We are planning a trip to Paso Robles early this year – we try and do Paso and Napa every year – although in past years it wasn’t possible due to our work schedules. This year first we will visit D.C. and then Paso, Kentucky, Italy, Greece and Turkey. This will probably be the norm for us, lots of travel, now that Eddie has retired.
So, getting back to Paso, I wanted to share information about some of the wineries we will be visiting. And because we do go wine tasting often, the last few years we have tried to go to wineries that we have not visited with too many times – or not at all – before. (There are so many now we all really should reach a little further IMO.) However, with that said, there are two below that we have visited before, but not for a few years. Which of these have you been to, which would you re-visit and which are new for you as well:
Hadn’t heard of Thacher until I was emailing Tony Quealy at a different winery and learned that he had moved over to Thacher. Did a little research on the winery, Google and social media, and liked what I saw. So instead of seeing Quealy at his old spot we would visit him at his new spot. They are described as a “boutique” winery, with an emphasis on two of my favorites: Rhone blends and Zinfandel.
Tablas Creek Vineyard
Sampled lots of Rhônes from Tablas Creek at wine events over the years. All I knew about them is that they make a lot. And they’re all good. Sent them an email about visiting and they were happy to oblige, with none other than Jason Haas, partner and GM, to show us around. From Facebook I learned, “Founded by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and Robert Haas of Vineyard Brands in the limestone hills of Paso Robles’ Adelaida District, it produces estate grown Châteauneuf du Pape-style blends and Rhone varietal wines from its certified organic and Biodynamic vineyards.”
Cindy Steinbeck, one daughter of owners Howie and Bev Steinbeck, had offered one of their noted “CRASH COURSE tours through the family’s expansive vineyards giving (us) an opportunity to really know the family and experience wine from the vineyard.” From their website I learned that Steinbeck “is a boutique family owned and operated winery in the heart of California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles” and that their “family has been farming for seven-generations, since 1884. (Their) ancestors were pioneers in many aspects of farming in Paso Robles, including wine grapes and wine 135 years ago…” Howie himself is known as “a leader in viticulture in Paso Robles since 1970.”
Been to more than one event, and dinner, where Cass co-owner Ted Plemons poured. Plemons is one of those memorable wine personalities that make the wine tasting experience a whole lot of fun. At a recent #SaugusStrong fundraiser at our local Wine 661 wine bar, I won a luncheon for four at the winery. Planned my trip around it. Hoping for a Plemons sighting, but happy at the prospect of having the lunch – heard a lot about the great lunches there – and tasting through their current line-up of Rhônes and Bordeaux blends.
Ben Mayo was the winemaker at Eberle when I last visited, that was 2011 (Read about our “Underground Eberle Tour” here) and a person in my party voted for a re-visit. Fast forward to more local news, founder Gary Eberle being ousted from the winery, then regained ownership, and of course their long-standing respected wines. When Gary was copied on an email to me from the winery, I mentioned we’d love even just a “sighting” or “photo op” if he’s available. This wine-fan-girl does get a wee bit excited about meeting the people that have shaped our wine industry. Time will tell if it happens! Asked what I would like to focus on for the tasting I suggested Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, and they also offered a tasting of “something from the library.”
Allegretto Wines and Vineyard Resort by Ayres
I knew the Allegretto name from visiting their grand hotel soon after it opened for a Cab Collective event weekend. This time I would be staying in one of the rooms, for two nights, so I knew I’d be getting a bigger and better insiders “feel” of the place. Additionally, I had met and tasted with Quin Cody, the Director of Wine Hospitality, at a recent STARS of Cab event put on by Ian Blackburn and WineLA.com – the wines were great, two Cabs and a Malbec, but I needed to taste more. During our visit we would have “an art tour followed by wine and charcuterie tasting in the Willow Creek tasting room.”
A few years back we stayed in a lovely farmhouse on the HammerSky property. I was smitten the property, the wines and with owner Doug Hauck, and I think you can tell from my article that ran back in 2014, The Secret Weapons at HammerSky. I’ve been wanting to get back ever since as we tasted just a few wines then, and there are plenty more in the tasting room that we hadn’t visited. This is what we missed that we won’t miss this time, “Our ultra-modern tasting room offers award-winning Bordeaux wines, hospitality and comfort for all who visit. Tall windows and glass doors emit natural light, while allowing sweeping 180 degree views of our rolling vineyards that border the lawn with café-style seating on the patio. It has been referred to as the best picnic location in Paso Robles wine country.”
Oso Libre Winery
I had originally tasted Oso Libre wines in 2016, via the LA Wine Writers. In fact, I couldn’t attend the tasting with everyone else and the winery generously offered to send wines for my review. I re-posted the review last year, and the winery commented on the Facebook link that I needed a re-visit. This is the article link —> http://evewine101.com/2019/09/10/vintage-eve-circa-9-2016-a-trio-to-taste-from-pasos-oso-libre/ I decided I needed a real “live” visit, and now look forward to trying their current wines that may include a Dry Riesling, Rose of Mourvedre, Chardonnay, Primitivo, Zinfandel, Bordeaux blends and GSMs…
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.