Being a resident of the town of Paso Robles California for well over 35 years, I can really tell you some history about this town and it’s growing popularity.
When I first arrived here to the town of Paso Robles I was just 5 years old. It had a population of 10,000 people and had a total of about 3 traffic lights in the entire town. It was just a tiny blip on the radar in the state of California and pretty insignificant little town. It was always a very rural town and parts of the outskirts of it still remains that way.
During that time it was known as a walnut and almond production town and if you drive around the rural parts of town, you can still see the old remains of old almond trees. As the 1990s started to roll around the town really began to grow. During this time, wine grape production began to start sprouting around. Before the year 2000 rolled around, full-blown wine production and grape growing had taken over the town. Today, you see a monstrous popularity in wine in this town and has pretty much made Paso Robles known for wine.
Wine is such a huge industry in Paso Robles that some have even considered changing the city logo from an image of an oak tree, what the town was actually named for, to images of vineyards. Many of the original residents don’t care too much for all the vineyard growth in the town but they can not deny that it has placed the town on the map.
When people think about San Luis Obispo County many think of the beautiful town of San Luis Obispo itself, the wonderful climate of the 5 cities area, Morro Bay coastline, and the wine in Paso Robles. Its popularity has lead to massive growth in the last decade. Housing has sprung up everywhere. Many of the residents here in town have moved from more expensive areas to live like the Bay Area and the Southern LA area and increased the amounts of luxury homes. There is a massive amount of tourism that takes place in the town which has lead to the building of a large number of large hotels throughout the town. There are wine tours that take place year-round and tourists love the rural drives out to many of the vineyards located around the outskirts of town. One can even make the case that a driving school will soon be needed to teach drivers the many wine tours this town offers.
Some of these vineyards have become so elaborate and fancy that many have become venues for events and wedding. It really is remarkable to see all the changes that have taken place. There are many award-winning wines and people come from all around to taste and tour the locations. You know you’ve hit wine country when as soon as you drive in from highways 46 east you see one giant billboard displaying their wine brands. Go ahead and type in #pasorobles into Instagram and I guarantee you that most of the pics you will see will be about wines a, wine tours, and wineries.
There have been a few trends that are beginning to change. As you drive around you will see that now breweries are starting to sprout around. It all started with the addition of Firestone and it’s giant brewing operation. The beer has had explosive growth and some of its brews have spread out all over the country, mostly it’s popular beer the 805. Other breweries have also started to take off including Barrel House Brewery and Santa Maria Brewery. Who knows, Maybe this town has meant to thrive and alcoholic beverages. Whatever the case may be, it certainly has put Paso Robles on the map.