Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Virtual Tour of Paso Robles Wine Country

We could have visited these 20 wineries in Paso Robles and traveled 295 miles in about 8 hours of driving (not including tasting time).

Or we could taste the same wines in less than 3 hours at The BookBindery in Culver City.
What a great option! We dropped our car off at the free valet parking service and saved lots of time and gas.

A well-attended Paso Robles wine seminar about their wines and the region was held before the tasting event. 

It was a GRAND tasting tour with 40 wineries pouring the blends and styles of Paso Robles Wine Country. It's not surprising that I liked many of the Rhône-style wines, Zinfandel, Bordeaux-style blends, and Viognier being served. I liked the blends: GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre), SMG (Syrah-Mourvèdre-Grenache) and even an MTG (Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Grenache). Funny, there weren't any MSG blends... 

A popular white Rhône grape, Viognier, added to other white Rhône grapes, like Roussanne and Marsanne, was in some very nice white wines like Lone Madrone's 2010 Points West White and Caliza Winery's 2011 Kissin’ Cousins.

Devon and I liked the first wine we tasted, a Viognier, at Adelaida Cellars - the 2011 Viognier Anna’s Estate Vineyard.  Then we took different routes around the BookBindery covering 20 of the wineries.

Adelaida Cellars
Ancient Peaks Winery
Bodegas Paso Robles
Our collaborative ratings for the top wines were:

Cass Winery
Hunt Cellars
Ratings for the best wines related to the price:

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
Niner Wine Estates
My favorite top 10 wines:

During the 2 1/2 hours we managed to visit half of the 40 wineries and taste 67 wines - an average of 8 minutes per winery and 2 tastes per winery. Two thirds (66%) of the wines we tasted were rated at 4 or better (out of 5), and 30 of them were 5 (or 5+) out of 5!  A great tasting opportunity and we only wish we'd had another few hours to visit the rest of the wineries.

Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills had a nice selection of cheeses, olives, and various appetizers to complement the wines.  Their table was a major hit and the food disappeared as fast as they could bring it out.  I was lucky to snap a picture of this platter before several people - waiting for me to take the picture - jumped in with tongs!

The Paso Robles Grand Tasting Tour was a great  event and we're looking forward to our next trip up there - even if we do have to drive around to the different wineries.

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