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These 5 Paso Whites Deserve Their Day in the Sun

It’s unfair but true. All year long, white wine must bow down and play second fiddle. Even if Paso Robles winemakers claim not to play favorites, it is hard to deny the sex appeal of a well made cab, tempranillo, or grenache. Everyone just loves a Paso Robles red, whether fruit forward and drinkable or structured and sophisticated. Still, when summer comes around and the temps rise, the lighter side of Paso Robles comes out to play. Floral, honied, fruity, or flinty, these wondrous whites are exactly what we want to drink all August long.

1. A Celebratory Sparkling

Toast to summer celebrations with a sparkling flight that brings out fireworks and flirtatious glances. Rava Wine is making farmer grown, méthode champenoise California sparkling wine that would make a Frenchman smile with appreciation. All processes, including press, tirage, riddling and disgorging are completed on the winery estate, so you know you are getting quality bubbles. The winery is currently offering Monterey County Brut, Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir, Sparkling Grüner Veltliner, and Sparkling Rosé—try them all and find your fave. Pairs well with weddings, anniversaries, and everyday cheese plates.

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Mappings and Directions to Rava wines

2. A Fresh Viognier

Vines on the Marycrest knows how to cool down the summer with live tunes and a laid back vibe. Try their 2017 Viognier, as fresh as the day is long. Whether you kick back at the winery or take this one home to your own backyard, the result is the same: maximum chill factor. This 100% Viognier is light and bright with a tropical nose and a deep, yet refreshing palate. This easy, summer sipper is perfect when paired with grilled Halibut or Thai food takeout. Because sometimes you just want to go with the easy (but delicious) option!

You’ll need some tunes to go with your wine. Victor (the owner along with Jenni his wife) may have given up a sound engineer career in music to pursue his passion for winemaking, but music is still a huge part of life for the Abascals. Rock, jazz, blues… there’s always something playing in the tasting room and winery. Victor and Jenni take their love of music even further, inviting some of the best and most original artists to play at events hosted by the winery. The compilation of these artist’s AMAZING ditties can be purchased online or in the tasting room. There is a limited supply, go to their music website take a listen and grab a CD while you can!

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Mappings and Directions to Vines on the Marycrest

3. A Dry Muscat

Really, it’s dry! For those of you who expect this wine to be overly sweet, do I have a surprise for you. Made with no residual sugar, Hoyt Family Vineyards Muscat astonishes the senses with a fragrant nose of citrus and a crisp, cleansing finish that is anything but cloying. Want in? This onetime estate offering will probably only last about as long as the summer. Get it while you still can!

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Mappings and Directions to Hoyt Family Vineyards

4. An Aromatic Albariño

Brecon Estate was initially considered quite crazy for hanging their hat on Albariño, uncommon in Paso Robles till just a few years ago (and still quite new to the scene). Well, who’s had the last laugh now? This 2017 Albariño has garnered 96 points—not once—but two times in a row! We know why. The aromas jump from the glass, surrounding these senses with elderflower and lily blossom. Zesty, crisp lime floods the palate (yum). The finish is structured, with a softness and biscuity toastiness reminiscent of good champagne. Not bad for an underdog.

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Mappings and Directions to Brecon Estate

5. A Modern Chardonnay

Aged for eight months in both stainless steel and oak, you’ll get both Old World class and modern style from this enticing 2015 Écluse Chardonnay. The winery’s first Chardonnay, it is already a star worthy of a fan club. Thanks to exceptional fruit sourced from the Solomon Hills area of the Santa Maria Valley AVA, this wine is one you might want to save for a special dinner, even if it’s just a nice night on the patio with fish tacos and a few tiki torches burning. Complex yet crisp, it has a dual personality, and both are absolutely delightful.

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Mappings and Directions to Écluse Wines

 This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.

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