Seeing Red? You Can Buy an Entire Winery in Paso Robles for $2.49M

Paso Robles, a wine region midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco along California's central coast, is enjoying a moment -- and this winery is poised to attract a business-minded buyer.

"It used to be a pretty dusty cowboy town, and it's since turned into a much more sophisticated town, bringing in a ton of tourism and high dollars," says Nancy McWhorter, the listing agent for this $2.49 million winery, tasting room, vineyard, and farmhouse. "Napa's gotten very posh. We're the very comfortable, casual (alternative)."

With this sprawling estate in the coveted Willow Creek District AVA on Paso Roble's west side, a buyer can have it all. Want to live on the vineyard but not run it? No problem, just lease out the winery's operations. Seeking a sexy second career as a winery owner? Here's your chance to pour yourself into a new life.

The property's farmhouse serves as the main residence and has three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, two half-baths, and a two-car garage. The living room and kitchen feature multipane windows that let in the abundant sunshine. Hammocks on the wide porch encourage relaxation. Sliding patio doors off the open-concept kitchen -- with cherry-red cabinetry -- make alfresco dining a breeze. Natural light floods the tasting room in a separate building, which features a slab of gorgeous wood set over two wine barrels.

Since they bought the place in 1997, the sellers have operated the winery, vineyard, and tasting room -- and lived on-site, raising two daughters -- as their sole source of income. Production has been small, with limited distribution to local restaurants, and it's always been a family-run operation. Most profits come through the wine club. Now the family wishes to retire back home in the Midwest.

It's the least expensive of six local wineries currently on the market, says McWhorter. She attributes its (relatively) low cost to an older house and just 7.5 acres of grapes (all Rhne varietals) are planted. But as the third agent for the property since it initially came on the market in 2007, she says the price didn't always reflect market realties.

"There's a lot of budding winemakers right now, coming out of school, and they don't have two million dollars," says McWhorter. "Winery space is really tight around here. The ideal owner would be someone who wants to do this as a second career and has quite a bit of cash on hand. You could live in the house and be making income off of selling your grapes. And if you didn't want people on your property, just close down the tasting room."