Tobin James Winery Review

(1 customer review)


About Tobin James Cellars

Tobin James started when a local grape harvested was giving away 6 tons of extra Zinfandel grapes. The young Tobin “Toby” James, who was an assistant winemaker at the time, saw an opportunity to make his own wine. 1.5 years later, the first batch of Tobin James Blue Moon Zinfandel was created. That Zinfandel won several awards and was the launching point of Tobin James Cellars. In 1993, Toby was able to purchase and official start Tobin James Cellars. In 1996, the  “James Gang” Wine Club was started, which is California’s most popular wine club (more on this below).

Now, Tobin James is known as one of the best Zinfandel producers in California and describes their wines “Paso Robles in a Glass”. The winery owns 71 acres of vineyards. They have a team of 7 winemakers, which helps them create wines that people enjoy. Because they get the opinion of all 7 instead of just 1. Their team tastes, talks, and then decides which is best. What a brilliant concept that definitely seems to be working well! They also have a Grotto area outside, with an Italian pizza oven that is a hit during their special events and parties.

Tobin James Winery Review

This was our favorite stop during our entire trip! Walking into the winery feels like you are walking into a country western-style saloon. There is a pretty large gift shop and several bars that you stand next to for your tastings. The tasting room has a grand antique 1860’s Brunswick mahogany bar from Blue Eye, Missouri. You will notice this right away as you enter the building. This winery is not typical of any other wineries, and feels more like a bar/saloon than a traditional winery.

The staff is all very down-to-earth and friendly. On their website they describe themselves as being truly authentic (and fun!). And we absolutely agree! We were able to sample too-many-to-count different wines, while talking with the staff the whole time. We lost track of time we were having so much fun there. They even showed us how to “roll the wine” so you can get the wine to breathe faster than normal. But you have to pour only an ounce of wine in the glass, otherwise it will spill.

We ended up buying a few bottles to take home, and we also joined their wine club. The James Gang Wine Club is an excellent value and was too good to pass up. We would recommend everyone not only visiting the winery, but also joining the club! For a special treat, be sure to get the Blue Moon Reserve Zinfandel, which is their best bottle. And you get half off the purchase price of the bottle if you are a member, even better!

Service – 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Atmosphere – 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

The Wines – 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Prices – 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Overall – 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Insider Tip: Members of the wine club can stay at the guest house for free if you purchase enough wine to cover the cost of the staying there. Which is a fantastic deal! We will probably do this the next time we visit Paso Robles!

Insider Tip #2: This winery stays open until 6, which is later than most every other winery we were researching in the area. So if you would like an extra hour of tasting wine in your day, make this your last stop!

Tobin James Wines Offered

We tried a LOT of different wines during our visit. They definitely rolled out the red carpet for us, and even gave us a special treat by opening up a bottle of their Blue Moon Reserve Syrah for us to try, which was fantastic. We enjoyed all of the wines, but some of our favorites (besides the Blue Moon Reserve) were the Fat Boy, Dusi Five and Rock-n-Roll Syrah. We also enjoyed their Chardonnay, even though we don’t typically like Chardonnay as much as red wines. Here is a list of the wines they offer. We put an asterisk next to the wines we sampled during our visit (I think we missed some actually).

White Wines

Sundance Sauvignon Blanc

*Radiance Chardonnay

*James Gang Reserve Chardonnay – this is the Chardonnay we liked the best

James Gang Reserve Riesling

Dream Catcher Moscato

Dream Weaver Sparkling White

Red Wines

Primo Sangiovese

Made in the Shade Merlot

Ballistic Zinfandel

Rock-n-Roll Zinfandel

*Rock-n-Roll Syrah

Midnight Magic Petite Sirah

Pinot Noir

Big Shot Rhone Style Red Blend

*Fat Boy Zinfandel


*James Gang Reserve Primitivo

*Silver Reserve GSM

Palindrome Tannat

*Five Bordeaux Blend

Silver Reserve Lagrein

Chateau Le Chacheflo

James Gang Reserve Zinfandel

James Gang Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

James Gang Reserve Malbec

Blue Moon Reserve Zinfandel

*Blue Moon Reserve Syrah

Tobin James Cellars Information

Contact Info


Tasting Room Hours

Open from 10am to 6pm daily

Reservations Required


8950 Union Road
Paso Robles, California 93446

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