It all started with an extra six tons of grapes that a winery could not accept and process. Tobin (Toby) James, a lowly assistant winemaker at the time, asked the owner of the winery if he could have the grapes and make wine out of them for himself. The owner replied, "sure kid, knock yourself out". A year and a half later, gold medals began pouring in for Toby's first Zinfandel, the 1985 "Blue Moon" Zin.
After making his wines at another local winery for a few years, and tasting and selling them out of a local wine shop in town, Toby finally took the plunge and built Tobin James Cellars in 1994.
Built from the ground up on the site of an old stagecoach stop, it might seem more natural to stroll into the old-fashioned western-style saloon, place your booted foot on the brass rail of the bar and order a shot of whiskey from the bartender. However, in the Tobin James tasting room, award winning wines are poured from behind the grand, antique 1860's Brunswick mahogany bar from Blue Eye, Missouri.
Tobin James Cellars, located 8 miles east of Paso Robles on Highway 46, sits among 71 acres of vineyard's and oak dotted hills. A magnificent setting for magnificent wines! As soon as you approach, you see something unique. The wooden structures, heralded by the rotating blades of a towering water pump, have a character all their own, There is even a restored stage coach stop that is now being used as a guest house that will take your breath away. It seems everything structural is relevant of age and history.