Templeton Gap District

The coolest AVA in Paso Robles - the cooling breezes of the Pacific allow for elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, yet warm enough for aromatic styles of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Eric Ogorsolka checks barrels, as the head winemaker at Zenaida Wineries, quality is one of his biggest concerns.

Templeton Gap District Wines

If you’re looking for cooler climate style wines, with racy acidity, fresh fruit flavors, and lower alcohol then Templeton Gap District is where you’ll find them. From Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and even Viognier, all the wines from here have a streak of freshness through them, coming directly from the Pacific Ocean.

Like many places in Paso Robles, you’ll also find elegant styles of Syrah, with a peppery note, and perfumed Cabernet Sauvignon too.

A cluster of plump wine grapes on the Bella Luna Estate Winery.


Sitting on the slopes of the Santa Lucia mountains is the Templeton Gap District. There’s a lowering in the hills that allows cold wind and marine fog to penetrate through the mountains and spill over into Paso Robles; it’s called the Fog Monster.

Its first stop on its way into Paso Robles is Templeton Gap District, making it the coolest and wettest of the AVAs. This moisture and the calcareous soils that hold water mean dry farming is possible here, which is rare in California.

This AVA is so much cooler than its neighbors. Grapes are often harvested 1-2 weeks later than the rest of Paso Robles. Due to the longer growing season, this extra hang-time can mean lots of complex flavors coming through in the wines, be they made from Pinot Noir, Syrah, or Viognier.

Notable Wineries

Bella Luna: This small family-run winery focuses on more niche varieties like Barbera, Sangiovese, and Arneis!

Donati Family Vineyard: This family-run winery has everything from sparkling wine to Bordeaux Blends, sourcing grapes throughout Paso Robles and Templeton Gap.

Quick Facts:

  • Major Varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Viognier
  • Established: 2014
  • Elevation Range: 700-1800 ft (215-550 m)
  • Total Area: 35,000 acres (14,100 ha)
  • Diurnal shift: 20-40°F
  • Annual Rainfall: 20-22 inches (500-560mm)
  • Soils: Clay, loam, limestone