Our plan to attend this year’s Paso ZinFest was actually put into play a few months ago, when we visited Janell Dusi at her family’s Dusi vineyard with Mike Ortiz and Carey Babcock, and vowed to return in March to her J Dusi winery club pick up party, which just happened to be on ZinFest weekend.
The Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival is actually a weekend-long affair full of events at winery tasting rooms and winemaker dinners at local restaurants, with the main event on Saturday evening at the Paso Robles Event Center with more than three dozen wineries pouring wine made from what many consider to be Paso Robles’ signature grape – Zinfandel.
Even though some events started as early as Thursday, we did not find ourselves driving up to Paso Robles until Saturday morning, braving what passes for inclement weather in California. We were planning to stop at a few wineries we had visited previously, using the weekend to catch up with old friends, and look to expand our Zinfandel horizons with the big tasting Saturday night.
Our first stop was McPrice Myers. McPrice pours his wines at Barrel 27, a winery which he also co-owns. The Barrel 27 wines were as usual very good, and along with their usual Rhone varietals they were even pouring a Zinfandel for the occasion, a good thing since McPrice doesn’t make one under his own label. Regardless, I found the McPrice Myers wines to be truly masterful. A great treat was being able to taste two of his wines from the 2005 vintage, a Grenache and a Rhone blend. These wines were wonderful when young, yet had matured into something special. I was grateful to be able to taste these, as mine were long gone.
Also being poured at this event were the wines of Bodega de Edgar. These wines focus on the Spanish varietals and are made by Edgar Torres, who also works for McPrice Myers and Barrel 27. I especially liked the Tempranillo.
And rounding out the event were the great tacos al pastor prepared by Los Robles Café. Yum.
Thus fortified, we were ready to move on… (See part two of Mike’s story on this site on April 21.)
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.