Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Sipping: Learning about Rosé

Give Rosé a Try
For wine lovers up and down California’s Central Coast, there’s nothing that says summer quite like a glass of rosé--that light, refreshing, and easy sipping blush wine that seems to be ever so popular this year. But for many people who visit Paso Robles Wine Country for a weekendof wine tasting, they are often confused about where rosé comes from and how it’s made.

Rosé is made in the same manner as any wine and gets its coloring from the grape skins. Depending on how much color the wine maker decides to impart to the wine is the determining factor in how much of the must will be used in the final product. In general, rosé can range in coloring from the palest of pinks to an almost orange color.

Rosé is incredibly popular during the warm summer months as it pairs well with the lighter foods of summer. Additionally, it’s easy to drink and refreshing

Here are a few favorites:

Mourvèdre Rosé: This rosé is beautifully coral in coloring with nuances of violet and rose, cherries, and even smoke. This is a great wine to pair with grilled lamb burgers on brioche for an elegant and tasty summer BBQ.

Pinot Noir Rosé: With its beautiful coloring and fruit flavorings—think raspberries and strawberries—this light rosé is perfect served with steamed crabs or a side of fresh Pacific Salmon grilled to perfection.

Grenache Rosé: Here’s a rosé with good body, nuances of cherries, apricots, and raspberry, hints of orange and even earthy, mineral qualities. It’s refreshing and goes fabulously with a plate of sliced meats and cheeses and a French bread. Bring this beauty along on your next picnic.

If you haven’t ventured into rosés there’s no better time than summer to give them a try. They’re perfect with summer food, easy to drink, and the little hint of pink is sure to put a smile on your face. As a member of the Paso Robles Wine Club, you’ll receive regular shipments of wines form Paso Robles Wine Country giving you the perfect way to try wines from our area—even a few rosés.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Father's Day Gifts Fit for a King

Gifts for Dads who Love Wine

Father's Day is a time to celebrate your dad and while he'd likely be happy hanging out in the backyard, the BBQ going and the hammock swaying, dads are special and deserve a little something extra. This year, forget the hassle of going from one store to the next to find a gift--give your dad the gift of wine or an amazing Paso Robles Wine Country experience that he'll savor long after the sun sets.

Give the Gift of Wine: Need the ultimate gift for the father who is a true wine lover? Give him the gift of wine by choosing a membership in the Paso Robles Wine Club. You choose the shipment that fits your budget and then select red or white wine, or a mix. Choose from these packages:
Rustler: Looking for the perfect way to taste the best the Paso Robles AVA has to offer—but in a smaller package? The Rustler fits the bill. You’ll receive 3 bottles of premium wine three times a year—and the price will never exceed $120 per shipment.
Wrangler: Thrill your palate with a varied selection of premium wines from the Paso Robles AVA. This package includes 6 bottles of premium wines shipped three times a year at or less than $240 a shipment.
High Plains Drifter: COMING SOON! This will be a completely custom select shipment.

Give Dad a Wine Tasting Tour: The Wine Wrangler offers an array of wine tasting tours to fit even the most discerning palates. Here are a few of the most popular:

Half Day Wine Tasting Adventure Tour: On this tour, you’ll visit 3-4 wineries with one of our personable and knowledgeable guides. Many wineries will waive the tasting fees with the purchase of wine. This tour is available Sunday through Friday.

Level II Wine Wrangler Adventure Tour: This tour is not only our most popular, but our most social, as well. Your dad will tour with other guests and enjoy tasting at 4-6 wineries while learning a little more about our area. The tour usually lasts about 5 hours and includes a picnic lunch.

Give Dad  the Adventure of a Lifetime: For the dad who really does have it all—or would like to—there’s nothing better than the perfect getaway adventure to the incredible timeless beauty of Big Sur.

Big Sur Tour: Anyone who has traveled along California’s coast knows how breathtakingly beautiful it is, but the Big Sur coastline is 10 times more beautiful. This tour will have you cruising along the coast and enjoying the scenery as your guide points out landmarks and shares the history of the area. We offer both 1 and 2 day tours that include Hearst Castle, Monterrey, The Steinbeck Museum, and wine tasting in the Santa Lucia Highlands.

This year, don’t get caught up in searching for the perfect gift for dad. Relax and enjoy the weekend by choosing the perfect gift for the dad who is a wine lover--shop the Paso Robles Wine Club or The Wine Wrangler for a gift he’ll appreciate all year long.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How Drought Affects Wine

Water and Wine

It’s no secret that California’s Central Coast is currently dealing with several years of consecutive drought conditions, which naturally leaves many wine lovers wondering how the lack of rainfall affects the taste and quality of wines from Paso Robles Wine Country. Many people don’t realize that grapevines love a spartan life and thrive in places where it’s difficult to grow. To understand this more fully, think about it in geographical terms—some of the world’s best wines come from regions where water is scarce and the roots of the vines need to go deeper into the soil in search of more water.

Drought affects wine in several ways, including:

Smaller Grapes: When vines receive less water, the grapes are smaller in size. This process makes for deeper flavors in the fruit because the fructose is more concentrated. Consequently, more water would have the opposite effect, diluting the concentration of sugars. So, theoretically, when the vines are forced to survive on less water, the wine will have more intensity in flavor.

Stress on the Vine: There are several factors that can put stress on the vines and drought is certainly at the top of the list. When water is scarce, the roots of the vines will go deeper into the soil seeking more water, a process that adds other flavors to the finished product.

In theory, the more wood that comes in contact with the soil, the more those flavors will impart themselves on the finished product. Similarly, the deeper the roots go into the soil, the more surface contact they will have with the microclimate and mixed nuances of the soil. This is where wines will typically pick up flavors of graphite, iron, and minerality.

Soil Matters: When it comes to wine, soil matters, not only in regard to the varietals, but also in the style of wines and the water needs of the vines. A major component of wine making is the wine maker’s understanding of the depth and size of the vine's root system and how much water the soil can hold. Typically, alluvial, or sandy soils, need more frequent irrigation than Calcareous clay soils (which has a higher moisture content and stays cooler).

While drought brings numerous challenges to a wine maker, less water can actually produce better wines. For a better wine tasting experience it’s important to remember that wine is an agricultural product and is influenced by numerous factors. Members of The Paso Robles Wine Club will enjoy tasting through a number of wines with more concentrated flavors over the coming months and with each bottle will come to understand more fully how the flavor of wine is crafted not only by the wine maker, but by Mother Nature herself.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer in the Vineyard

On the Way to Harvest

To everything there is a season—the cyclical passage of time that marks the transition from one stage to another—and in Paso Robles Wine Country summer in the vineyard is an exceptionally important time in the winemaking process. Of course, when most people think of summer in the vineyard, they more than likely envision weddings, graduations—maybe, even a milestone birthday celebration—and while it’s true enough that all of these events are taking place throughout Paso Robles, behind the scenes, nature is hard at work and the vineyard is moving through an important cycle in what, in just a few months, will culminate in the harvesting of the grapes.

There are a number of events that take place in the vineyard during the months of June, July and August, including:

  •         The vines begin to flower, eventually producing clusters of grapes
  •          The canopy continues to grow and canopy management becomes increasingly more important
  •          As the grapes grow and mature, they begin to develop their coloring (variations depend on the varietals)
  •          As the summer heat increases, the grapes soak up the heat, which increases the sugars and helps the fruit ripen—all of which sets the stage for harvest
  •          By July, flowering is usually complete and the vineyard manager has a clearer understanding of the potential crop size.

Every vineyard is unique with a complexity of variations that need to be understood in the production of wine. No matter where a vineyard is located, there is a natural and cyclical process to the growing season and certain practices that are undertaken at each step. However, each vineyard is unique in the soil composition, amount of sun exposure and water, along with other aspects of climate. How each of these variants is managed, and to some extent, controlled, is the artistry of wine making. Paso Robles Wine Country has many unique AVA’s and varietals, which adds to the fun of exploring and experiencing wines from our region.

You could spend years making your way to the well-over 200 wineries in the area and tasting each wine produced, or, as a member of The Paso Robles Wine Club, you could relax and enjoy regular shipments of some of the most unique and interesting wines from California’s Central Coast—all without leaving the comfort of your home. Membership is free and there are a number of shipments to choose from, but no matter which you select, you can be assured that you'll enjoy learning more about the unique vineyards in the Paso Robles Wine Region as well as tasting many unique and hard to find wines.