Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Trip to Paso Robles

We (my husband and I) are in California this week as I will be judging at the California State Wine Competition.  As always, we like to take a couple days to visit one of the wine regions while we are here.  People ask me what I do on vacation since I am immersed in the wine business 24/7.  I reply, “well, visit wineries, of course”.  I guess it is an obsession.

As you can see, this is quite a busy trip for us and there is a lot that I’d like to share about the wineries that we visit as well as the competition itself.  So, I will probably spread it over a number of posts over the next few weeks.

This time we are visiting El Paso de Robles, which means “the passing of oaks”.  It is generally known as just Paso Robles.  Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco along the Central Coast, this area is a wonderful place to grow grapes as the days are very warm and sunny and the nights quite cool – something grapes like a lot.  For example, they are experiencing a bit of an uncommon heat wave for this time of year and the days are in the high 80’s.  But, early this morning it was jacket weather with the temperature barely above 50.  A 40 degree temperature swing is very common.

Grown in this area are the classic Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Mourvedre, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, and Petite Verdot, and the classic Rhone varieties such as Syrah, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache, Cinsault, and Counnoise, as well as Zinfandel and Chardonnay.

The rest of this week, I will share with you our experiences at several wineries on the west side of Paso Robles.

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