Paso Robles AVA Spotlight: Adelaida, Estrella, and Willow Creek

Paso Robles AVA Spotlight: Adelaida, Estrella, and Willow Creek

Paso Robles American Viticulture Area (AVAs) consists of 11 distinct districts—each with their own singular soil, climate, and topography. Various wine grapes thrive in each of these distinct regions. In this educational series, we'll highlight what's extraordinary about each area, starting with the Adelaida, Estrella, and Willow Creek AVAs.

Historic Roots

Established in 1983, the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA) originally totaled 556,765 acres. The federal government established and recognized unique districts within the AVA in 2017 and all 11 were finally approved in 2014.

Adelaida District

Dotted with live and coastal oaks, the Adelaida District is located along the southern side of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range with shallow, primarily calcareous soil.

Good to Know:

  • Ideal for growing high-quality fruit, you'll find plenty of limestone along the mountainous terrain, plus ancient marine sediment dating back to the Mesozoic era.
  • The influence of Pacific storms makes this northernmost region particularly wet with a 30 inch high average annual rainfall.
  • Spongy soil allows vines to seek out moisture as needed.

Select Wineries & Vineyards

  • Daou Vineyards

  • Tablas Creek Vineyard

  • Justin Vineyards 

  • Halter Ranch Vineyard

  • Adelaida Vineyards & Winery


Estrella District

Known for mineral-rich alluvial soils and dramatic temperature variation from day-to-night, the Estrella River Valley is home to gently rolling plains with warm days and a light sea breeze.
Good to Know
  • "Estrella* is Spanish for "star"
  • Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery first planted Syrah here as the founding winemaker at the Estrella River Winery. This led to the formation of the world-renowned Estrella Clone.
  • The Estrella Clone of Syrah is named for the Estrella River Winery, which founding winemaker Gary Eberle planted with Syrah in 1975. The original cuttings derived from the Chapoutier vineyard in Hermitage.
  • Ideal for cultivating premium wine grapes, the region produces award-winning wines year after year.
  • Red varieties such as Merlot, Petite Sirah, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties thrive in the Estrella District along with white grapes from Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.
Select Wineries & Vineyards
  • J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

  • Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery

  • Eberle Winery


Willow Creek

Exceptionally similar to the Rhone Valley in France, the Willow Creek District
Named for its creek and watershed, this district is known for its loamy limestone-rich calcareous and siliceous soils and marine influence.
  • Greatly influenced by both the Pacific and local waterways like Willow Creek and Jack Creek, its cool climate soil is soft marine shale, with mudstones, sandstone, and alluvial sediment.
  • Expect about 24-30 inches of rain annually.
  • Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Viognier do extraordinarily well in Willow Creek.
Select Wineries & Vineyards
  • Niner Wine Estates

  • Denner Vineyards

  • L’Aventure Winery

Offering a high-end experience to select clients from individuals to savvy investment funds, Jenny Heinzen is the top vineyard broker in the greater United States. Her family owns a vineyard in Paso Robles, Willow Creek AVA and she is co-owner of the California Central Coast’s premier vineyard advisory and farm management company. Clients benefit from her long-standing relationships and insider wine industry knowledge across the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area and beyond.
When you’re seeking a proven vineyard real estate broker with technical vineyard expertise you can rely on, contact Jenny at [email protected] or (805) 260-0581.

Here for You

If you're looking for a proven Paso Robles vineyard and winery expert, Jenny Heinzen is prepared to listen, share expertise, and deliver on your goals.