My Itinerary:


Dark Star Cellars » Profile


Our focus is on producing small lots of ultra-premium handcrafted red wines. We feel our success comes from our dedication to "synthetic gravity" and our non-intrusive style of winemaking. With microscopic production levels we feel every bottle of our wine becomes an extension of our small family winery. We are open for tasting Friday-Sunday,10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. 2985 Anderson Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446. 805.237.2389.

Dark Star Cellars, is focused on producing stellar red wines or "dark stars." Established in 1994, Dark Star has already created a unique style of wines. Indeed, one of the label's most popular wines, Ricordati, "always remember," has already garnered many gold and silver medals. A delicate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, Winemaker Norm Benson feels that Ricordati captures the finest qualities Paso Robles vineyards have to offer. In recent years the winery has gained national attention with 90+ scores on their Syrah and the Wine Spectator proclaiming them "a winery to watch" for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Norm Benson's dedication to "synthetic gravity," the use of nitrogen racking and pneumatic wine pumps, is a large part of the wineries overall philosophy of non-intrusive wine production. Cool fermentations and small oak barrel aging complete the style with the final result being a wine of unique character. From the vineyard to the bottle, Norm and his son strive to allow each wine to become a unique representation of the vineyard where its life began. Along with Ricordati, the winery produces Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

Another philosophy of the winery is "the time to be serious about wine is before it's in the bottle." At the tasting room they can talk about hints of toasted vanilla or the aromatic impacts of MBR 31 versus Enoferm Alpha, but Norm prefers intellectual discussions that start with "Wow! This Cab's rocket fuel."

Behind The Label, "Dark Star Cellars","Dark Star" was put on a long list of potential names for the winery because Norm believed it symbolized his passion for producing "stellar" red wines, or "dark stars." In addition to producing stellar wine, Norm wanted the winery and its label to honor his family. Ricordati, his Bordeaux style blend, began as a tribute to Norm's father who passed away in 1985 and had been in the Food and Beverage industry since the early 1950's. Norm laments the fact that his father was unable to witness the establishment of Dark Star Cellars and its wines.Over the next few months, for one reason or another, each name on the list of potential labels was deemed unworthy. Dark Star was the only name remaining. After months of agonizing the time came to make a decision; the legalities of establishing a winery needed to be addressed. Still not certain that Dark Star resonated with him, Norm reasoned he could use "Dark Star" as a business name, and if he still wasn't convinced it was "right" he would change the name prior to the bottling of his first wines. Six months later, Dark Star Cellars was bonded by the Federal Government. In reviewing the documents Norm realized that Dark Star had arbitrarily been bonded on December 15th, his father's birthday. For a man who makes a habit of walking under ladders, this omen could not be denied. Today not only is Norm convinced that Dark Star was the right choice, it is inconceivable to him that his wines could carry any other label!

The Triangle On Each Label - Angeli d' Altri Tempi
"Angeli d'Altri Tempi," "angels from other times," symbolizes how people that you have come in contact with, your parents, siblings, and friends have all left some "imprint" on your personality and your values. Their influence, collectively, make you who you are today. The three panels that encase the dark star symbolize the past, the present, and the future. Dark Star believes you must never under-value, or forget the positive influence people have had on your life in the past. You should not take for granted the help and support you receive from the people in your present life, and of course, the mystery of whom you will meet in the future.

Ricordati - Bordeaux Style Blend
Dark Star also feels a strong connection with their history as a family. "Ricordati" (Re-core-dot-ee), "Always Remember," is a delicate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc which is produced to celebrate the memory of their friends and family. Ricordati began as a tribute to Norm's father. It has now evolved into a wine that celebrates the memory of all of their friends and family who have passed away. A tribute to the positive impact they all have had on their lives.


Learn more about our vineyards


2985 Anderson Road
Paso Robles, 93446





Open Friday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.


Wines Produced
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Petite Sirah
Red Blend
Red Rhône-Style Blend
Red Meritage Blend

Picnic Area
Tasting Room