I was first introduced to Justin Wines by a friend of mine. Every time she had a get together she would serve wines from Paso Robles, and so through her, I became quite a fan of Justin as well as other Paso wines. Jason and I kept telling ourselves that we needed to make a trip to Paso Robles to discover the many hidden gems they have. Over Thanksgiving break, we finally had our chance. Justin Winery was the first winery on our itinerary. The winery is beautiful, a little bit out of the way, but definitely worth the trip. We walked into the tasting room and were quickly greeted by two staff members. They were friendly and enthusiastic to teach us about Justin Wines and the process and passion behind each type of wine produced there.
We also opted to take their free winery tour, which included learning about the wine making process as well as seeing the ISOSCELES library, a special cave that houses Justin’s flagship wine and its reserves.
ISOSCELES is usually made from three red varietals, Cabernet Sauvingnon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. I’m no sommelier so I won’t get into the technicalities of tasting notes and all of that stuff. All I can say is that it is a beautiful, super smooth blend and we thoroughly enjoyed it. In addition to this wine, we found that we liked most of the reds we tried, so we decided to pick up a few (a few cases that is). We also joined their wine club so we could have this magic liquid delivered to our doorstep!
After Christmas, we had a second opportunity to stop in Paso Robles on our way home from Northern California (OK, we deliberately chose the route that would take us through Paso!). We decided to go back to Justin Winery to pick up a few more bottles. This time the tasting room was packed with folks on Christmas holiday, but we were easily able to make our way up to the counter. Even in a crowded room, the staff were friendly and made sure that each guest was attended to and they didn’t ever make you feel rushed. It’s such a different feeling than if you’ve ever been wine tasting in Napa Valley. Think of Paso Robles as how Napa used to be about 20 years ago.
Since we were in such good spirits we asked if there were any reservations left for Deborah’s Room, the winery’s small but elegant restaurant. We were in luck and had the opportunity to partake in the pre-fix dinner along with an extensive list of Justin Wines (without the usual 300% restaurant beverage markups).