Paso Wine Country This Month | September 2022
September 1, 2022
September in Paso Robles Wine Country is an exciting time of the year, maybe even one of the most thrilling of months. It’s the start of harvest and a new vintage, a time when all the year’s efforts in the vineyard are unveiled. There is an energy in the air that’s like no other. The roads are filled with flatbed trailers stacked with picking bins brimming with lush grape clusters and taco shops play host to dusty crews chattering about how 2022 is the best vintage yet. Although the official start of fall is still just around the corner, the 22nd to be exact, it is still hot in Paso with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees.
Holding on to the last bits of summer, this is the time of year when weekly community concerts wind down, routines have rebooted, wineries are planning their Harvest Wine Month celebrations, and we are eating vine-ripe tomatoes with every meal. Here at The Alliance, we are already busy planning for 2023. The calendar is filling up with regional events like BlendFest on the Coast, Spring Release Weekend, and Paso Wine Fest, along with Tasting Tours around the US.
Let’s raise a glass of Paso Wine to September, a thrilling month filled with a little crazy and a lot of fun.
The September blog features: What’s Happening in Wine Country | Meet the Maker | What’s New | Guest Chef Recipe | Varietal Highlight | Behind the Scenes at Paso Wine | Harvest Playlist | Podcast 56 | Awesome Upcoming Events | Trending
It's Go Time - Harvest is Here!
By Christopher Taranto, Communications Director, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance
Harvest began approximately two weeks early for most in Paso Robles wine country. It’s been a consistently warm summer after having a relatively cool spring, which has led to plenty of fruit ripening at an earlier pace. Yields appear to be on the lower side again this year, but with robust quality. The current heat wave is scheduled to last a few more days, so picking decisions could be influenced greatly in the coming week. Take a look at some of the harvest action we’ve seen so far in the gallery below.
Meet the Maker - Dirk from Absolution Cellars
We sat down with our friend Dirk Neumann, owner/winemaker at Absolution Cellars to find out his ‘Why Paso’ and see where he hangs in wine country to unwind and recharge.
Absolution Cellars specializes in hand-crafted limited-production single-vineyard wines from the beautiful Central Coast. Each wine they make is the best version of itself – a unique portrait of place and time, an honest expression of where and when the grapes were grown. Made for you to savor, enjoy, and share with your family and friends, as well as strangers, who may become one or both. The Waterside Tasting Lounge on the Embarcadero in picturesque Morro Bay is currently open for sit-down indoor and outdoor wine tastings with Winemaker Dirk Neumann.
What makes Paso Robles Wine Country so special? The genuine camaraderie of everyone involved in the wine industry here. I first noticed it in 2011 when I was visiting the area for the first time as a consumer and it really stayed with me to the point that I decided to pack up everything and move across the country from Florida to make my home here in 2013. One year later, I was making my first wine!
Why Morro Bay for your tasting room? As a brand new winery, I wanted a high-traffic location that would help me build my business and grow my wine club, plus I find that being near the water has always had an amazingly calming and relaxing effect. There’s just something beautiful about coming over the last hill and seeing the water and the iconic rock, and then opening the door to smell that cool fresh ocean air. As I like to say, “It’s always perfect wine-drinking weather in Morro Bay all year round…plus, where else can you taste wonderful wine while watching and listening to the sea lions?!?”
What’s one of your fave local hot spots/where do you go to unwind/have fun? How much time do you have?!? One of the things I love most about living here is the endless list of things to do – here in Morro Bay, my favorite is taking in a concert at the Siren – such a cool intimate venue. In Paso, it’s hard to beat dinner at Somm’s Kitchen. And I love what’s happening in downtown Atascadero – so many great boutique shops, plus always great to grab a beer at Ancient Owl, some wine at Fossil, or dinner at Cielo – it’s an undiscovered gem!
What's New - High Camp Wines
By Jamie Guzman, Admin & Marketing Coordinator, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance
Welcome to the scene, High Camp Wines! After two years of owning the Ranchita Canyon Vineyard property, the owners have made big moves at rebranding their wines, property, and esthetic. “With an all-new commitment to making world-class premium wines under the oversight of Christian Roguenant, High Camp was created to elevate the brand and retire the Ranchita Canyon name.” Located in the Estrella District of the Paso Robles AVA, High Camp is a scenic winery home to varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Pfeiffer, Grenache, and more. Husband and wife team Megan Mouren and Spencer Rawles have put their passion behind creating a brand inviting “a community of wine lovers who appreciate the beauty of nature and the outdoors, and who embrace new adventures and discoveries.” Located at 3439 Ranchita Canyon Road in San Miguel, you can visit High Camp Friday – Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Recipe of the Month - Bouillabaisse Provençal
By Artiste Culinaire & Chef Rachael Zollo, Le Cuvier Winery
As summer comes to an end, we encourage you to enjoy the last of the Rosé and to pair it with a flavorful Bouillabaisse. Delicate and tender white fish and a variety of shellfish simmered perfectly in an aromatic saffron, white wine, and tarragon broth. Cook-up this recipe and let us know how much you loved it!
Chef Rachael has a long history of working in kitchen environments, from working in the front of the house all the way to being a lead cook at a restaurant in Paso Robles. She has had many mentors over the years, one of which is her brother Daniel. In her own words, she brings “lots of weird energy” to team Le Cuvier team, she is a bundle of laughs and joy.
Varietal Highlight – Sangiovese
By Wine Folly
You may be shocked to find out that outside of Italy, Sangiovese is fairly rare. This savory grape is more scarce than the M in GSM – Mourvédre. Less than 2,000 acres are planted in the United States and account for about -1% of grapes planted in Paso Robles.
Sangiovese changes itself to fit the environment it’s grown in, quite the chameleon. There are many alterations of this varietal all over the world, which makes for diversity in its flavor. The taste of Sangiovese varies from earthy and rustic notes like tobacco, leather, and dried roses, to fruit-forward flavors like red cherry, red plum, and fig. The medium body weight and savory qualities make it a great pairing with a variety of foods and an excellent choice for vegetarian cuisine given its high tannins. Read more about this palate-pleasing varietal on Wine Folly and see what Paso producers are making some fantastic Sangio!
Behind The Scenes – New Paso Wine Merch
We are super excited to have relaunched our online store filled with t-shirts, hats, wine keys, and more. Represent Paso Robles Wine Country wherever you’re at! Shop Paso Wine merchandise on PasoWine.com and have it delivered right to your door. Don’t forget to tag us, #PasoWine, while wearing your cool gear!
Music, wine, and harvest time! One thing all cellar crews will agree on is that music is an essential part of the harvest. Makers will also tell you that music plays a vital role while the wine develops and comes to age in the barrel. Enjoy a few Spotify playlists provided by the Paso Wine community that pump us up on those long Harvest days and nights. Cheers to our pals at Alta Colina, Thacher, Lone Madrone, Castoro, Copia, Defiance, Villa Creek | MAHA, and Cordant | Nelle for sharing their harvest jams.
Where Wine Takes You Podcast - Learning the LAW
Each episode of our podcast is an intimate journey with owners, winemakers, growers, and personalities as they discuss the places and wines that have shaped the Paso Robles Wine Region. Where Wine Takes You promises to be an interesting and educational podcast that tells the stories of our unique and authentic wine country. New episodes will be released every two weeks.
In Episode 56: Learning of the LAW, our host Adam Montiel, sits down with Don Law and their Vineyard Manager Levi Glenn. One of Paso’s popular luxury brands, LAW is located on Peachy Canyon Road and enjoys the unique soils, aspects, and elevation that come with that slice of Paso wine country.
Upcoming Events - Harvest Wine Month
Crushing it in Paso! The entire month of October is Harvest Wine Month. Wineries host individual events throughout the month. Look for specialty tours, winemaker dinners, grape stomps, music events, and more. October traditionally has exceptional weather, when days are warm and nights are cool, a staple for Paso Robles Wine Country and a perfect time to take in the incredible colors, sights, and aromas of harvest.
A year’s hard work is rewarded with another great harvest. Come celebrate with us during Harvest Wine Month, October 1 – 31. Harvest Wine Month (HWM) is a themed month that does not feature a single marquee event, but rather individual experiences at the area wineries. Take a look at the 100+ events happening during HWM. So what are you waiting for, start planning your trip!
Whats' Trending - Dog-Friendly Hotels in Paso Robles
For so many of us, our furry friends are like family and we couldn’t imagine traveling without them. There is no need to leave your best friend at home when traveling to Paso Robles Wine Country. With wide-open spaces, off-leash dog parks, and more than 70 wine tasting rooms that welcome pets, you and your pup will make some great memories together. It helps to plan ahead to make the most of your wine country vacation, and fortunately, Paso Robles offers a pet-friendly environment. Read Blog Here >>