The Next Chapter for Sextant Winemaking

Dear Friends and Sextant Wine Club Members,

When Nancy and I began our journey in 2001, it was our goal to channel the essence found within our estate vineyard through every wine we produce. Today, that philosophy continues — our wines are influenced greatly by the terroir of our properties, led by the core foundation on which Sextant was created. As third generation growers, we rely on a deep understanding of how the soil, climate, slope, and orientation of our vineyards can craft a sense of place in our wines. AsSextant Wine Michael Fay and Craig Stoller Robert Mondavi has said, “Making good wine is a skill, making fine wine is an art.” We know that great wine starts with great fruit, and it is key that we own and source from our land to ensure the highest and most consistent quality. We believe in improving our systems, modernizing our process, and adjusting the path for each wine to respond to the natural conditions of our vineyards. While we evolve our winemaking program, we are committed to maintaining the style, profile, and palate that have guided production from the very beginning.

As we navigate forward keeping our vision in sight, we are excited to pair our pursuit with the skill and expertise of Winemaker Michael Fay. Groomed by world-class Duckhorn Wine Company and studied under notable talent on the Central Coast and in Napa Valley, Michael has returned to his local roots to expand a legacy he began long ago. His goal is to take our portfolio to new heights, and with a shared emphasis on clonal selection we are confident his addition to the Sextant family will help us reach even greater accomplishments. He joins us at a pivotal time, and his insight will be integral to the expansion of our vineyards.

Born in Vicenza, Italy, near the region of Sextant Wines Michael FayFriuli, Fay developed a passion for winemaking while studying forestry management at the University of Washington. “I wanted to cultivate a relationship with nature,” he admits, “but my growing love of Pinot made me realize I didn’t want to make paper — I wanted to make wine.” Shortly after this revelation, Fay transferred to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to study enology and viticulture, taking a role in the vineyards at Cambria Estate in Santa Maria in 2000. He moved on to become cellar master at Firestone Vineyards, expanding his purview to delve into coastal Cabernets and rich Zinfandels, then returned to Cambria to hone his skills under noted winemaker Denise Shurtleff. By 2007, Fay juggled roles as assistant winemaker for Cambria, guiding the growth of their artisan reds, and lead winemaker for Los Alisos Wines, overseeing all aspects of their estate program. Centered on securing the best education for budding winemakers on the Central Coast, he helped oversee the conception and design of the Enology department while teaching at Allan Hancock College. Most recently, Fay led one of the most diverse and expansive programs in California as winemaker for Duckhorn’s Goldeneye Winery, succeeding famed winemaker Zach Rasmuson.

Fay has mastered his craft by making small lot, site-specific wines using old world techniques. He brings a philosophy that closely matches Sextant’s mission, with a central focus of producing terroir-inspired, boutique wines without compromising industry-standard quality. He shares a perspective that complements Sextant’s as well: “My goal isn’t to speak for the wines, but to let the wines speak for themselves.” A tenured leader, Fay knows how to truly inspire and positively influence those he supports, starting with the mantra that happy people make happy wine. When not in the vineyards, he can be found supporting local arts, enjoying live music, playing sports, or splashing around the Central Coast beaches.

It is with utmost pleasure and unrelenting confidence that we have Winemaker Michael Fay at the helm of Sextant Wines-we are humbled, blessed and beyond grateful. Please join Nancy and I in welcoming the newest partner aboard our journey, helping us further our mission in the next chapter of production for Sextant winemaking.

Yours,
Craig Stoller


Sextant Wines Locations:

2324 West Highway 46, Paso Robles, CA 93446 • Hours: Daily 10:00am – 5:00pm • Directions: speedfind.com/SextantWines
1653 Old Price Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 • Mon-Fri 10:00am – 4:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am – 5:00pm • Directions: speedfind.com/Sextant


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.

Make Reservations

Directions: speedfind.com/AdelaideInn

 

 

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.

Directions: speedfind.com/LaBellMake Reservationsasera

 

 

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®

Directions: speedfind.com/PRWine.HMake ReservationsamptonInn

 

 

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.Make Reservations

Directions: speedfind.com/Lekai | vrbo.com/701796

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Paso Wine in the Spotlight: You Like Us. You Really Like Us!

This post is not going to be one big gargantuan pat on the back—I promise. With so many awards to boast about, Paso Robles Wine Country has every right to be a bit snobbish, but that just isn’t our style. In Paso Robles, we always choose the cowboy boots and jeans over black tie. Always hospitable, Paso Roblans are known to prefer a warm face-to-face hello over Facetime. By now, most folks around the globe know that humble Paso Robles was chosen as Wine Enthusiast’s 2013 Wine Region of the Year—an absolutely massive honor. But did you know that this month Sunset Magazine also named Paso Robles as “Best Wine Country Town?” This is just the latest in a roll of glittering accolades that Paso Roblans are just too down-home to gloat about.

Known for friendly, family owned tasting rooms, sprawling vineyards, and delicious no-nonsense wine that rivals any wine region in the world, we totally get why we’re such a big deal. Does that make us conceited? Well, maybe just a teeny tiny bit! Allow us to revel in a few of our best humble brags as of late:

USA Today Adores LXV’s Loungey Vibe

LXV Wine Lounge

With its plush, lounge-like feel and sumptuous spice-and-wine pairings, it’s no wonder that LXV’s downtown Paso tasting room is the talk of the nation! USA Today recently nominated the seductive hangout as one of the Ten Best Readers’ Choice tasting rooms, a huge honor in itself. With big, bold red blends that tantalize the senses, there is no better place to reconnect with your inner minx. You can vote for the lounge until Aug. 15, so click here to show your love for this wine lover’s oasis inspired by theart of Kama Sutra. Spice. Wine. Flirty fun. I mean, really. What’s not to love?

LXV Buy the wine buttonStar wine selection: Hate to brag, but some wines deserve a round of applause! A Gold Medal winner at the 2016 Sunset International Wine Competition and 2016 San Francisco Wine Competition, LXV’s 2013 Lover’s Spell is velvety, rich, and brimming with notes of black cherry and cedar. It deserves a place at your kitchen table…or perhaps next to your aromatic bubble bath?

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/LXVWine

 

Classy Cass Gets Lots of Local Love

Cass-Winery

Being recognized is one thing. Being recognized by your peers—by your local community, the folks you know and respect—is quite another. Nothing brings more pride to a winery, and Cass Vineyard and Winery knows all about this heart-swelling feeling. Named 2015 Winery of the Year by the Central Coast Wine Competition, the backroads winery is enjoying a moment in the sun. With a full kitchen serving up juicy burgers and house-made bacon smoked over Syrah vines; a gorgeous guest house, and wine club events that span classical music concerts to helicopter rides, Cass is a dreamy, well-rounded destination for any wine lover, local or out-of-town. Oh, and then there’s the estate-grown wines! With heavily awarded Rhones that run the gamut from refreshing to alluring, it truly is all about the grapes, after all.

Cass Buy the WineStar Wine Selection: Cass Winery’s 2013 Backbone Syrah could be the poster child for what the region has going for it. Lots of sunshine and dynamic soil come together to create a big, bold flavor bomb bursting with wild blueberry, clove, and tobacco. A Gold Medal winner at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, this is the little black dress of wine and it deserves to shine!

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/CassWinery

 

Peachy Canyon puts Paso Zin on the Map

peachy canyon

It just goes to show, you never know what dreams may come. Founded by Doug and Nancy Beckett in 1988, Peachy Canyon Winery has watched as Paso Robles has grown from a sleepy cow town into a world-renowned wine region. And, along the way, the winery has received hundreds of accolades for its signature zinfandel, now a Paso Robles staple. See, Peachy didn’t invent zinfandel in Paso, but it sure has played a hand in making the varietal iconic to the region. Spicy, complex, earthy, fruity, and always a reflection of Paso’s unique sun and soil, Peachy Canyon Zinfandel has risen in ranks as some of the best in the country.

Peachy Canyon Buy the WineStar wine selection: When Wine Enthusiast called Peachy Canyon’s 2013 Clevenger Zinfandel “a vintage leader in this zin houses’s series,” awarding it a whopping 92 points, no one was surprised. With rose petals, violets and black tobacco on the nose and candied blackberries and red cherries on the palate, it’s about as good as Paso Zin gets!

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/PeachyCanyonWinery

 

Tooth and Nail is a Blogger’s Dream

Tooth and Nail winery

While the art of making wine hasn’t changed too much over the decades (no amount of tech can mess with a combination of good fruit and thoughtful processing), the way people find out about tasting rooms has changed drastically. Now, it’s all about virtual tours (check our site for some killer ones), Instagram feeds, and the mighty blogger recommendation. No winery has become such an internet buzz as Tooth and Nail. You can credit the winery’s unique castle-like atmosphere, but really—it’s all about the wine! Check out this glowing blog recommendation here, also featuring our very deserving friends at Hammersky). According to millennials in the know, this Paso Robles destination has both style and substance.

Tooth and Nail buy the wineStar wine selection: Tooth and Nail wines have a secret weapon: grapes are sourced from across the region, including Paso Robles, Monterey, and Santa Maria. This 2010 Amor Fati Grenache features premium grapes grown in the temperate Santa Maria Valley AVA barrel aged for 16 months in French oak. Essence of incense, dried herbs, damp earth, lavender, and camp fire, it will remain a rockstar for the next decade (although good luck saving it for that long).

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/ToothAndNail

 



This blog was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at hthomas@newtimesslo.com or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.


 

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:

Adelaide InnThe 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.

Make Reservations

Directions: speedfind.com/AdelaideInn

 

LLa Bellasera Hotel & Suitesa 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.

Directions: speedfind.com/LaBellMake Reservationsasera

 

Hampton Inn & Suites - Paso RoblesHampton 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®

Directions: speedfind.com/PRWine.HMake ReservationsamptonInn

 

Lekai-Ranch_Featured-ImageExperience 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.

DMake Reservationsirections: speedfind.com/Lekai  |   vrbo.com/701796

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Secrets Revealed! 5 Insider Keys to Paso Wine Country

Let me sock it to ya straight. You may know the difference between acidity and astringency. You may know the world’s most famous wine regions like the back of your hand. You may be an awarded and decorated sommelier with a cellar full of choice bottles. But you might not be all that smart. Let me explain. Truly savvy wine tasters will be the first to tell you that enjoying an amazing insider experience isn’t a matter of knowing a laundry list of esoteric facts—it’s all about taking advantage of local deals and top technology. When the key to Paso Wine Country is sitting right there in the palm of your hand—hello, iPhone and Android!—why wouldn’t you use it to the full extent of its power? Here’s how you can up your wine smarts, zero studying required.

1. Map Smarter

winery mapEven the most well-intentioned itinerary can be all-too-easily thwarted by a hopelessly outdated map. In comparison, this fine physical map of wine country is a lot like a lighthouse: A shining beacon of hope helping you steer the course. Order the printed version online or pick one up at select local wineries, hotels or at the kiosk at Park and 12th in downtown Paso. You can breathe easy knowing you’ve got a nifty key that shows all of the amenities you care most about right at your fingertips. Oh, and it gets better, still (and no, this is not an infomercial, I promise)! You can also download a no-fuss, highly detailed digital version of the map and get it delivered straight to your smartphone or table! The best part? This life-saving map is always updated with the most reliable information, and—once you download the file—it won’t matter if your cell loses service (bye bye, frustrating Google map detours!)

Tip: Did I mention that this map also includes nearby breweries and distilleries, too? Goodbye, FOMO! Today, you’re the envy of everyone’s social media feed.

2. Get Clear on Varietals (the easy way)

We don’t care how long you’ve been drinking fine wine. You might be an avid reader of Wine Enthusiast and a member of a dozen clubs. Still, understanding the hundreds of
varietals out there in the world can be intimidating—not to mention time consuming! Take the stress out of the situation altogether and make learning fun. With this handy varietal guide, it’s easy to find out a) What varietals suit your taste and 2) Where to find those varietals in Paso Wine Country. I mean, isn’t that all you really need to know?

Tip: Learn where your fave varietals are hiding within the comfort of your own home, taking the guesswork out of your next wine excursion in ten seconds flat. With more than 300 wineries in Paso Robles to choose from, it can be tempting to wander till you find the right stop. However, nothing could be more awkward than stepping foot in a Bordeaux-style winery when all you’re really looking for are floral, chilled whites. Eek! Plan ahead and you will reap the rewards with little to no research. It’s almost too easy, right?

3. Nab Insider Deals, No Sciswine-tasting-specialssors Required

You’re not a “bargain for bargain’s sake” kind of person, but you do know a good deal when you see one. The only thing you love more than Paso Wine is a new excuse to get out there and sip more of it. I think you’re ready for the big guns. Presenting Wine Country Deals, updated regularly with oh-my-gosh promotions that go way beyond a free keychain. Think about it. Tasting rooms put out promotions because they’re looking for their next wine club member; the next person who will walk in and buy that perfect bottle for that perfect occasion. Could that person be you? Only one way to find out! Oh, and before you start imagining your mother sitting at the kitchen table cutting coupons late into the night, get this: All you have to do is show the coupons on your smartphone to reap all of the fabulous perks! Click here to bask in the glow of wine discounts, simplified.

Tip: This month, enjoy two-for-one wine tasting deals at Brecon Estate, Hammersky Vineyards, Hug Wines, Cayucos Cellars, Lusso Della Terra, Opolo Vineyards, Rendarrio Vineyards, and Dubost Ranch; Barrel tastings at Écluse Wines, ten percent off case purchase at Four Lanterns Winery; complimentary spice pairings for two at LXV Wine Lounge; ten percent off three or more bottles of 2011 Calon at Lone Madrone Winery; and a flight of five wines for $5, complimentary tasting with wine purchase, and twenty percent off case purchases at San Marcos Creek Vineyard.

4. Be a Couch Potato

Wait—don’t get up! Back in the 80’s we heard a lot about “virtual reality,” but much to the dismay of futurists everywhere, that future never truly came. Until now. Strap your eyes into a pair of cardboard (or plastic) futuristic VR Winery Tour Goggles and take a good long look around. What you see will delight your imagination and defy your senses. As you turn and tilt your head from side to side, you’ll be privy to a real-life, 360-degree view of the winery you wish to visit. All you need is your smart phone. Find these miraculous cardboard goggles at participating wineries or click here to order your own (show them off at your next dinner party and watch your friends be blown away). Unlike some modern-day apps, this gizmo isn’t just cool for the sake of being cool—it’s totally practical. Before you make the long trek to a new winery, why not check it out first? Save gas, time, and peace of mind. Like what you see? Easily share the virtual experience in a text message or through social media in one swift click. You heard right, folks. The future is now!

Tip: Not ready for VR? Explore virtual tours on your computer or tablet, too! Whatever you do, remember that seeing truly is believing.

5. Throw away the keys

Drive805_LogoOn the list of things you may think you are qualified to do: Give a great massage, make a great casserole, dye your own hair—you probably aren’t as good as the pros at Drive 805. See, their job revolves around crafting a wine tasting experience tailored to your specific needs. Put down the keys, say goodbye to worrying over who’s driving, and sink back into the plush interior. It’s going to be a relaxing ride.

Tip: Before you make the call, check out the comprehensive list of wineries, restaurants, and hotels and see what sparks your fancy. Into tasting rooms that offer something special, like olive oil, or behind-the-scenes tours? Want to make a pitstop at a great seafood restaurant? Get a feel for what you like, then let Drive 805 curate the best Paso Robles Wine Country has to offer.

 


 

This blog was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at hthomas@newtimesslo.com or follow her on Instagram @flavorslo.

 

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:

Adelaide InnThe 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.

Make Reservations

Directions: speedfind.com/AdelaideInn

 

 

LLa Bellasera Hotel & Suitesa 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.

Directions: speedfind.com/LaBellMake Reservationsasera

 

 

Hampton Inn & Suites - Paso RoblesHampton 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®

Directions: speedfind.com/PRWine.HMake ReservationsamptonInn

 

 

Lekai-Ranch_Featured-ImageExperience 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.

DMake Reservationsirections: speedfind.com/Lekai  |   vrbo.com/701796

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Enjoying Red Wine with Martin Pierce

Martin Pierce Goblets art

Not to be confused with national Red Rosé day (June 12th), National Rosé day (rosay) falls on the second Saturday in June, June 11th this year, and it is one that will be celebrated at Martin Pierce Hardware!

We have often shared our enjoyment of the Paso Robles wine region and, while not specifically rosé, thought that, in celebration of this newfound holiday, this would be a good time to share with you some of our favorite wines… Click here to continue reading.

Martin Pierce architectural designs


Martin Pierce is a sculptor and artist who has focused his talents on creating a diverse and unique collection of custom door hardware.  His love of nature is often the inspiration for not only his architectural hardware designs but also for his furniture and lighting designs, paintings and limited edition sculptures.

 

 

 

 

Drive805_Logo

 

Get home safe from your winery visits and parties with some of the best and most knowledgable drivers in the business! Drive805 is your best choice for winery transportation on the Central Coast. Find out more at Drive805.com

 

 

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:

Adelaide InnThe 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.

Make Reservations

Directions: speedfind.com/AdelaideInn

 

LLa Bellasera Hotel & Suitesa 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.

Directions: speedfind.com/LaBellMake Reservationsasera

 

Hampton Inn & Suites - Paso RoblesHampton 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®

Directions: speedfind.com/PRWine.HMake ReservationsamptonInn

 

Lekai-Ranch_Featured-ImageExperience 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.

DMake Reservationsirections: speedfind.com/Lekai  |   vrbo.com/701796

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Phenomenal Écluse Wines Score Big with Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Five wines submitted received point scores in the 90s, and one was just awarded Double Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition!

Ecluse Wines banner image

As winner of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sweepstakes for Best Red Wine, family-owned Écluse Wines continues to receive accolades and awards for their limited production, handcrafted wines produced from their very own Lock Vineyard. Just recently the boutique winery received point scores in the 90s for five of their wines from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

This was only the second time that the winery had submitted the varietals to Wine Enthusiast and they’re thrilled with the results! Check out these winning varietals:

Ecluse 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon2013 Lock Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Highlighting the remarkable fruit produced by their own vineyard, the winery’s 2013 Lock Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon received an enthusiastic 94 points from the magazine and will also be featured in the September online issue. Incredibly rich in color with flavors of black currants, dark fruit and a hint of espresso, this classically structured Paso Robles Cab is stunningly complex with a decadently smooth finish.

Additional Accolades:
Double Gold – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Gold Medal – Cab Shootout, Affairs of the Vine

BUY-THE-WINE_Button

 

Ecluse Wines 2013 Improv2013 Improv

Blended for a beautiful balance, the eclectic 2013 Improv received the phenomenal score of 93 points and will be featured in the August online issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine. This exciting blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot and Petite Sirah has a gorgeous purple hue and an enticing nose of dark fruit and vanilla. The long, lingering finish delights the palate with layers of red plum, black cherry and just a hint of spice.

Additional Accolades:
Gold Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

BUY-THE-WINE_Button

 

Ecluse Wines 2013 Ensemble 2013 Ensemble

Using a their award winning Lock Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon as a foundation for this blend, it’s no surprise this elegant and sophisticated Bordeaux blend was honored with 92 points. Écluse Wines 2013 Ensemble begins with aromas of vanilla, black currant and brown sugar and delights the palate with notes of blackberry, cherry and a smooth, seductive finish. Look for a feature in Wine Enthusiast’s online August issue.

Adding to the excitement over Wine Enthusiast’s point score, 2013 Ensemble was just awarded Double Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition! This is the largest international wine competition in the U.S. with judges tasting over 4,600 entries. The Double Gold designation (94-100 points) is awarded to the very few entries that receive unanimous gold medal ratings from the judges.

Additional Accolades:
Best of Class – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
BUY-THE-WINE_ButtonGold Medal – Cab Shootout, Affairs of the Vine
Gold Medal – Toast of the Coast Wine Competition

 

Ecluse Wines 2013 Rendition2013 Rendition

Also featured in the August online edition of Wine Enthusiast, the 2013 Rendition is a classic Rhone blend that continues to impress, scoring 92 points from the magazine. A rendition of the traditional “GSM” Rhone-style blend, the wine is anchored with Ecluse’s amazing Estate Syrah and emboldened by the addition of Grenache and Mourvédre. The savory nose entices with aromas of dark fruit, tobacco and spice and continues on the palate with hints of dark cherry for a long, lingering finish.

Additional Accolades:
Double Gold – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Gold Medal, Best Red Rhone Blend – Toast of the Coast Wine Competition

BUY-THE-WINE_Button

 

Ecluse Wines 2013 Petite Sirah2013 Petite Sirah

For this release, Écluse Wines blended their very own Lock Vineyard Petite Sirah with Petite Sirah sourced from the Reaugh’s Sereno Vista Vineyard. The results? An extraordinary 90 points (Cellar Selection) from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and a feature in July’s online edition. This velvety rich wine begins with black plums, blackberry and caramel with a spice on the mid-palate for a long, lingering finish.

Additional Accolades:
Silver Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

BUY-THE-WINE_Button

 

To experience Écluse’s estate-grown wines firsthand, visit their barrel room for wine tasting the old fashioned way. You may even find Steve, proprietor and winemaker, with the wine thief offering barrel samples! Located at 1520 Kiler Canyon Road, they’re just a few minutes from downtown Paso Robles.

Tasting room hours are Friday – Sunday from 11:00am – 4:00pm. Reservations are required for groups of 7-10, please contact Écluse for availability: 805.238.4999. Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/EcluseWines 


 

Drive805_Logo

 

Get home safe from your winery visits and parties with some of the best and most knowledgable drivers in the business! Drive805 is your best choice for winery transportation on the Central Coast. Find out more at Drive805.com

 

 

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:

Adelaide InnThe 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.

Make Reservations

Directions: speedfind.com/AdelaideInn

 

LLa Bellasera Hotel & Suitesa 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.

Directions: speedfind.com/LaBellMake Reservationsasera

 

Hampton Inn & Suites - Paso RoblesHampton 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®

Directions: speedfind.com/PRWine.HMake ReservationsamptonInn

 

Lekai-Ranch_Featured-ImageExperience 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.

DMake Reservationsirections: speedfind.com/Lekai  |   vrbo.com/701796

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A Wine-lover’s Food Festival Survival Kit

Grab your favorite reusable spork, a travel-size bottle of Wine Away, and plenty of SPF, people! Summer can only mean one thing in Paso Robles Wine Country: The arrival of wine, beer, and food festivals galore! This week, we show you how to enjoy the munchies, remember your favorite wines for later, and avoid the pitfalls (like trying to eat every single sample that comes your way). Breathe easy. We leave no food foodie behind!

What was that wine again?!

Perhaps you fell in love with Brecon Estate’s wonderfully crisp and aromatic 2014 Albarino at the winery’s recent Albarino Summit, but somewhere between the panel discussion and lunch, you plumb forgot the vintage. Don’t beat yourself up; it Brecon Estate Buy the Winecould happen to anyone. You simply tried too many wines in a short period of time. A week later, will you remember to purchase this exceptional bottle or serve it alongside those swordfish tacos you’ve been dreaming about? I think not. Here’s the deal. You must record
what wines you adore, or you will find yourself scratching your head and kicking yourself at a later date. A quick, easy way is to snap and save a pic of the wine’s label on your smartphone. But for serious note taking, unlocking your screen, opening the notes app and typing on those teeny tiny keys (especially in full sunlight and with a full tray of food) can be more than a hassle. Instead, invest in a quality notebook and commit to writing down your favorite wines immediately after sipping. Date each notebook, so you know just when and where you tried that unforgettable bottle. The next time you’re hosting a dinner party or get together, you’ll be glad you did!

Cleanliness is key!

Dubost Buy the WineThere’s one little issue no one really talks about when it comes to food festivals. Things can get a bit…ahem..messy. We’re not talking about the food itself; we’re talking about you, dear reader. Chances are you haven’t seen a mirror in the past two hours, and your hands, face, and even your shirt could use a little TLC (that last bite of mac and cheese was so worth it). The next time you’re sipping a delicious glass of Dubost Ranch 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 10 percent Syrah and a whole lotta bold, dark red goodness, have no fear. Reach for a Wine Wipe, which—when swiped across your pearly whites and lips—erases all traces of unsightly purple. Clothing stains from barbecue sauce, pinot noir, or other tasty offenders can be tackled with a store-bought stain-fighting pen or travel-sized bottle of Wine Away, which, if you ask me, should be passed out at such events like water or any other necessity.

Go ahead and connect

That’s the point, isn’t it? So, you thought you’d stop by the Écluse Wines booth and you ended up never leaving. You were just enjoying yourself tooEcluse Buy the Wine much and having a grand old time chatting with friendly owners Steve and Pam Lock about their adventures in France. That’s great! While you’re lingering over a refreshing taste of 2014 Prelude Rhone style blend (that keeps getting filled and refilled), be sure to make a lasting connection that keeps on giving. See, wine and food festivals offer incredible opportunities to learn first-hand about the wine club, culture of the tasting room, and owners. Go ahead and take full advantage of this fact, although you should be careful not to hold up the line if it is exceptionally long. Pick up a handful of brochures to bring back to your friends and family (the next time you’re planning a wine tasting excursion, you’ll have a quick reference point). Tip: Share a bit about yourself with the other folks tasting at the booth. Really like the couple in line behind you? You know what they say: strangers are just wine tasting friends you haven’t met yet. Pack a stack of business cards.

Take stock

The very nature of food festivals is all about variety and abundance right? There’s so much to do see, eat, drink, smell, and…well…digest. Do yourself a favor and set your iPhone alarm for a consecutive alarm every 45 minutes to an hour. When the alarm buzzes, that means it’s time to re-set and rejuvenate. Grab a bottle of water, plop down in a shady spot and take in what you’ve just experienced. It can feel a bit like a whirlwind, right? Soak in the scenery and take stock of how you’re feeling (stuffed? Bloated? Energized? Buzzed? Dehydrated?) Now is the time to jot down a few notes in your notebook, mist your face with some invigorating elixir, and rub your hands with a bit of hand sanitizer or a wet nap. Other essentials include: A lightweight blanket for sitting on, Band-Aids for pesky blisters that can arise with lots of walking, a small tube of sunscreen for reapplication, compact mirror to check for food in your teeth, chapstick, floss, and breath mints. Sorry to be harsh, but your breath is probably really something else right about now!

Let someone else do the driving!Drive805_Logo

You’ve heard it before, but I will say it till the cows come home. Plan to make a plan. That means designating a driver before you even purchase your tickets to that upcoming festival. Maybe your friend is more into the food and not the wine aspect? Or perhaps your teenage nephew is dying to take advantage of his new driving privileges? Does your husband love beer, but you could take it or leave it? Maybe you’re the best candidate! Be creative, and don’t forget you can simply hire a driver to keep things ultra simple. Don’t get stuck with pricy Uber or Lyft fees during a popular event (rates increase as demand does). Tip: Call on Drive 805—they’re happy to pick you up!

 

This blog was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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Get home safe from your winery visits and parties with some of the best and most knowledgable drivers in the business! Drive805 is your best choice for winery transportation on the Central Coast. Find out more at Drive805.com

 

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:

Adelaide InnThe 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.

Make Reservations

Directions: speedfind.com/AdelaideInn

 

 

LLa Bellasera Hotel & Suitesa 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.

Directions: speedfind.com/LaBellMake Reservationsasera

 

 

Hampton Inn & Suites - Paso RoblesHampton 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®

Directions: speedfind.com/PRWine.HMake ReservationsamptonInn

 

 

Lekai-Ranch_Featured-ImageExperience 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.

DMake Reservationsirections: speedfind.com/Lekai  |   vrbo.com/701796

 

 

 

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What’s in a Wine Barrel? So Much More than Wine!

What’s in a wine barrel? Well, according to Rendarrio Vineyards Winemaker Ryan Render, a whole lot more than Cab Sauv or chardonnay. Not only do folks purchase the barrels for a multitude of garden uses, but they also manage to craft gorgeous furniture from the reclaimed wood that you have to experience to believe. Plus: Did you know that a slew of modern brew masters love to age their beers in the toasted receptacles? From bookends and headboards to craft beer and coffee tables, the uses for Paso’s many Wine Country barrels, are only limited by your own imagination. Wondering how you can celebrate these utilitarian, decorative, and dynamic wine country vessels in your own life? Read on! Knock on wood, you’ll find a way.

“New” Wine Barrels

New barrels are a winemaker’s dream—a symbol of the promise of wine yet to come. Depending on the kind of barrel—American, French, or otherwise—and the toasting levels (yes, it’s exactly what you think of when you imagine your toaster setting), a barrel can impart a range of flavors and scents on the wine. Ever read “toasted vanilla” or Ryan Render“caramel” on the back of a wine label? Yep. That’s likely from the wood variety and toasting of the barrel.

Rendarrio Vineyards Winemaker Ryan Render of Paso Robles has two “day jobs:” 1) making wine and 2) selling 100 percent French Oak barrels produced by French company Tonnellerie Cadus. While his main customers are winemakers looking for premium new French Oak barrels with plenty of punch (all are seasoned for 30 months, offer a variety of grain varieties and forest locales), he fields other unique requests too. In fact, there is a growing sect of hip beer brewers calling up Render for these prized barrels, including Crux Brewery in Oregon, Revolution Brewery in Chicago, and Green Flash in San Diego. Keep an eye out for these emerging beers and take note of their distinct, New French oak-bolstered flavor.

Used Barrels

Shouldn’t “new” always be better than “old?” Well, as it always is with wine, the answer is not that simple. Plenty of winemakers go crazy for used barrels, and I’ll tell you why. 1) not all winemakers want the heavy oak or toasted flavor that often comes from new barrels 2) more subtle wine varietals are allowed to shine in more neutral barrels and 3) used barrels can help cut way, way down on costs (and everyone loves that, especially the start-ups)! Used barrels sought out by winemakers have usually gone through a few vintages but are still in the prime of their lives, with plenty of love left to give. Creative craft distilleries like KROBAR in Paso Robles also enjoy using
used wine barrels for the making of their spirits, and plenty of brewers have been known to throw sour beers into used sauvignon blanc barrels or stouts into old Cabernet Sauvignon barrels to impart a unique “wow” factor. In other words: the barrel’s history (what it carried and for how long) may actually make it more valuable in the end.

Other Creative Uses

Very, very used barrels—barrels at the end of their lives both in flavor and utility—provide a fun and rustic canvas for creative crafters, furniture makers, and woodworkers of all ilk. These barrels are no longer suitable for the winemaking, beer brewing, or distillery world, so they are basically up for grabs to the general public, and oh how the general public loves them! Render sells these kinds of used barrels for anywhere between $50 to $100 (very cheap, when you consider the original price tag), and the possibilities are astounding. The best way to find out if he’s got any in stock? Stop by the tasting room and see. Most of these sales are casual and on a first-come-first serve basis. That being said, the next time you see a used wine barrel for sale at a garage sale, thrift store, or swap meet, scoop it up! You will be mighty glad you did.

Furniture and Home Goods

What?! Yes, reclaimed wine barrels can be transformed into a place to sit, a table to rest your feet on, or a rustic-chic light fixture that really ties the whole room together. A local friend of Render’s and owner of Wine Country Craftsman bends the old wood into exciting new forms, proving that even the metal hoops are made into chandeliers (you can view on in person at the Rendarrio tasting room). Head over to the woodworker’s online shop or Pinterest and see just how many uses you can find in your own home. And sorry in advance if you get lost in these inspiring photos. It’s just too fun to imagine the crafty applications. Hmmm…you really could use a new wet bar made of wine-soaked barrel wood…

Gardening

Not only are wine barrels cut in half (or left intact) the perfect size for veggies, small trees, and even bushes of decorative flowers like lavender, they are designed to love your greenery from the inside out. Wine barrels are very good at handling moisture—they tighten and expand over and over again over the course of a single lifecycle—so they are perfect for retaining much-needed H20 during drought. Plus, due to the wood’s porous structure, the barrels retain warmth yet allow the contents to “breathe,” which could mean for more aerated soil and juicier tomatoes come summer. Bet you didn’t know a wine barrel could lead to a killer backyard bounty.

It’s a Brave New Barrel World!

Show us how you use your old wine barrels. Snap a pic on Instagram and tag @PasoRoblesWineries in your post. We’ll share on the blog!


Visit the Rendarrio Cellars Tasting room and neighbors Bodega de Edgar and Hug Cellars off 46 East

There’s a whole lot going on at Tuley Road in Paso Robles! Rhone house Rendarrio Cellars is expanding its tasting room this July and nearby wineries like Bodega de Edgar and Hug Cellars are offering up fun, energetic spring and summer tastings chock full of delicious new releases.

At Bodega de Edgar, get your fill of Albariño, red blends, Tempranillo, and Garnacha, to name a few. The ultra-boutique winery is lovingly run by a passionate and hardworking couple who love to meet new faces, so prepare to mingle and learn.

Known for their Bordeaux-style blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Pinot Noir, Syrah, white blends, and Zinfandel, Hug Cellars churns out an impressive cluster of small lot, quality wines that shine with Paso beauty. Winemaker Augie Hug approaches winemaking with a measured hand, allowing each vineyard to express its own virtues. Taste for yourself and see what’s shaking in this eastern corner of Paso Wine Country.

Rendarrio VineyardsFeatured-Image_Bodega-de-EdgarHug-Cellars-LogoMapping and Directions:

speedfind.com/Rendarrio
speedfind.com/BodegaDeEdgar
speedfind.com/HugCellars

 

 

This blog post was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for SLO New Times, Edible SLO, and PasoRoblesWineries.net. She can be reached at hthomas@newtimesslo.com. Follow her on Instagram @flavorslo.

 

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Get home safe from your winery visits and parties with some of the best and most knowledgable drivers in the business! Drive805 is your best choice for winery transportation on the Central Coast. Find out more at Drive805.com

 

 

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:

Adelaide InnHampton Inn & Suites - Paso Robles

call-booth-house_logoLa Bellasera Hotel & Suites

Lekai-Ranch_Featured-Image

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Fest Fatigue? Snag MORE wines, fun times with LESS lines!

Those big, crowded wine events and fests are super fun, to be sure (#winetime!), but you may begin to crave a smaller shindig after two or three mega festivals (and one-too-many sunburns). Thankfully, you’ve got an insider pro to help you navigate the overwhelming wine waters. No worries, friend! This spring and summer, we’re here to help you enjoy more wines and way less lines. Ahhhhh….. Doesn’t that sound relaxing for your mind and your wallet? Avoid fest fatigue and attend a more intimate affair with these chill weekend wine events perfect for tasters in the know:

1. Bite into Burger Paradise at Lone Madrone

Lone Madrone burger SundayIt’s like you’re at an awesome backyard party, only better. Lone Madrone’s Burger Sundays, helmed by the talented Chef Jeffrey Scott, are a love fest of gigantic, juicy burgers, happy dogs, friendly folks, and rockin’ live music. What could be more low key than that? That being said, these are not your uncle’s burgers. Chef Scott pulls out all the stops so you can experience the most authentically Paso Robles food experience under the sun. Choose your locally sourced “meat,” including Portabela mushroom, lamb, or beef, top with delectable sauces and accouterments, and gear up for a dance or two on the grass. Warning: You will be dancing by the time this shindig is through, so wear your most comfy cowboy boots!

When: Every other Sunday. Click here for dates.
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/LoneMadrone

 

2. Attend the First Ever Albariño Summit at Brecon

Brecon Estate AlbarinoWhile everyone else is headed to the beach, you’ll be quietly racking up cool points at an up-and-coming wine hot spot—and of course, you will be sipping excellent whites while doing so! June 13th Brecon Estate is hosting North America’s first-ever Albariño Summit, and it promises to be a refreshing experience, indeed. A gaggle of amazing 20 Central Coast wineries will be pouring the crisp varietal and you can even get your cork dork on with a seminar busting at the seams with enthused experts and winemakers. And I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet: the event will include live flamenco guitar and food pairings inspired by northwestern Spain! Mind blown, Brecon Estate. Way to do you.

When: June 13, 2016. Click here for tickets.
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/BreconEstate

 

3. Gather Around a Killer ‘Za at Opolo

Opolo Pizza OvenPizza. Wine. Friends. These three things alone are all amazing, but when you combine all three—that’s when the real magic happens. Grab a clutch of your best buds and hightail it to Opolo, where the wine is flowing freely and the wood fired pizza is always hot, fresh, and oh-so-cheesy-good! Picky friends that can never decide where to eat? These famous Paso pies are a total crowd pleaser, especially when topped with Italian sausage, basil, and fresh tomatoes—plus, you can order up a fresh salad or mezze plate, or order of oysters to share! Whether you’ve been meaning to catch up with your family or a few work pals, nothing ignites the party like Opolo.

When: Daily, 11 – 4 pm
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/OpoloVineyards

 

4. Go Rustic with Estate Angus BBQs at Oso Libre

Oso Libre AngusIf Paso Robles is one part wine country, one part cowboy country, then Oso Libre is the winery poster child! Here, world-class vines intermingle with estate-raised Angus beef…which, of course, you can purchase for your own grill! With 360 aces of pasture to roam, Oso Libre’s sustainably sourced steers are raised without hormones, corn feed, or stress (Yes, even the steers breathe easier in Paso Robles). Raised on grass and luxuriously finished with beer brewer’s mash, wheat, oats, barley, and molasses, you can also dig into this gourmet beef at one of the winery’s famously fun Estate Barbecues.
When:
Check website here for upcoming barbecues. Join the Oso Libre Black Angus Beef Club here for 15-pound packages of meat sent to your door.
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/OsoLibreWinery

 

 


This blog was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at hthomas@newtimesslo.com or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.


Drive805_LogoGet home safe from your winery visits and parties with some of the best and most knowledgable drivers in the business! Drive805 is your best choice for winery transportation on the Central Coast. Find out more at Drive805.com

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:

Adelaide InnHampton Inn & Suites - Paso Robles

call-booth-house_logoLa Bellasera Hotel & Suites

Lekai-Ranch_Featured-Image

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What Wine to Pair with your Spring CSA Box!

If nothing excites you more than the sight of an ordinary brown cardboard box overflowing with fresh-picked spring produce, you might have Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) fever. Whether you’ve just received your box from SLO Veg, Talley Farms or your local farmer’s market, you know the feeling. Symptoms include spontaneous fits of farm-to-table cooking, dramatic spikes in overall well-being, and the casual, consistent mentioning of “what’s in your CSA box” at any given opportunity (of course your dry cleaner needs to know the unreal flavor of your latest batch of green onions). Do everyone a favor and quench your fever with these creative CSA box creations paired with local wines from across the Central Coast.

1. Artichoke + Chardonnay

Life is like a CSA box. You never know whatHarmony-Cellars_BUY-THE-WINE you’re going to get! Playful green artichokes signal the first blush of spring on the Central Coast, and their nutty, earthy flavor call out for bright citrus and plenty of garlic. Pair this perfect weeknight chicken masterpiece —made with capers, artichoke hearts, good parmesan, and oodles of sliced lemon—with a creamy, round Central Coast Chardonnay. Tip: Use a good drizzle of Pasolivo EVOO to add richness to the briny sauce and pair with Harmony Cellars’ 2014 Chardonnay, which is sweet, buttery (and blissful) to the max.

2. Strawberries + Viognier


arroyo robles buy the wine
What magic! The very first perky, plump strawberries of the season are coming into their own, boasting bright red fruit and sweet-yet-tangy allure. Prepare for that summer bikini body and start tossing those suckers into loads of salads (arugula, butter lettuce and red leaf are in season too, after all). This sweet and refreshing strawberry spring salad goes gangbusters with a floralCass Buy the Wine viognier, and remember: all green juice and no wine make Jane a boring lass. Pair your crunchy, green entree with Arroyo Robles’ 2009 Viognier or try Cass Winery’s 2015 viognier with notes of mango and tropical fruit.

 

3. Asparagus + Zinfandel

Date night is calling! Scoop uHammerSky buy the winep hearty, mini marinara-drenched shells and cheers with youPelletiere Buy the Winer love to a night of spring patio dining at its finest! When paired with a spicy, zingy zinfandel, this sexy little dish inspires candles, soft music, and perhaps even hitting the “pause” button on your latest Netflix obsession. Tip: Bring this entree to a boil and add in chunks of lobster and whole clams. Pop a dark raspberry-laden 2012 Zinfandel by HammerSky or get frisky with a sultry 2014 Zinfandel produced by Pelletiere.

 

4. Radish + Grenache Blanc (or hard cider)

No more shall the humble radish be overloSextant buy the wineoked. Next time you see a bunch of little red orbs in your CSA box, rejoice. All you need to know is steak + lime + cilantro = radish revolution. This quick meal is so fresh, filling, and fabulous you will want to make it every night ofLone Madrone buy the wine the week! Considering the fact that radishes are in prime season, I say grill ‘em while you can! Pair this Latin inspired feast with a cleansing, fruity grenache blanc like Sextant’s 2014 Grenache Blanc or go fizzy and bone dry with Lone Madrone’s Bristol’s Original Hard Cider.

 


This blog post was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. She can be reached at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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Four wine tasting ideas fit for a perfect spring day

The bees are buzzing, the flowers are blasting off, and there’s palpable electricity in the perfumed and balmy air. Yes, it is finally spring! The glorious, colorful, sun-drenched season has just waved its golden fairy dust across Paso Robles Wine Country, so we can totally understand if you can’t stand the idea of spending another precious moment at your desk. Now is the time to grab your picnic basket, iPhone (click here to download a comprehensive Wine Country map), and best buds. Spring in wine country has never been more beautiful…or bountiful!


Riverstar Vineyard LawnA picturesque picnic in the sun

All food just tastes better when you’re sitting outside in the fresh air, right? Don’t try to understand why that is—just go with the feeling and make a beeline for Riverstar Vineyards, located off Estrella Road in Paso Robles. Award-winning wines, plenty of picnic-friendly patio seating, and a stunning view of their 80-acre vineyard property come together for a luncheon in the sun that begs for a panorama photo (and maybe even a few selfies). Truly. This is what wine country dreams are made of, people!Riverstar Vineyards Thumb Logo

Tip: In a hurry? Forget the picnic basket and order from Riverstar’s killer selection of six specialty cheeses, each paired with a delectable wine. For only $10, it’s the bargain of the season.

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/riverstarvineyards
Hours: Thurs-Sun 11:00 – 5:00pm


Paydirt WinesGet out of your comfort zone with a new wine trail!

We all have our standby wine tasting rooms, and for good reason: with more than 200 wineries in Paso Robles Wine country, it’s hard to become a regular at each! Next time you catch a whiff of wine tasting fever, head for a totally refreshing stop: Paydirt Wines, located off Tuley Road in Paso Robles. With its rich, playful mural above the bar and industrial modern vibe, this tasting experience is just what you need to jump start your sense of spring adventure. Also worth a visit? Try nearby Rendarrio, Bodega de Edgar and Hug Cellars, which are all just steps away from Paydirt. Isn’t a new wine trail exhilarating?Paydirt Wines Logo

Tip: You’ve got to try Paydirt Wine’s Going for Broke blend, a totally bold “Paso Robles” offering with personality and flavor to spare. Oh, and did we mention case specials? Snag $99 cases of 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, perfect for spring and summer sipping!

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/PaydirtWines
Hours: Fri – Sun 11:00 – 5:00pm

Rendarrio Vineyards


Tip:
At Rendarrio Vineyards, you must sample the 2013 Town Crier Chardonnay, which is big and bright, just as a chardonnay should be. Spring entertaining, anyone?

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/Rendarrio
Hours: By Appointment Only

 

Hug-Featured-Image


Tip:
Over at Hug Cellars, you need to get a whiff of their amazing 2014 Hug Rose of Pinot Noir (only 23 cases made, so get on that quick)!

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/HugCellars
Hours: Daily 11:00am – 5:00pm

 

Featured-Image_Bodega-de-Edgar


Tip:
Tasting at Bodega de Edgar is a blast, especially when you’re falling in love with their crisp 2014 Albarino, perfect for a seafood dinner on a warm, sun dappled day.

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/BodegaDeEdgar
Hours: Daily 11:00am – 5:00pm

 


Get away from the blah at San Marcos Creek Vineyard

All winter, you’ve had your nose to the grindstone, right? Now is the perfect time to make room for a little much-needed “me time” or a romantic excursion. Your significant other will thank you! San Marco Creek Vineyard in rural Paso Robles just off Highway 101 offers up gorgeous, private suites appointed with whimsical furnishings and breathtaking vistas. Can’t do the overnight thing? Swing by the winery’s old fashioned tasting room for incredible wines and warm hospitality. You’ll be back soon enough, bags in hand.San Marcos Creek Vineyard Logo

Tip: You would be a fool not to take advantage of San Marcos Creek’s spring deal, which include 15 percent off all cases! May we suggest their 2013 Chardonnay, bursting with zesty melon and citrus?

Make Reservations
Mapping and Directions: 
speedfind.com/SanMarcosCreekVineyards
Hours: Daily 11:00am – 5:00pm


Jada Vineyards

Whisk yourself to the West Side

Paso Robles’ famed Highway 46 West wine trail is speckled with must-do wine tasting stops, and Jada Winery is among the top of the list. This spring, delve into exclusive library tasting flights. For $15, you’ll enjoy a special selection of limited edition wines that range from 2007 to 2011 vintages (fee waved with two bottle purchases and wine club members). Like the first blush of spring, this offer will only be around for a limited time, so don’t dilly-dally.Jada Vineyards Logo

Tip:While you’re tasting, be sure to sample Jada’s exceptional estate olive oil, a sumptuous experience (and perfect on spring salads galore).

Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/JadaVineyard
Hours: Daily 11:00am – 5:00pm

 


This blog post was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. She can be reached at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.
Drive805_Logo

 

Get home safe from your winery visits and parties with some of the best and most knowledgable drivers in the business! Drive805 is your best choice for winery transportation on the Central Coast. Find out more at Drive805.com

 

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:

Adelaide InnHampton Inn & Suites - Paso Robles

call-booth-house_logoLa Bellasera Hotel & Suites

Lekai-Ranch_Featured-Image

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