I admit I am prejudiced. When I see a winery that has invested big bucks into fancy architecture, an exclusive members-only tasting room, and incredibly landscaped grounds I get nervous. I worry how the money could be going into making great wine if it is being spent elsewhere.
Gloria and Larry invited the group to join them at Denner Vineyards, of which they are members. I had tasted Denner wines before, and been impressed, so I was eager to visit the winery. However, as we approached, and I saw the aforementioned incredible buildings, I became nervous.
Boy, what an idiot!
First of all, I should have known the Stahlys would never steer us wrong.
Secondly, the Denners clearly have the ability to make good wine and serve it in a beautiful setting. Wait, I take that back, not good wine – great wine!
We sat in their beautiful tasting room and tasted the entire lineup of Denner’s incredible wines, white and red Rhones along with a delicious Zinfandel. As the weather turned worse and it began to rain, sitting in the tasting room, enjoying the wine near the fireplace made everything even more picturesque.
So a tasting that started out with trepidation not only turned into an incredible experience, but ended with another member in the Denner wine club – me!
After that, we trekked back to downtown Paso Robles for a very late lunch at the Crooked Kilt. Over burgers, beers and laughs, we reflected on the day.
Admittedly, I was pretty much comatose the rest of the day until dinner, satiated with the great wine and experiences of the day, not to mention the burger and Firestone Ale at Crooked Kilt.
Eventually, it was time for dinner. Alas, two of our party [Chuck and Heidi] needed to return to Santa Clarita. The rest of us, saddened by their departure, drowned our sorrows with bottles of J. Dusi and Clautiere Syrahs over dinner at Artisan, one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. www.artisanpasorobles.com
Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. “It is common practice for wine industry workers, wine writers and winery club members [and members of their party] to receive complimentary tastings and discounted purchases. Unless it is otherwise noted, it should be presumed that this is the case.”