When it comes to wine varietals, the French are hard to argue with. Thanks to a similar climate and growing season, Rhone and Bordeaux varietals rule Paso Robles Wine Country, as you already well know. But did you know that a host of other World varietals are also making a big splash among Paso’s famous vineyards, tasting rooms, and wine lists? Now you can travel the globe without setting foot in a plane. Explore these five wines and prepare to jet set in style:
Oso Libre Azúcar, Port
Azúcar meaning, “sugar,” is a smooth and luxurious dessert wine, and this bottle is about as juicy as it gets. Oso Libre’s Azúcar offers up a perfume of baked plum, black cherry and brandy nose. The flavor explodes on your palate with sweet tones of mocha, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Finishing with a plethora of cocoa, baking spices and brandy, Azúcar entices you to enjoy it with a warm dessert, or drizzled over a slice of New York style cheesecake. Yes, please!
Lusso Della Terra 2014 Sangiovese
Varietal: Sangiovese, Langrein, and Charbono Blend
You may have heard of Italian-beloved Sangiovese, but what about the other two Italian varietals? You’ll want to meet them, and soon! When combined, Lusso Della Terra’s blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Lagrein, and 5% Charbono showcases big aromas of ripe red cherry, cocoa, with a hint of white pepper. Bold flavors of raspberry, blackberry and spice round out this truly unique offering. With gorgeous tannin integration balanced with a stunning acidity and a complex mouthfeel, this is what Italians dream of drinking with dinner.
Rotta Winery Black Monukka
Varietal: Black Monukka
Derived from the Persian word for raisins, Black Monukka originated in either Uzbekistan or Azerbaijan. However, I think you’ll agree that it truly shines in Paso Robles. This dark purplish grape (also popular in Chile and Iran) is juicy and sweet, thus perfect for heightening a special celebration or holiday. Rotta Winery is the only producer we know of in the United States making the stuff, which we think is cause for celebration enough!
2013 Michael Gil Cellars Oso Blanco Vermentino
Origin: Northern Italy
Light-skinned and fresh, the white wine grape is the perfect antidote to red wine overload. A perfect summer sipper, this particular Vermentino offers a mix of mandarin orange, vanilla, banana, apricot, and white peach—so, needless to say, you know it will pair amazingly with Thai takeout. A double gold winner, it’s no wonder the winery’s 2016 Vermentino is well on its way to converting staunch red-only drinkers to whites! It’s all in a day’s work for Michael Gill Cellars. Consider us hooked.
Bodega de Edgar 2011 Graciano
Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Graciano is relatively rare in the USA with perhaps only 35 or so acres in production. Crazy, huh? Although most vineyards are located in Lodi, some vines can be found on the Central Coast, and we’re lucky, indeed. The grapes that made this wine hail from The Santa Ana Valley Vineyard, just outside the town of Tres Pinos, where hot days and cool marine breezes create well-rounded fruit. Because Graciano is low in alcohol and high in acid, it makes a perfect marriage with Tempranillo (often high in alcohol and low in acid). This particular wine from Bodega de Edgar will age extremely well, and offers up a medium-bodied experience bolstered by blueberry and cherry flavors. Pair with duck with blueberry sauce, salmon, grilled vegetables, or just about anything that drinks well with Pinot Noir. Stamp my passport, please!
This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at email@example.com or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers.
Majestically set among vineyards, olive groves and fruit baring orchards, the 20-acre Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a world unto itself, offering breathtaking settings that inspire and bring joy to all who choose this memorable wine country haven. Featuring 171 rooms and suites, on-site spa, grand ballroom, wine tasting room, and inspired culinary creations at Cello, the resort’s full service restaurant.
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping.
Enjoy the elegance, style and natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at the JUST Inn®. Surrounded by vineyards, our JUST Inn Suites offer luxurious appointments like fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic®mattresses, Frette linens, hydro-spa tubs, and range in size from 600–1,200 square feet. An overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour of the winery and caves.
Paso Robles Vacation Rentals, also known as PasoStay.com assists guests in creating memories and wonderful experiences by providing quality privately owned vacation home rentals in Paso Robles Wine Country. With over 90 vacation homes to choose from, small enough for a couple’s romantic getaway to large homes amongst local vineyards and olive orchards, PasoStay.com has the perfect option for you. Feel free to call 805-423-9174 to talk with a local expert or book online at PasoStay.com.