With a focus on grapes native to France's Rhone Valley & Bordeaux regions, Four Lanterns Winery makes estate wines that take advantage of their soil, climate and location of western Paso Robles. The result: wines that are balanced and complex, yet approachable – and wonderful to drink.
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Our winery reviews are designed to give you the information you need to learn about the winery, how to get there, and what to do once you make it down.
What to Know
Steve and Jackie Gleason’s winery isn’t just family owned. The very name Four Lanterns refers to their four daughters — the four shining lights of their life.
In fact, each of the names of their Rhone and Bordeaux style wines relates to light in some way… as we share in the What to Buy section below.
The historic 35-acre property is located in the renowned Willow Creek AVA, known for its climate that grows exceptional grapes. Hot days, cool nights, and moisture-holding calcareous soil make for happy grapevines — and resulting good wine.
How to Go
Located just off West Highway 46 in Paso Robles, Four Lanterns is super easy to get to. Exit Highway 101 at 46 West and head west about 3 miles. As you see the heart-shaped grove of oak trees (that’s Heart Hill) hugging the hill across the street, that’s your cue to turn left at the yellow water tower and cute country house with a big porch that front the highway.
That house is The Little Yellow House on the Vineyard, and is a VRBO / Airbnb rental with room for two families or three couples. It’s beautifully maintained on the outside, so we can only imagine the inside is cozy and makes for a great getaway.
Parking is plentiful and easy, and the historic barn houses the tasting room.
What to Do
Inside the tasting barn, the space is a comfortable mix of pretty wood tasting bar and a few high-top tables.
Not every winery has one of the owners present almost every day, but that’s how it is at Four Lanterns. We’ve come here several times over the past couple years, and you’ll find Jackie or Steve serving guests and sharing stories and history of their wines.
One of the things we like best about visiting Four Lanterns is the authentic welcome that every guest receives.
You don’t have to be a regular or a member to be treated like a friend and made to feel at home. And it isn’t long before you strike up a conversation with your tasting-mates. This has happened many times when we’ve visited, and it’s so fun to learn about other people – where they’re coming from, what they enjoy about the area, etc.
It just goes to show you: great wine and caring owners Jackie and Steve and their team attract a nice crowd.
Inside the tasting room, they host evening dance classes (no need for a partner—just come have fun) and have frequently have live music during tasting hours.
Just outside the barn doors is a grassy area with lots of shade trees and a raised stage. This is the perfect place for their summer concert series on Sunday nights, which brings in local musicians and food trucks.
Regulars arrive early to stake out their place on the grass, and have a great view later to enjoy dinner and Four Lanterns wine during the concert.
What to Try
Bordeaux and Rhone varietals are Four Lanterns’ calling cards, and they are all very good.
A few we’ve especially enjoyed on recent trips include the Third Blue Hour Cabernet Sauvignon, of which we might have bought the last bottle (so sorry). For a fun summer red, the Cabernet Sauvignon-based Rosso de Passo: Chilled Red Blend is a great addition to spending time on the porch at sunset.
And we can’t wait for a new Cabernet Franc, which we got to taste as a barrel sample. Another harder-to-find nowadays grape is Merlot, which they keep as a single varietal in the Right Bank label.
While we’re not big white wine drinkers, Steve makes several white wines you may enjoy trying.
It’s not often you get to meet the owners and winemakers at a winery, much less have them serving their own wines. Combined with the great wines and the friendly atmosphere, Four Lanterns is a great choice on the west side of Paso Robles. Let us know what you think.