Celebrated Paso Robles 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 century-old 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 the winery produces its Zinfandels in small lots, the tasting-room lineup changes often but usually includes two or three Zins and a Petite Sirah.
Why go: velvety smooth, exquisitely crafted single-vineyard Zinfandels; winery-only pours; 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 most recently updated in 2023. Lead photo, courtesy of Turley Wine Cellars, shows a head-trained Zinfandel vine in Pesenti Vineyard.