Celebrated winery specializes in old-vine Zinfandel.
A mandatory stop for Zinfandel lovers, Turley Wine Cellars built its reputation on velvety smooth, exquisitely crafted single-vineyard wines from old-vine grapes grown throughout California.
A few miles south of Paso Robles in Templeton, the tasting room fronts Pesenti Vineyard, whose head-trained vines – freestanding, rather than in trellised rows – are certified organic. On a misty late-winter morning before the year’s buds have broken, these dark, gnarly mini-trees set against the green limestone-riddled hills are a sight to behold. The wine they produce, the Pesenti Vineyard Zinfandel, also impresses.
The vineyard takes its name from the former Pesenti Winery, one of Paso Robles’s earliest bonded wineries. The two wines from this historic site – the other a Petite Syrah, as the winery spells it – are among several you can sample only at Turley. Because many of the winery’s Zinfandels are produced in small lots, the lineup changes but usually includes two or three Zins and a Petite Syrah.
Due to coronavirus concerns, tastings remained on hiatus as of early August 2020, though a note on the winery’s website described them as “returning soon.” In the meantime, the winery has put together “Save the Date Night” wine packages for which Savannah Turley, founder Larry Turley’s youngest daughter and an accomplished chef, provided pairing recipes.
Why go: velvety smooth, exquisitely crafted single-vineyard Zinfandels; exceptional Petite Sirah wines and Cabernet Sauvignon; library tastings; outdoor tasting area.
Turley Wine Cellars appears in 12 Foolproof Paso Robles Wine Tasting Experiences.
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This story first appeared online in 2017; it was fact-checked and updated in 2020.