Best Wineries
Wine tasting at Eberle Winery.

Eberle Winery in Paso Robles

By Published On: November 27th, 2023

Showcasing the history and diverse flavors of the Paso Robles Appellation.

Eberle Winery has been a staple in the Paso Robles wine region for over four decades. Still, it’s not just the wine that draws visitors – it’s also the visionary behind it all, Gary Eberle.

As you park your car and walk to the tasting room entrance, you’re likely to be welcomed by the owner, Gary, and his two “greeter” dogs. Gary is the host of hospitality and makes a point of sitting out front with a glass of Cabernet almost daily, doing what comes naturally to him – making friends. Maybe that’s why Eberle Winery remains one of the most popular wineries in the region. As Gary will tell you, “This is the hospitality industry, and making friends is almost as important as making great wine.”

Gary Eberle greeting guests at winery.
Gary Eberle greeting guests. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker.

The Tasting Room

Upon arrival at Eberle Winery, what appears to be an unpretentious single-story tasting room belies the magic inside, outside, and below. Inside, the tasting room is cozy, with logs burning in the fireplace to take the chill away on a winter day. A warm brown leather couch faces the fireplace. To either side, upholstered chairs accentuate the sofa. 

Gary Eberle talking with a guest by the fireplace at winery.
Gary Eberle talking with a guest by the fireplace. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker

While Gary often sits in front of the tasting room when it’s warm outside, you might find him sitting inside during cooler weather. He’s chatting with friends who stop by to see him or guests who are visiting the winery. Curled up in the other chair, one of Gary’s poodles may join the party. He has two, their names are Sangiovese and Barbera.

Eberle Winery poodles sitting on grass.
Gary’s poodles are often nearby.

A half dozen tables that seat small and large groups are scattered about. Warm wooden beams frame the ceiling. Expansive windows that reach up to the ceiling provide sweeping views of the vineyards on one side and a look into the production area on the other side. A stand-up tasting bar provides space for more casual wine tasting.

Outside, the Vineyard Deck overlooks the estate vineyard. It offers spacious seating and is covered to provide shade in the warmer weather. On select weekends, Gary and his staff grill tri-tip, baby back ribs, and duck sausage here. Every Saturday from mid-March through September, musicians perform live music for guests. 

Eberle winery expansive deck with vineyard view.
The outside deck is popular in the summer. Photo Courtesy: Eberle Winery.

Best of all, whether you’re wine tasting inside or outside, Eberle Winery does not charge a tasting fee. Gary learned this approach to hospitality from his mentor, Robert Mondavi. He says Mondavi told him, “You must make great wine. But your hospitality is what will make people appreciate your wine. And your job is to make wine so good you don’t have to charge them to taste.”

Plenty of comfortable patio seating with a vineyard view. Photo Courtesy: Eberle Winery.

To this day, Eberle still doesn’t charge a tasting fee for the standard winetasting experience. Nor does he charge for those tasty meats he grills on the weekend. And he says, “I channel Mr. Mondavi every day.”

Eberle Winery Tasting Room Educator pours red wine for guest.
Tasting Room Educator pours red wine for guest. Photo Courtesy: Eberle Winery.

Eberle Winery Cave

There’s one more component to the Eberle tasting room: the cave underneath. It houses wine barrels and 16,800 square feet of winding tunnels. It’s also the location for the Wild Boar Room and the VIP Room. The Wild Boar Room, an elegant setting, hosts special events and winemaker dinners.

Guests take a tour of the Eberle Winery Cave.
Cave tour. Photo Courtesy: Eberle Winery.

The VIP Room, a nook within the caves, can be reserved for up to eight guests and a two-hour tasting paired with artisan cheeses. The VIP experience costs $60 per person for non-wine club members. Wine Club Members enjoy complimentary VIP tastings each year based on membership level.

VIP room in underground cave at Eberle Winery.
VIP room in underground cave. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker.

But you don’t have to book the VIP Room or attend a special event to visit the caves. The Eberle Winery team gives free daily cave tours, with no reservations required. The tours are daily Monday – Friday.

And for dog lovers, as Gary is, the winery is dog friendly.

Wine Tasting Experience

Each tasting includes five pours of wine. Knowledgeable servers pour each wine one at a time while providing a description of the wine’s characteristics. The menu rotates as wine sells out and new bottles are released. Gary says, “We don’t have a single wine that we keep in stock for 12 months, so we constantly have to replace what we pour in the tasting room with something new.”

During the week, but not on weekends, guests can also opt to taste Eberle’s legacy wines.

Tasting room hours are 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April through October. November – March, the hours are 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Reservations are recommended, but the winery does take walk-ins based on availability.

Walk-in guests. Photo Courtesy: Eberle Winery.

The Wines of Eberle

Gary Eberle produces premium, small-production wines. Since 1979, he’s made his flagship wine, Cabernet Sauvignon. He was the first in the United States to plant and make 100% Syrah. In 1992, he was the sixth in California to make a Viognier. Over the years, Gary’s innovative and experimental approach has expanded to producing additional classic whites, reds, and rosés. Today, he produces Chardonnay, Cotes-du-Robles Blanc, and other standalone reds like Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Barbera. 

Eberle Wines at tasting room.
Three of Eberle’s most popular wines. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker.

Viognier

Eberle’s Estate Viognier is a white wine for red wine lovers. This is a bold and lively wine with aromas and flavors of stone fruit, honeysuckle, peach, honeydew, kiwi, tangerine, and jasmine.

Aged in 60% neutral French oak and 40% stainless steel. Sells for $38.

Eberle Winery Estate vineyards where the Viognier is grown are right outside the tasting room.
Estate vineyards where the Viognier is grown are right outside the tasting room. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker.

Steinbeck Syrah

The bulk of the grapes come from the Steinbeck vineyard, one of the oldest Syrah vineyards in the US. It’s co-fermented with 3% Viognier, which adds floral aromas and increases the intensity and hue. Gary says, “The Viognier exaggerates the fruit. It just pops it up!”

The wine opens with aromas of blueberry, blackberry, plum, and oak notes. It is a savory, earthy wine with hints of white pepper, violets, and sweet tobacco.

Aged 15 months in French, Hungarian, and American oak, it sells for $42.

Eberle Syrah wine.
Eberle Syrah wine. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker.

Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Gary says, “I came to California to make Cabernet Sauvignon.” In 1977, he made just his second Cabernet ever, and it won worldwide awards. In 1987, Gary planted vines from Clone 6 in his Eberle Estate Vineyard. The vines are still growing on their own roots and producing some of Eberle’s and Paso Robles’s best Cabernet Sauvignon today.

The Cabernet is well-balanced and elegant. It offers aromas and flavors of black cherry, cassis, green peppercorns, and cocoa. Firm tannins and juicy acidity support the wine. It leaves a lingering finish. The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be the winery’s flagship wine and Gary’s favorite.

Aged 20 months in French oak and sells for $55.

Eberle WInery Cabernet Sauvignon.
Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker.

Eberle’s History

Gary Eberle has always been a student of science, from biology and cellular genetics to viticulture and enology. His approach to grape growing and winemaking is no different. In the early 1970s, working closely with scientists at U.C. Davis and after carefully analyzing the soil quality of Paso Robles, Gary moved there. He began his career by co-founding the Estrella River Winery in 1973. He later started his own winery, Eberle Winery, just down the highway at its current site today.

Patio view of Eberle Winery Estate Vineyards.
Patio view of Eberle Estate Vineyards. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker.

Everything took off from there once the winery was established, including Gary. As a certified pilot, Gary flew his own plane back and forth across the United States to promote and market the Eberle brand and Paso Robles as a new California wine destination. The resulting efforts paid off in the distribution of wine in 25 states and two European countries – Switzerland and Denmark. He also co-founded the Paso Robles wine appellation as a primary winemaker whenever he was back on the ground.

Gary says Tommy Martin, Herman Schwartz, and about a half dozen Paso winemakers started the Paso appellation. Gary says, “I officially quit being the winemaker at Eberle in 1997. I found that I was more valuable promoting my winery and Paso Robles.” He knew that if Paso didn’t succeed, Eberle Winery wouldn’t succeed.

Today, Chris Eberle (no relation) is the winemaker. Gary says, “I think Chris Eberle is the best winemaker in Paso Robles.”

Gary Eberle with Chris Eberle, the current winemaker at Eberle Winery.
Gary Eberle with Chris Eberle, the current winemaker. Photo Courtesy: MENUS/New Times.

A true pioneer in the local wine industry, Gary Eberle was the first in Paso Robles to put the Paso Robles appellation on his wine label. He was also the first in Paso Robles to start a wine club offering members a 30% discount on purchases and four pickup parties a year. Today, his wine club has over 5,000 members. He was also the first to plant and make 100% Syrah in the United States. 

Eberle is a name of German descent meaning “small boar” and has served as the winery’s symbol on the wine label since its inception.

A small boar water fountain sits at the entry to the tasting room at Eberle Winery.
A small boar water fountain sits at the entry to the tasting room. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker.

Gracious Guide to Delicious wine

As a consistent ambassador of wine hospitality, Gary Eberle has earned the reputation of the “Godfather” of Paso Robles wine. He was one of the region’s original winemakers, and his award-winning wines have made him one of California’s best. Gary is one of the most gracious and genuine hosts we’ve met at a winery. He says, “By noon or 1:00, I try to be out front. I’m here every day. I love sitting and talking with people.”

Gary Eberle describing the wine at Eberle Winery.
Gary Eberle describing the wine. Photo Courtesy: Pam and Gary Baker.

Gary has been honored with the Wine Lifetime Achievement Award from the state of California, the Robert Mondavi Hospitality Award, and named the American Wine Legend by Wine Enthusiast. 

We encourage you to visit to enjoy the hospitality, great wines, and a true Paso Robles wine country experience at Eberle Winery!

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