Paso Robles Wine Country This Month | November
November 15, 2022
Vintage 2022 has now been tucked away into barrels to age and take a winter slumber, the vineyards have made the transition from deep crimson and burnt orange into deeper hues of rust and leaves have begun to fall from the vines. With the transition from fall to now almost winter comes shorter days and much colder nights as temperatures dip down into the 30s. Sweater weather in wine country also means winemakers are planning for 2023, spending more time with their families, and deciding on the perfect bottles to open for their Thanksgiving celebrations.
This time of year in wine country is festive, we even threw a party for 500 of our closest industry friends! Paso Robles has also had some big accolades over the last few weeks with Hope Family Wines winning the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Award for American Winery of the Year and the Michelin Guide added three of our restaurants – The Hatch, Les Petites Canailles, In Bloom – to their list. As the holidays approach we hope all of our fans open something extra tasty to celebrate!
The November blog features: Meet the Makers | What’s New | Guest Chef Recipe | Varietal Highlight | In the Vineyard | Behind the Scenes at Paso Wine | Where Wine Takes You | Trending
Meet the Makers - Steve & Jackie Gleason from Four Lanterns
Jackie and Steve Gleason took ownership and established Four Lanterns Winery in 2013. Life-long wine nuts, they discovered Paso Robles in the early 1990s and came to believe that Paso was destined to become a world-class wine region. Jackie and Steve decided to leave corporate life behind in Orange County and moved north to Paso. They now operate two vineyards, SCJS Vineyard and Jackie’s Vineyard where they grow Rhône, Bordeaux, and Spanish varietals respectively. Each day is different. The great joy of their new venture is sharing their wine with customers in the tasting barn, taking them on tours of the vineyard, or pulling samples for them in our barrel room. But seeing the light in peoples’ eyes when they taste their wine is their favorite part of the tour! Their wines are balanced, elegant, and critically acclaimed. But more importantly, they get to experience the thrill of creating a new business, spending more time together, and enjoying a better sense of the seasons of the earth, and the rhythm of life.
Why Paso? What makes Paso Robles Wine Country so special? Paso Wine Country is a great place to call home! There is an amazing sense of community, especially within the wine industry. People share ideas, experiences, and even equipment (and of course wine). We all understand that the better we are the more successful Paso will be. Visitors come here looking for exceptional wine and a strong winemaking community helps ensure that they will find what they are looking for. This even extends to the tasting room as well. From the moment we opened our doors our neighbors helped direct tasters to our winery. The Paso wine industry does the best for all our visitors by featuring the diverse array of wineries available.
What makes your owner/winemaker partnership work so well? Twenty-nine years of marriage!
What’s one of your fave local hot spots/where do you go to unwind/have fun? Walks on the beach in Cayucos, a glass of wine and nice conversation with the owners at the Paso Wine Merchant, or coffee at Jobella’s. There are so many great restaurants in Paso to enjoy. Too many to name!
What's New - ETTO Pasta Bar
ETTO Pasta Bar
Meet the newest addition to the Paso culinary scene, ETTO Pasta Bar. Located in the industrial wine-making neighborhood of Tin City and next to its parent company ETTO Pastifico and the Market. The Pasta Bar features freshly made pasta from Etto with local and Italian ingredients using traditional techniques and recipes. The menu will change weekly and seasonally to best reflect the local bounty in and around Paso Robles. At least 10 farms and ranch items have been featured just in the first few weeks.
For now, ETTO will be open for lunch from 11:30pm – 4:30pm, Thursday – Monday serving pasta, sandwiches, salads, and other items featuring fresh ingredients. Dinner service starts on November 11th with reservations highly encouraged for dinner. Dinner will feature family-style entrees and of course Etto’s fresh pasta. The casual and fast service model should appeal to families and locals, but the menu will feature top-quality ingredients and preparation. The restaurant is designed to be warm and inviting evoking elements from a mid-18th Century Italian living room.
As they grow ETTO plans to expand lunch to seven days and dinner to five or even seven days. Rome wasn’t built in a day as the saying goes and neither will the pasta bar.
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Recipe of the Month - KELLECO Pumpkin Mole Tacos
By Kelly Wangard, KELLECO Project Catering
Wine Pairing: Paso Robles Grenache
Serves 6-8 people
- 2 cups cooked pumpkin, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced, sauteed
- Olive oil
- 12 tortillas
- 1 cup mozzarella or jack cheese
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili flake
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cup sauce mole or enchilada sauce
- 1/2 cup extra cheese for topping
- 1/4 cup queso fresco
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- Prepare a baking dish by brushing with olive oil.
- Warm the tortillas in olive oil until pliable. Lay them on a cutting board. Using a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, cheese, yellow onion, salt, chili flake, and smoked paprika. Divide the filling and then roll and place into the baking dish generously pour over the mole sauce and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot and sprinkle with queso fresco and pepitas.
Varietal of the Month - Grenache
By Wine Folly
Grenache (aka Garnacha) produces deep, flavorful red wines and vibrant, ruby-tinted rosé. The French have championed this grape in the Southern Rhône Valley but its original home is Spain.
Did you know that Grenache is responsible for some of the most delicious, sought-after, and expensive wines in the world? From renowned regions like Châteauneuf-du-Pape to cult California wines, Grenache is just as important in the wine world as Cabernet Sauvignon. Grenache accounts for about 456, 000 acres grown worldwide with only 10,000 in the United States. Grenache is at home in Paso Robles. Both Grenache Noir and Blanc thrive in this environment in which dry heat is met by cool nightly temperatures, and rich calcareous limestone soils dominate the scene. With variety and creativity as strengths of Paso Robles, the Grenache offerings span the hues and profiles, in blends and varietals. These wines have the spirit of the old world but are one of a kind.
Grenache brings flavors of raspberry, strawberry, black cherry, citrus rind, and tobacco with medium tannins and acidity. The powerful flavors of Grenache match well with roasted meats and vegetables spiced with Asian 5-spice and cumin. Holiday turkey also pairs successfully with Grenache especially if accompanied by caramelized roast root vegetables like carrots, beets, and parsnips.
In The Vineyard With G2 Vineyard
By Bill Gibbs, G2 Vineyard
I happen to love Grenache, both to drink and to grow. For drinking; 100% Grenache, Grenache-led blends, or Grenache Rosé. So many good ones made in Paso Robles. For growing, I like both Grenache Noir and Garnacha clones. Even Grenache Blanc. When I acquired G2 Vineyard 9 years ago, it had 19 acres of Zinfandel, 17 acres of Syrah, and only 2.7 acres of Grenache, along with small amounts of Mourvèdre, Tannat, and Grenache Blanc, for a total of 45 acres planted. No surprise when Saxum took all my initial Grenache. Their G2 Single Vineyard Designate (SVD) wine is a delicious Grenache lead blend that always scores high. Jacob Toft has bottled an excellent G2 SVD 100% Grenache in recent years (from a Garnacha clone), that’s worth a look. G2 Grenache is also a key component in wines from Turtle Rock, TOP, Clos Solène, Benom, and Torrin.
Today, through grafting and new plantings, we have 21 acres of Grenache, almost an 8x increase! Syrah has increased to 21 acres. Mourvèdre is up to 14 acres. (It would have been 20 acres but we ended up with 6 acres of Graciano through a nursery error). Zinfandel is down to 1.4 acres. We now have 70 acres planted in total. The big winner through all these changes is Grenache. It grows very well at G2. It handles heat better than Syrah. Our steep limestone slopes force the grapes to struggle and produce fruit with bright acid and intense concentration. We farm organically to low yields to maximize quality.
Paso Wine Industry Tasting
By Jamie Guzman, Admin & Marketing Coordinator, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance
With the craziness of the last couple of years and a wild harvest to boot, we thought the members of the Paso Robles wine and hospitality industry needed an opportunity to refamiliarize themselves with each other and promote camaraderie. We hosted a super fun walk-around wine tasting featuring 65 brands exclusively for 500 of our closest Paso Robles wine and hospitality industry. Here is a peak behind the curtain of some of the good times we are fortunate to have in Paso Robles wine country.
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Where Wine Takes You - How Military Service Shapes Winemakers
By Adam Montiel, Host of Where Wine Takes You
It is our Veterans Day Episode, Ep 63: How Military Service Shapes Winemakers – Broadside | Bon Niche Cellars. Host Adam Montiel talks to two brands owned by some incredible Veterans of our Armed Services, Melani Harding of Bon Niche Cellars, and Adam LaZarre of LaZarre Wines and Broadside Wines.
Catch up on past episodes of Where Wine Takes you. Episode 62: A Food & Wine Scene In Bloom – In Bloom | MAHA Estate & Villa Creek Cellars. We’ve been hearing a lot about In Bloom, the hot new restaurant in Paso, located at the Paso Market Walk. Adam talks to Owner Chris Haisma about his history with great restaurants, and more importantly, his love for Paso. With Chris, and back on the pod, Cris Cherry of MAHA Estate and Villa Creek Cellars. Cris has a connection to Chris we will learn, as well as see what Cris thinks about all the comparisons to his old haunt (his old insanely popular haunt) Villa Creek.
Get Real on Paso Dirt with Episode 61 – G2 Vineyards | Coastal Vineyard Services. You might have heard you cannot make good wine with bad grapes. But what about a world-class wine? A cult wine? A 100-point wine? Where are these grapes coming from? Who are these farmers? Adam is joined by Bill Gibbs of G2 Vineyard, and Lucas Pope of Coastal Vineyard Services as well as Haliotide. G2 was first made popular by Justin Smith of Saxum, and now more are making a name for this earth that grows some of Paso’s in-demand grapes. In episode 36, we featured Don from Turtle Rock who just scored his first 100 with his G2 Syrah. Along with Bill, we have Lucas Pope of Coastal Vineyard Services. CVS is a company that helps estate wineries perform top-level farming at all levels. Lucas and his wife Nicole also have a sparkling brand, ‘Haliotide Wines’ which is where we are recording this episode.
What's Trending - The 15 Best Downtown Paso Robles Tasting Rooms
There are more than 200 tasting rooms in Paso Robles, many of which can be found within walking distance of one another and centrally located in the heart of downtown. From highly acclaimed brands opening second locations to family-owned and operated micro-wineries to edgy renegades whose style fits best tucked away in an industrial locale. The downtown wine landscape has been growing by not only the number of tasting rooms but also by the type of wine experiences offered. 0n your next trip to Paso, spend your days exploring the diversity and flavors of downtown.