Temecula Wineries vs. Paso Robles Wineries
Over the past five years, we’ve had the opportunity to visit most of the California wine regions. We just finished a week in Paso Robles and thought it would be a great article and video to talk about Temecula wineries versus Paso Robles wineries. There are pros and cons to both regions, and hopefully, we can highlight our experience and give people a few tips or pointers for their next vacation or getaway.
Statistics for Temecula and Paso Robles
In regards to the size of both cities, Paso Robles is about 20 square miles, whereas Temecula is around 33 square miles. There are over 200 wineries in Paso Robles and around 50 in Temecula.
Temecula vs. Paso Robles Overall Feel
As you can probably guess, the feel of Paso Robles is very different from Temecula. Paso Robles, being in central California, simply has fewer people. We kept asking ourselves how Southern California can be so populated while central California feels like the middle of nowhere. It was so evident, especially while driving. Paso Robles has a very rural feel, with vast fields of grapes and rolling hills. One of the things that did surprise us about Paso Robles was pulling up to a winery at 10:30 in the morning in the middle of nowhere on a Tuesday and finding 5–10 tables already doing wine tasting. While driving to the winery, you never saw cars or people. It actually reminded me of growing up in Canada. Mostly rural areas, farmland, and cities are of average size.
I kept on asking myself, “What would I actually do here in Paso Robles with a 2-acre lot?” Would I start gardening? Have chickens? What if I wanted to go to a restaurant? Do I really want to drive 30 minutes into town at this point in my life?
When it comes to Temecula, it’s a typical Southern California city. Lots of homes, cars, restaurants, and businesses One of the things that we like about Temecula is that you can have the rural feel of wine country but still have everything you could possibly need within 20 minutes. We are not saying one place is better than the other; I think it depends on where you are in life and what your plan is in regard to employment. I kept on asking myself, “What would I actually do here in Paso Robles with a 2-acre lot?” When did I start gardening? But I have chickens. What if I wanted to go to a restaurant? Do I really need to drive 30 minutes into town?
We honestly felt that one was not superior to the other; it was simply a matter of taste. We also thought it would really depend on what you’re looking for in life and what stage you are at in your career.
Wine Tasting in Temecula vs. Paso Robles
I very rarely talk about good or bad wines in any of my videos. Why? First, I am not professional and would not be a good source to tell whether a wine is good or not. Second, I really don’t care too much about what the wine tastes like; I am there for the experience, friends, and relaxation. That being said, both regions have very good wines. I would say Paso Robles overall has more red wines than Temecula. where Temecula has more roses, whites, and champagnes. We were only in Paso Robles for 4 days, so there might be certain wineries with whites and Champagnes that we did not visit, but overall, that was my feeling.
One of the things that was a little different in Paso Robles was the fact that you had to make reservations for many of the wineries. We were there during the week and still made reservations, but you really didn’t need them. They always asked, but there was seating available at every single winery. My advice for Paso Robles would be to definitely plan in advance and make reservations, especially with more popular and well-known wineries and on weekends.
Temecula wineries really don’t have reservations. Perhaps you are looking for a special event or a restaurant, but not for wine tasting.
In regards to pricing for wine tasting, Paso Robles is a little more expensive. The average tasting in Paso Robles is going to be around $25–$30. In Temecula, you can expect to pay around $10 less per taste. Of course, I am generalizing, but with the wineries, we visited, with the exception of one, that’s what we paid.
Another big difference was how you were served wine. In Temecula, you usually walk up to a large bar, and there are 4–5 servers behind the bar serving everybody. In Paso Robles, they seat you like a restaurant, and you will have a specific server. One was not better than the other; it was just a different way of doing things.
Temecula vs. Paso Robles Weather
The weather in both Temecula and Paso Robles is beautiful, and that’s one of the big reasons why people move to Central or Southern California. We were in Paso Robles at the end of November, and the weather was absolutely perfect. We wore pants and t-shirts and didn’t need a coat during the day. Overall, Temecula is going to be 5 to 10 degrees warmer than Paso Robles. The times of year that you will really notice this are July, August, and September. Temecula will have over 100° 20 days out of the year, whereas Paso will most likely have much lower temperatures. Having said that, it’s only 100° for a few hours a day in Temecula. The hottest time will be from 1 to around 6:30.
Service and the People Temecula vs. Paso Robles
I’d like to think that overall, most people are kind and courteous, so, generally speaking, people in both areas are going to be very kind. When it comes to the service industry, personally, I feel that Southern California is better. We were in Paso Robles for four days, and we had more than one occasion where our server looked almost annoyed. It’s very rare to go out in Southern California and not have good service, and we go out a lot.
When it came to people, I witnessed two or three instances in Paso Robles where people felt they knew better than you or tried to impose their opinion on either me or someone else. Both areas are going to have nice people overall, but one of the things that I like about Southern California is how upbeat and happy the general population is. (With the exception of while driving)
I was shocked at how opinionated and angry a few people were, which I witnessed while only being in Paso Robles for 4 days. I’ve lived in Southern California for 15 years and can’t remember getting into an argument with anybody. Yes, I had one in Paso Robles.
Where did we stay in Paso Robles?
We stayed at the Oxford Inn and Suites, and it was wonderful. My advice? Go during the week; it’s much cheaper. The staff was great, the rooms were clean, and it had free breakfast and a gym if you’re into working out. It is also very close to town—within a mile. This is very convenient for going out to dinner and having a few drinks. The breakfast was wonderful; they had somebody cooking omelets every morning, and you could customize them. They had bacon, sausage, cereal, and fruits. They had pretty much anything that you thought of for breakfast.
One of the gripes that we have about Temecula is the overall restaurant quality. In our opinion, the restaurants in Paso Robles and the central coast region that we visited were much better than those in Temecula overall. Every single restaurant except one was very good. There is a restaurant where we spent a ton of money in Paso Robles, and it was absolutely horrible. I don’t want to blow them up on this blog, but if you want to contact me, I’ll let you know which one. It was one of the worst restaurants we have been to in a while, and it was astronomically expensive.
As I mentioned above, Catch Seafood and Grill was our favorite, and we highly suggest you check it out in Paso Robles.
Temecula Town vs. Paso Robles Town
We didn’t get to see everything in Paso Robles, but the town itself was smaller and very quaint. Unlike Temecula, there is nothing particularly commercial. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to this. I can drive 3 minutes and go to Costco, Sam’s Club, five grocery stores, and 100 restaurants. I don’t think one is better than the other, but in my opinion, coming from a small town in Canada, I prefer the smaller town.
Go during the week; hotels are much cheaper and it is less busy.
Ask your server if they have any 2-for-1 wine-tasting coupons.
In Paso Robles, go to the restaurant called “Catch Seafood Bar & Grill” and sit at the bar and watch them cook while you eat. Great food and a fun atmosphere
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