Brecon Estate

Architecture, landscape, and wines impress at caver’s boutique Paso Robles winery.

Prepare to be quietly dazzled at Brecon Estate, a boutique winery in the Paso Robles appellation’s Adelaida District. The architects for a mid-2010s remodel won a significant design award for the brilliant visual conversation they initiated between the wine facility and the hilly landscape of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes planted in the 1970s. The Bordeaux, Rhône, and other wines poured here also impress.

Amanda and Damian Grindley: he makes the wines, she handles hospitality.

Cavers’ Delight

The texture of the tasting room’s brown rough-stucco interior walls mimics the limestone-laden soil beneath the winery. The subterranean undercurrents provide daily delight to Brecon’s Welsh founder and winemaker, Damian Grindley, an avid caver. Also enamored of the sport is his Australian wife, Amanda, whose duties include hospitality. The Grindleys named their winery for Wales’s Brecon Beacons National Park, which contains a challenging system of limestone caves.

The architects remodeling Brecon Estate initiated a conversation between the buildings and the surrounding landscape.

Strong but Soft

Damian Grindley’s résumé includes stints making wines in Australia and Europe and for U.S. producers such as Kendall-Jackson and Gallo. The winemaker was also responsible for a few acclaimed vintages at nearby Calcareous Vineyards. With Calcareous and his own label, Grindley’s goal has been to create wines with “strength but soft tannins,” traits applicable to the estate Petit Verdot, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (from the old vines), and Meritage blend of four Bordeaux varietals sourced and from his own vineyard. Noted critics often gush over the lush and luscious Meritage, the 2021 vintage crafted from 46% Petit Verdot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon,  8% Malbec and 7% Cabernet Franc.

Evolving Lineup

Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, and Mourvèdre are also in the red mix, along with Zinfandel/Tannat and Petite Sirah/Zinfandel blends. Because Grindley makes wines in small quantities, the tasting-room lineup evolves throughout the year. One wine to seek out is Forty Two, whose name is a nod to the novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In some vintages of this distinctive Rhône blend, a small quantity of Petite Sirah has, to pleasing effect, replaced Grenache in the traditional Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre ensemble. 

Tastings sometimes begin with Albariño, another strong suit. Grindley makes three different wines from the Spanish white grape. Several rows of old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that don’t ripen sufficiently to make red wine form the core of Brecon’s dry, elegant Provençal-style rosé, which sells out quickly each year.

Lawn tables have views of estate Bordeaux vines.

Clearing Head and Palate

For all of Brecon Estate’s architectural flair, the atmosphere is laid-back and cheery. The tasting bar opens out to an expansive concrete patio furnished with oversized chairs and sofas shaded by umbrellas and nearby oaks. Beyond that is a lawn with picnic tables – it’s okay to bring your own food. The outgoing Amanda Grindley sets a welcoming tone that, along with her husband’s complex yet delectable wines, invites lingering. If it’s past harvest and the winemaker isn’t around, he may well be out caving. The activity’s adrenaline rush, says Amanda, “clears his head and also his palate.” Judging by the wines, this strategy is a resounding success.

Why go: complex wines with strength but soft tannins; sophisticated architecture; welcoming, laid-back setting.


Brecon Estate is featured in 12 Foolproof Paso Robles Wine Tasting Experiences.


7450 Vineyard Dr., Paso Robles 93446

More About Paso Robles

8 Reasons to Visit Paso Robles Now
Paso Robles Lodgings Cheat Sheet
Paso Robles Restaurants Cheat Sheet

This story first appeared online in 2017; it was most recently updated in 2023.

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