In the center of Paso Robles’ downtown is a square many come across during Paso Robles tours. Vinoteca overlooks the square and is the favorite watering hole of many Paso Robles wineries’ winemakers, wine aficionados and wine enthusiasts.
During our annual trek to Paso for Zin Fest, featuring Paso Robles wines, I sat sat down with manager Jeff Wiesinger for a visit to find out more about this unique place. Cynthia Reed opened Vinoteca in June, 2000. Her son, Craig, was at the time winemaker for the now defunct Martin and Weyrich. After establishing the business, she sold it to Rob & Pamela Sharp in January, 2009. Jeff came aboard four months later.
Cynthia Reed started bringing in local winemakers when she owned Vinoteca, and Winemaker Wednesdays are a big part of what makes Vinoteca such a wine hub in Paso Robles. Each week, Jeff selects a Pso Robles Vineyard, tastes through their entire lineup and chooses three wines to serve. He then comes up with a tapa to pair with each one. On Wednesdays from 5:30 – 9:00, the winemaker pours Jeff’s three selections as well as a bonus pour of his choosing that might be a barrel sample, a reserve or library wine. Four 3 ounce pours will cost you $18. Add three tapas paired to the wines and the cost is $28. In my book that’s a hell of a bargain. In the early part of the evening, more than half the room is occupied by winemakers and vineyard managers. It’s an excellent opportunity to ask the people who made the wine what makes it so special.
Vinoteca Wine Bar – Serving up wines from Paso Robles Wineries – 835 12th St., Paso Robles, CA – (805) 227-7154
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