18th Century to Prohibition

The Spanish Portola expedition arrives by sea in what is now San Luis Obispo County.

Spanish missionaries dedicate San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, their fifth mission in California. It was at this mission that the very first wine grapes were planted within what is now San Luis Obispo County. The mission was named after Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse (Anjou), revered for his assistance to the poor and hungry. He died in 1297, just 23 years old.

Mission grapes planted by Franciscan monks at Santa Margarita de Cortono Asistancia in the present-day Santa Margarita Ranch AVA, within the Paso Robles AVA.

Mission San Miguel Arcàngal was established on a site of mineral hot springs, less than 10 miles (16 km) north of what was to become the El Paso de Robles settlement. This was the sixteenth of the Spanish missions created in California.

San Luis Obispo County is one of 21 initial California counties. all established on the same day

French-born Pierre Hyppolite Dallidet became the first commercial winegrower in San Luis Obispo County. He produced both wine and brandy. Part of his grape growing was a collaboration with the French Ministry of Agriculture who worked with Frenchmen overseas to cultivate virus-free vines for cuttings that would help revitalize France’s Phylloxera-ravaged vineyards. He was the only distiller in the county until World War I.

The town of San Luis Obispo was incorporated, the first in the county.

Jacob Granstaff established a farm and vineyard, the first in what is now the York Mountain AVA.

Henry Ditmas plants Zinfandel and Muscat at his Rancho Saucelito, the first vineyard in Arroyo Grande Valley

Andrew York buys the Granstaff property

York established Ascension Winery, later renamed York Mountain Winery.

A. B. Hasbrouck establishes St. Remy Winery, the first in Arroyo Grande Valley

Paso Robles is incorporated as a city.

1900 through Prohibition

Cal Poly established in San Luis Obispo

Dallidet Vineyards foreclosed upon, turned into a housing tract

Phylloxera reaches San Luis Obispo County

Prohibition begins. York Brothers and Rotta Wineries survive the period by selling grapes and juice for home winemakers and producers of sacramental wine.

Ignacy Paderewski plants Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Mission grapes on his 200-acre (81 ha) Rancho San Ignacio in the area which now falls within the Paso Robles Willow Creek District.

Frank Pesenti plants Zinfandel in what is today the Paso Robles Willow Creek District..

Sylvester and Caterina Dusi plant Zinfandel in a landmark vineyard now known as Benito Dusi Ranch.

Post-Prohibition, 1930s to 1970s

Guido, Dante and Benito Dusi (children of Sylvester and Caterina Dusi) establish a 100-acre (40.5 ha)  vineyard estate, planted mostly to Zinfandel, in their Templeton Gap District property, now known as Dante Benito Vineyard, and bottled by the Dusi family under the J. Dusi Wines label.

Dr. Stanley Hoffman establishes the 1,200-acre (486 ha) Hoffman Mountain Ranch on a high-elevation slope in the Adelaida District, including 10 acres (4 ha) of Pinot Noir.

Cliff Giacobine and Gary Eberle established the 700-acre (283 ha) Estrella River Winery estate on the "east side" of Paso Robles. It became Paso Robles’ largest winery.

Norman Goss establishes Chamisal Vineyards, the first in Edna Valley

Jack Niven establishes the Paragon Vineyard in Edna Valley, six weeks after Goss’ planting.

Gary Eberle planted the first Syrah in San Luis Obispo County and, in 1978, made the United States’ first 100% varietal Syrah wine.

1980s to 1990s

Santa Maria Valley AVA approved

Gary Eberle leaves Estrella River to establish Eberle Winery

Edna Valley AVA is approved

Maison Deutz, now Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, established to produce traditional method sparkling wine in Arroyo Grande Valley

The Paso Robles and York Mountain AVAs are approved

Alban Vineyards established, the American winery to focus solely on Rhone-variety wines

Tablas Creek begins planting cuttings from Chateau de Beaucastel in Paso Robles’ Adelaida District

Justin Vineyards & Winery Isosceles Bordeaux-style blend is named one of Wine Spectator magazine's top 10 wines in the world, a first for the county.


The TTB approves an amendment to the Paso Robles AVA, adding another 2,635 acres (1,066 ha) to its southern area, entailing Santa Margarita Valley.

Saxum Vineyards’ 2007 James Berry Vineyard (Grenache/Mourvèdre/Syrah) blend is named "Wine of the Year" by Wine Spectator magazine. The same wine is also awarded 100 points (another first for Paso Robles) by Robert Parker in Wine Advocate.

Wine Enthusiast magazine names Paso Robles its 2013 "Wine Region of the Year.”

11 AVAs nested within the Paso Robles AVA are approved by the TTB

The number of bonded wineries in Paso Robles surpasses 200 (compared to just 17 when the AVA was established in 1983).

TTB proposes to recognize new San Luis Obispo Coast AVA