Located halfway between two of California’s Metropolis’, Los Angeles and San Francisco, you will find the wine country of Paso Robles. This small region is situated along California’s famed Central Coast, and is known for its perfect climate for the production of award-winning premium wines.
A long growing season of warm days and cool evenings gives Paso Robles vibrantly ripened fruit with dramatic flavors. With its vast 26,000 vineyard acres, Paso Robles has more than 40 grape varietals from Spanish to Italian, Bordeaux to Rhone including it’s heritage varietal, Zinfandel. Many of the region’s current winemakers started up in the Napa Valley and eventually migrated south to Paso Robles.
One of the unique characteristics of growing grapes in this region is the way they farm their vineyards. For example if they have a 40-acre vineyard they will only plant 20 acres. I inquired with a winemaker why didn’t they plant all 40 acres and his reply was that they wanted to keep the natural balance between native plants and their pests, thereby reducing the likelihood of them attacking the grapevines.
Paso Robles now has over 150 wineries. Some you may be familiar with Herman Story, J Lohr, Justin Winery, Liberty School, Saxum, Tablas Creek, Tobin James and Turley Wine Cellars to name a few. When you experience wine tasting in Paso Robles, you have two distinct tasting areas, West Paso Robles and East Paso Robles. The west side wineries are also known as the “far out “wineries because of the winding Road that meanders along W. Vineyard Dr. It takes you all the way through the mountain and around and down to the coast, which is absolutely beautiful and worth the trip. The eastern side of Paso Robles is the more traditional area and is flat while winding through several wineries looping back onto Highway 101.
The winemakers in Paso Robles take a lot of artistic freedom with the blends they put together for their wine from Pinot Noirs to Rhone styles wines. In fact, some of the winemakers refer to themselves as the Rhone rangers. I just love the way they blend their wines. Next time you’re at The Wine Shop, please pick up a great bottle of wine from the Paso Robles area.
The Wine Shop is open 10am to 7pm Monday through Saturday, and by appointment on Sunday. For more information visit the shop located just across the street from the Koloa Post Office, call 808-742-7305 or visit us online at www.thewineshopkauai.com.
See you soon at The Wine Shop!
Aloha, DanO and Ellen O’Connell