Paso Robles Vintages

Explore the Paso Robles vintage chart to discover how each year has shaped what you’ll find in your glass.

Let's look at 10 vintages in Paso Robles to find which wines fared the best and where to find value in the great vintages, and what to look out for in some of the more variable vintages.

Paso Robles produces over 60 grape varieties, but the majority are Cabernet and Cabernet blends, and Rhône varietal blends, like Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre.

Having heat spikes in the summer can be a problem as that can, paradoxically, stop the grapes from ripening (the vine shuts down in the heat). Therefore, having just the right temperatures at the right time is vital to ripen all the different grapes to perfection.

How Wine Folly Rates a Vintage

We gather the facts about a vintage and how those features affect the wines. This way, you can better find the vintages that fit your needs (whether you're a collector or looking to drink now).


Generally speaking, the more consistent the vintage, the better the quality.

The crop consistency determines the quality of a vintage. In some years, we see average to high consistency, and to us, consistency equates to quality.

On other vintages, quality is much more variable. In these variable years, it's best to look for producers who consistently produce high-quality wines because they can roll with difficulties growing grapes.


Ideally, producers want consistent temperatures year in and out for consistent quality. Of course, this is not very likely to happen as weather changes frequently. Rain during harvest, hail and frost are key events that can create a difficult vintage.

Seasonal events include frost, hail, drought, and even wildfires. These events affect the quality or size of a vintage.

In warmer climates getting enough rainfall during the growing season is key for healthy grapes and ripening.

In cooler or more moderate climates, getting enough but not too much rain and getting the right amount of sunshine and heat are important for producing ripe grapes.


Contrary to popular belief, low volumes do not always equal high quality. Producers can have very high-quality years where volumes are also high.

The opposite is also true, where we might have low yields, but the quality may be low - this might be due to disease in the vineyard or poor weather conditions.

So why do we care about volume? If there's more, it can lower prices, and the prices might be higher if there is less.

Recent Vintages To Explore
Heat spikes at the end of the summer meant that some vineyards suffered. Bordeaux varieties were more impacted than Rhône varieties - Grenache fared quite well (both red and white)
A cool, but long growing season means that these wines are very fresh and have enough acid to age well in bottle. Hot days and cool nights mean you’ll find beautifully preserved aromas throughout the wines.
A cool spring but a heatwave in the summer means the red wines will be ripe and juicy, and the white wines, if harvested a bit early, should still be fresh.
In the winter (breaking a 5 year drought), good rainfall led to healthy and productive vines throughout the region. Extended fall meant many red varieties had extra hang time leading to increased ripeness and complexity.
Near-perfect growing conditions have led to fantastic Rhône varietals and very good Bordeaux blends.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah production were down due to windy weather in the spring. Unexpected rain in July caused fungal issues in the vineyard.
A year of drought means the grapes were all harvested early. Small clusters and berries mean more concentrated and intense wines for the red and white varieties.
Considered a Classic vintage. With heat spikes in the summer, these wines have lots of body and power, but with a cool fall, you'll still find that classic Paso Robles freshness in the white and red wines.
Perfect harvest conditions and a warm summer have created deeply colored red wines and intense and complex wines from all grape varieties (red and white).
A devastating frost in spring decimated the volume of wine produced (20-60% losses). With low yields, the quality, in this case, is quite high, especially for the red wines.
An early frost event in April set the tone for this year's vintage - making it a cool vintage. However, during late summer and harvest, a warmer season sees all grape varieties perfectly ripened, showing great quality and intensity.
Vintage Chart Legend
Highly Consistent
Average Consistency
Variable Consistency
Large Production
Medium Production
Small Production
Hot Temp/Low Rain
Average Weather
Cool Temp/High Rain