We celebrate International Tempranillo Day every year on the second Thursday of November. This year's celebration saw a Tempranillo Shootout for the American Wine Society and a passport weekend in the Lodi area. Our Viva Yo was reviewed as part of the week-long activities. See the article at https://rockinredblog.com/2016/11/09/whos-ready-for-international-tempranillo-day/
The Mid-State Wine Competition awarded our Dona Blanca with a Double Gold and a Best of Class in this year's competition. We were thrilled that this wine, which we haven't produced since 2009, found a winning place on the judges' palates. Come in and taste it in the Tasting Room.
What a great event this year. The Paso Robles Downtown Wineries hit another home run with this year's event. Tickets were limited, the case every year, and once again there were still requests for more than the 250 tickets allocated for the event. Sign up earlier next year for this and the Winter wine stroll.
Bodegas Paso Robles poured the 2014 Dona Blanca and paired this floral but very dry white wine with a spicy appetizer of shrimp.
This recipe can be prepared two ways: the shrimp on skewers with onion, bell peppers, and tomato and grilled or sauteed with a touch of olive oil. Both are equally as delicious.
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 heaping teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Place salt in a small bowl. Use a garlic press on the garlic gloves and press into bowl with salt. Mix the two together. Add in cayenne pepper and paprika and blend. Stir in olive oil and lemon juice and stir. The mixture should be a runny paste.
In a large bowl, toss shrimp with the mixture. Place shrimp on skewers with vegetables and grill over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side until shrimp is no longer translucent.
If cooking in a pan, put about a teaspoon of olive oil in pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes per side.
Our flagship wine, Viva Yo!, has been awarded Double Gold medals by the judges for the Tasters Guild International wine competition. Judging occurred from April 30–May 2, 2015 by an experienced panel of 30. Only 67 wines of over 1500 were designated Double Gold by the judges.
We bottled the new 2014 Rosado on March 2, 2015 along with the 2014 white wines. The salmon-pink color of this 100% Garnacha rose was just what I was looking for in this wine. It's always a balancing act about timing on pressing off the juice from the skins. Since I purchase the grapes only to make rose I have more control than if I were using excess juice from grapes slated for red wine.
Still . . . I never know if the color's just right until it's been bottled. The 2014 Rosado has peach and apricot and a hint of vanilla on the nose. Serve well chilled with picnic food, smoked salmon, ham, fruit, or save some for Thanksgiving.
For those of you who don't know, I'm not very tall -- about 5'4" with my shoes on. When it comes to using the wine thief on any row above the lowest I either have to drag over a stool or ladder, get one of the guys at the winery to help me, or have one of the barrel tasters help me out. If it's during a barrel tasting, this task always gets assigned to the tallest person present.
Jim Cassley, shown below emptying the wine from a thief into a tasting glass, was the new "cellar rat for the day" when his friends took advantage our our barrel tasting program. (A cellar rat is someone who does the grunt work at the winery. Think of washing tanks and barrels, testing for SO2, etc.) Jim and his wife, Lori, are good friends of wine club members Ernie and Bill Pollard (a professional photographer) from the San Fernando Valley in LA. I don't think that Jim knew that his first barrel tasting would result in actually working with the wine!
There were eight of us, including Heather and myself, and we spent about 1-1/2 hours tasting through barrels and comparing the wine in barrels to the blended wine in bottle. We typically taste about 8 wines in barrel at various stages of development. Every time I do a barrel tasting I check on how the wine is progressing, listen to comments from wine club members about their likes and dislikes, and think about blending possibilities. I truly want to know what your palates are telling you!
Barrel tasting for 2 club members plus 6 friends is a benefit of club membership. For non-members, barrel tastings are $30 per person. Reservations must be made 2 weeks in advance.
The world's most comprehensive tasting of American-produced Tempranillo will take place at the old Officer's Club at the Presidio, the Golden Gate Club, in San Francisco on April 26 from 12 pm to 5 pm. Most TAPAS members are limited-production, family owned wineries. They will be pouring small-lot wines that are not widely available. Bodegas Paso Robles is a member winery, and winemaker Dorothy Schuler is on the Board of Directors and is a Past President of the organization.
This is one of our favorite events. There's nothing quite as good as the view overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge while pouring wine. The venue is not large so ticket sales are limited. If you haven't been to the Presidio since it became the property of the City of San Francisco this is an opportunity for you to see all the changes at the once crown jewel of the US Army bases.
This year's event features a Tempranillo Shootout -- a blind tasting of four USA wines versus four Spanish ones, moderated by Patrick Comiskey, Senior Contributor for Wine & Spirits magazine, chief wine columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and noted wine judge, educator, and writer.
Schedule and costs for the event are:
12 noon - 1:30 pm Tempranillo Shootout $75 ticket includes early admission for the Consumer Tasting
1-2 pm Trade and Media Tasting
2-5 pm Consumer Tasting $55 ticket includes 2 seminars, one on Albariño and an Iberian Medley of lesser-known varietals
Exotic zoo animals in Downtown Paso Robles! And what do zoos and wine have in common? Not everyone who visits our town knows that Paso Robles is the home of Zoo to You, an exotic animal rescue organization that’s been based here for over 25 years. This organization cares for hundreds of furred, feathered, and scaled wildlife every day. The Downtown Wineries hosted a fund raiser for this group in February and — we’re pleased to say — the turnout to support the zoo was fabulous.
Heather and Max stayed in the Tasting Room, and I went around and visited the 1-year-old kangaroo, alligator, bald eagle, camel — yes, a camel — and a wide variety of birds, reptiles, and beasts in the 14 downtown tasting rooms. Petting the baby hedgehog, which was incredibly soft, and porcupine (those quills felt like very long feathers!) were highlights for me. Spike, an alligator who's probably in his early 20s, was so still that he could have passed for a statue. Until I looked into his eyes however! All the animal visitors came with a handler, except Spike who came with two strong men. The volunteer handlers explained each animal's particular behavior and showed how to touch each critter.
Zophia, an Eurasian Eagle Owl, drew crowds at Bodegas Paso Robles. She is a huge girl and amazingly friendly. Her owl eyes look at you intensely, and from just a foot away the experience is thrilling. This type of owl is used in this country by falconers who have raptors trained to eliminate birds in vineyards and landfills. A falconer told me that this type of owl is an extremely pleasant work partner, unlike the American great horned owls.
Visitors to Paso Robles can tour the Zoo to You facilities on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm. They can be reached at 805-391-0604.
Perhaps nothing in the winemaking process is more nerve‐wracking than bottling time. So much can go wrong! You can be short on bottles, labels, foil, corks. Water can get mixed with wine in the hoses carrying the wine to the bottling truck. Fill levels can get too high or low if not watched for consistency. A bad lot of corks that haven't been properly treated can end up in the bottles. Improperly manufactured bottles can create huge problems and slow down the line. Foils can get wrinkled, labels missed or askew, and on and on . . .
This year we discovered 2 cases of the 2010 ¡Viva Yo! that had what appeared to be leaking corks. Not good! Further inspection revealed that a bottle in each case — remember the bottles are aged upside down — had a foil but no cork. The wine had leaked out slowly since it was bottled in 2012. If that's the only mistake I ever have from bottling I will be a very happy winemaker.
Monastrell picked before Albariño? Harvest starting in mid‐August? Another unusual harvest with, for me, an even shorter duration than last year. I'm writing this waiting for the Albariño to arrive from Jack Ranch in Edna Valley. I went and looked at it on Tuesday knowing it would be ready by the lab work indicating Brix, pH and TA (total acidity).
But it's 3 weeks early! A refrain I've been hearing all over the state this year. The last grapes for us — Tempranillo were picked on October 6. As of this morning (October 15th), 14 bins of it (about 13.5 tons) were fermenting in the barn, with Graciano waiting to go to press. The Bastardo is in barrel and Monastrell is settling in tank.
Although some of the yields were down from last year, most of the fruit looks of very high quality. I'm hoping for the 2014 harvest to produce rich, deep‐colored vintage‐quality wines!
Every year Bodegas Paso Robles gets asked to support over 100 charities, most of which have valid, well‐run organizations truly in need of volunteers or funding. Because we receive so many requests for donations of wine we needed to come up with a policy that made sense on how to choose who got our contributions.
We decided — after much discussion — to support only those charities that are connected to our ¡Buenos Amigos! wine club members and local, Paso Robles organizations. Not only does this policy make it easier for us to choose who gets a donation of our wine, it allows us to support club members' in return for their support and loyalty to Bodegas Paso Robles. In the past 12 years we've donated wine, barrel tastings, weekends with the winemaker, and attendance at charitable events.
We regularly support the Wood's Humane Society of San Luis Obispo County, the Food Bank in Paso Robles, local teenage sporting and school organizations — for those of you who don't know, Heather has 5 kids! — Tacoma Community College (we have 5 club members who've been on the Board), Family Care Network, Casa Pacifica, Peacock Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Club plus many others on a year‐by‐year basis.
If you want your organization to be considered, please contact us by December of this year for 2015 donations.
Come celebrate the 31st annual Wine Festival with us today ~ We will be in the park and our Winemaker, Dorothy Schuler will be in the tasting room with barrel samples and cheese pairings! Great Wine Festival specials going on also!