette Blanche, Picpoul Blanc, Bourboulenc, Vermentino, and Verdejo to name just a few.
There is a broad degree of stylistic expressions in the wines of Paso Robles, but they are well-balanced, harmonious, and complex. The region’s terroir and microclimate play a pivotal role, Paso Robles is warmer than many CA regions. With extreme diurnal shifts and 30+ parent soil series, producers are working with a variety of white grapes and techniques to create vibrant wines.
Here in Paso Robles, you will find the unexpected. Classic varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc have a home alongside some unique varieties for California, like Verdejo, Vermentino and Viognier. Here are four Paso Robles white wine producers to look out for.
Cabernet Sauvignon may be the Parrish Family’s flagship grape, but in 2013 they were eager to expand their roots to one of its parent varieties: Sauvignon Blanc. This estate Sauvignon Blanc is a beautiful refreshing wine and perfect for the warmer months! The palate welcomes with notes of green apple, lime, and a touch of honeydew. The minerality is balanced adding great support for the fresh fruit notes, while the acidity is vibrant.
Sextant Wines shifted Verdejo from Rueda to Paso Robles, finding a commonality in both environments: high daytime temperatures with significant temperature swings at night and limestone-rich soils. Bursting with notes of white nectarine, fresh-picked apricots, and granite-like minerality, this wine excites even more on the palate. Ever so slightly tart, Granny smith apple-like acidity immediately introduces itself upon your first sip, and transitions to a mid-palate with flavors of Honeydew melon and Ventura peaches.
Robert Hall Winery has produced white wines for nearly two decades, with white grapes making up 11% of its vineyards. The winery was intrigued by Vermentino’s ability to thrive in hot, sunny conditions and maintain its elegance. The 2019 Cavern Select Vermentino has notes of grapefruit and peach blossom on the nose. White peach and wet stone flavors on the mid-palate with a crisp, racy finish.
The Viognier for the VIII VIII cuvée is sourced from Jada Vineyards and neighboring Denner Estate Vineyard, in the Willow Creek District—both use organic, biodynamic and sustainable farming practices. The wine has an exotic nose of orange blossom and magnolia, scented beeswax, and more vibrant traces of Meyer lemon oil, wet stone, and toasted bread. Seamless and soft on the palate with just enough fresh acidity to support the layers of flavors on the finish, including white flower, Asian pear, and a hint of freshly baked Brioche.