Paso Robles: Odds and Ends

By Kori ~ July 7th, 2010.

Over the past few months, I have highlighted some of the people and places I encountered on my press trip to Paso Robles in March. Paso Robles is California’s third largest and fastest growing wine region. Paso is producing some excellent wines, has wonderful welcoming people, and is a beautiful area to boot.

Before filing away my notes, I decided to go back through and see if there were any notable nuggets that I haven’t yet posted. So here are some odds and ends that I thought you might find interesting.

  • Mayor Duane Picanco speaking about Paso Robles, which has a population of about 30,000: “Small enough to know you, large enough to serve you.”
  • The three E’s of Sustainability: Economy, Environment, and Social Equity.
  • Founder/winemaker Christian Tietje of Four Vines sees Paso as being well suited for Zinfandel and Rhone varieties and says that Spanish varieties are next.
  • Winery owners and winemakers in Paso are friends outside of the wine business. Case in point, Stephan and Beatrice Asseo of L’Aventure, Terry and Jennifer Hoage of Terry Hoage Vineyards, and Marc Goldberg and Maggie D’Ambrosia of Windward Vineyard take dance classes together and have been enjoying “Tango Tuesdays” for five years.
  • Over 95% of Paso Robles wineries are family owned and operated.
  • The average production for a Paso Robles winery is less than 5,000 cases annually.
  • According to Hope Family Wines winemaker Jason “JC” Diefenderfer, “Grenache is what Pinot aspires to be.”
  • The Paso Robles AVA is petitioning to get 11 sub-AVA’s designated by the TTB. Even if the sub-AVA’s are approved, Paso Robles will still be listed on the labels also per their conjunctive label law.
  • Hearst Ranch boasts gorgeous views, and its grass-fed beef program is run by a great group of real cowboys. “We just try to keep it as simple as possible. The cattle eat grass, which is what God intended them to eat,” says Cliff Garrison, Ranch Operations Manager.
  • Dry farming is talked about and practiced often in Paso Robles. According to Neil Collins, owner/winemaker of Lone Madrone and winemaker for Tablas Creek, “Dry farming is the purest expression of the soil.”
  • Pasolivo makes excellent olive oil; however, I learned that olive oil tasting (i.e. drinking it straight) is not for me.
  • Prior to this trip, I had no idea what abalone was. After touring The Abalone Farm (brand name Ocean Rose), which is the oldest and largest producer of farm raised abalone in the United States; I have a new appreciation for this delicacy.
  • The home of Justin and Deborah Baldwin, the proprietors of Justin Vineyards & Winery, will be featured in an upcoming episode of MTV Teen Cribs.

For easy reference, here are links to my previous posts about Paso Robles:
Paso Robles: California’s Emerging Wine Region
Paso Robles: Signature Varietal?
Paso Robles: Dusi Vineyard
Paso Robles: Crash Courses at Steinbeck Vineyards
Paso Robles: The Food

I cannot wait to visit Paso Robles again and hope that you have a chance to visit the area too. For more information about Paso Robles or help in planning a trip, visit the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance site.

Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Wine Travel

Reader's Comments

  1. Jenny | July 7th, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Yes! Let’s hear it for Paso. Everyone is extremely gracious and the community is very welcoming.

  2. Kori | July 7th, 2010 at 7:56 am

    You are absolutely right. I can’t wait to visit again. Cheers!

  3. Annie Browne | August 23rd, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    We’re Paso Robles wine drinkers and bloggers, and appreciate all the great info you’re putting out there about our little town! We think it’s one of the best AVAs out there, and are amazed at the speed of growth. Can’t wait to explore the WA wine country more! Cheers!

  4. Kori | August 26th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks for your kind words. Hope you enjoy WA wine country as much as I enjoyed Paso. Cheers!

  5. Mini-Vacation and Internet Withdrawal | Vegas Wineaux | September 15th, 2010 at 10:54 am

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  6. Terry | September 18th, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Worth mentioning Paso Robles has been home to Hospice du Rhone, now in its 19th year. Good to see rhones have taken hold in the US thanks to Paso and the hard working people there, and that WA wineries are getting more into them as well. Our very own rhone master Charles Smith from Walla Walla gave a great presentation last year on why WA state is so cool and coming on strong. There are some clips on youtube. HdR is more of an industry event, but anyone can go and it’s the only place I know of outside France where several French rhone winemakers are pouring your glass. April 28 – 30, 2011. As the website says: Three-day wine event boasts Rhône producers and wine enthusiasts from across the globe who have gather all in the name of Rhône. Expand your knowledge of the twenty-two Rhône varieties at this one-of-a-kind wine experience all while rubbing elbows with the winemakers whose passion spurs the energy created at this spirited affair.