Fun stats, from acreage to Zinfandel.
The Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established in 1983 with 17 wineries and 5,000 acres of grapevines. Today nearly 300 wineries do business here, and out of the 600,000-plus acres the AVA encompasses more than 40,000 acres are planted to grapes.
The Paso Robles AVA was divided into 11 subappellations in 2014. More than half the area’s wineries are within three of the subappellations, the Adelaida, Paso Robles Willow Creek, and Templeton Gap districts.
Most Planted Varietals
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted red-grape varietal within the larger Paso Robles AVA, about 40% of the region’s total, followed by Merlot (14%) and Syrah (9%). At 5%, Chardonnay is the most planted white grape.
According to the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, the AVA has the greatest diurnal (from day to night) temperature shift during the growing season of any California appellation. In the dead of summer the difference between the highest temperature during the day and the nighttime low is often between 40°F and 50°F.
Zinfandel was first planted in the late 1880s and for many years was the wine the region was most known for. The Polish pianist and composer Ignacy Paderewski (1860–1941) moved to Paso Robles after taking to the town’s sulfur baths to cure his rheumatism. He planted Zinfandel at a vineyard now owned by Epoch Estate Wines.
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Facts and Info
This story first appeared online in 2017; it was fact-checked and updated in 2020.