Russ Winton: Wine List

July 26, 2013

Paso Robles: Memorable Then and Now

Ten years ago, the editor and I were having dinner at our favorite French restaurant in Paso Robles.

It was mid-week and not very crowded. At a table next to us were a grape grower and a winemaker. They were celebrating their first release, a syrah. They asked the waiter to take the bottle around for us to taste. Before they left, they brought the bottle around for us to sign. What a class act. Paso Robles is like that, laid-back and unpretentious. And that, along with great food, terrific wines and friendly people, keeps us going back.

We returned to Paso Robles recently to check out the remodeling of the JUSTIN Winery tasting room, restaurant and JUST Inn suites. We also toured the new 3,300 seat amphitheater built at the Vina Robles Winery. Make sure you put both on your list.

JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery

JUSTIN Winery was founded in 1981 and literally put the Paso Robles AVA on the global wine map for its iconic Bordeaux blend, ISOSCELES. It was the first winery on the Central Coast to feature a tasting room, luxury accommodations and a restaurant.

The newly renovated two story tasting room and restaurant spaces were redesigned to enlarge the indoor and outdoor areas. The large U-shaped tasting bar opens up to a tiered patio that features ample seating, an outdoor tasting bar and a gourmet outdoor kitchen.

The award-winning Restaurant at JUSTIN takes advantage of the sweeping views of the estate vineyards and will offer Friday and Saturday a la carte lunches and Sunday brunch. Dinners will feature three, five and eight course meals and wines selected from an award winning wine list. The remodeled JUST Inn Suites evoke the same understated elegance of the tasting room and restaurant.

Each room is named for three of JUSTIN’S proprietary wines: ISOSCELES, JUSTIFICATION and SAVANT. An overnight stay includes a complimentary breakfast, a tour of the winery and caves, concierge services and a hosted tea service at 4:00 PM daily. The tasting room is scheduled to open July 26 and the restaurant and the JUST Inn Suites on August 6, 2013. JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery has taken the on-property guest experience to a new level, one that you should experience. For more information, go to


Vina Robles Amphitheater

The mission-style designed 3,300 seat amphitheater at the Vina Robles Winery is nothing short of spectacular.

The group YES opened the venue on July 6th and ZZ Top will appear on July 30th. The furthest seat is only 150 feet away from the stage. You’ll probably be able to see sweat trickle down the performers’ beards, the seats are that good. Seating options include floor, regular, luxury box and general admission lawn seating.

Multi-course pre-show meals are available and the concession plaza offers a wide variety of food from house made corn dogs to wood fired pizzas and of course the exceptional wines of Vina Robles.

If you are interested in Tony Bennett, Los Lonely Boys/Los Lobos, Doobie Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett or John Fogarty, then go to for more information. Cheers!

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