Thursday, October 24, 2013

PASO ROBLES; The hot region in California

In 1990, there were fewer than 20 wineries in Paso Robles, a farming community midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the Central Coast. Most of the wines produced there were rustic, high in alcohol, extremely tannic, with minimal excitement or finesse. Today there are more than 200 wineries in Paso Robles, and the area is going through a metamorphosis. The result is a surge of investment and an influx of winemaking talent.

If you like big, juicy, red wine, this is the place to be right now. Paso Robles Cabernets are elegant, with supple tannins that make them easy to drink upon release, yet they still retain structure when aging. Paso  Cabs are priced competitively in comparison to other regions within California producing similar varietals. I believe Paso Robles Cabernet producers are making a terrific product now, but still have not reached their potential.  

Only a handful of producers from this region have made outstanding wines. Some of the consistent vintners are; Justin, which produces Isosceles, (This wine actually set the bar for Cabernet in Paso Robles years ago and continues to earn outstanding scores), Daou, and Farm Winery, which have produced winners such as Daou Cabernet Sauvignon-Paso Robles, LPF Paso Robles to name a few. Paso’s climate and soil make it perfect for red wines. It can be, at times, warmer in the summer than Napa, which is an advantage when climates north of Paso experience a cool vintage, as was the case in 2010 and 2011 in Napa.

It had taken sometime for Paso Robles to be taken seriously as a major wine producing area, but once it got recognition, it has been one of the quickest- growing wine regions in California. Cabernet Sauvignon, currently with over thirty-two thousand acres has the most increased growth in Paso, but keep your eye out on both Syrah and Grenache which are getting some serious attention these days. And please don’t forget about Paso’s Zinfandel! Some great producers include Turley, and Peachy Canyon.

As Paso Robles status grows, more winemaking talent is moving to this area.
Winemakers from Lewis Cellars and Duckhorn are just two vintners that come to mind. There is some international interest also, with vintners from both France and Argentina partnering with local Paso wineries developing some new and exciting styles from this region.

Hillside Vineyards planted in limestone soils of various elevations, which are all within ten to fifteen miles of the Pacific Ocean, producing wines of great intensity as well as elegance. This is Paso Robles! Enjoy theses wines from this terrific region as there best are yet to come!

Joe D

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