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Zoom Hangouts

April 8, 2020

Come take a peek behind the curtain of Paso Robles Wine Country and “hangout” with some of Paso’s personalities. This casual Zoom meet-up has no agenda, no motive to sell you anything, nor a script. Paso is a tight-knit community, so naturally, panelists are not only colleagues, but friends specially selected for the show theme. Topics may include what’s happening in the cellar or vineyard, how they approach food pairings, the importance of organic farming, experimental vessels, and more. Disclaimer: Conversations may digress to the proverbial shooting of the …..

Paso Wine Zoom Hangouts will include three personalities joining in from the cellar, winery, home, or vineyard. Happening every Thursday 3 – 4pm and hosted by Paso Wine’s own Christopher Taranto.

Come hangout and see what’s up in Paso.

upcoming shows

Thursday, December 3 – 3 p.m. – TBD

We are working on a show for December 3 and actively trying to line up schedules with guests. Check back in soon or email ctaranto@pasowine.com.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page



watch past shows

Friday, April 10: Cellar Talk – What’s happening in the cellar?

Tyler Russell, Cordant | Nelle

Anthony Yount, Denner VineyardsRoyal Nonesuch Farm

Russell From, Herman Story Wines

Friday, April 17: Sustainability – Organic farming, biodynamic farming, why is it important

Cris Cherry, Villa Creek Cellars | MAHA Estate

Neil Collins, Lone Madrone | Tablas Creek Vineyard

Niels Udsen, Castoro Cellars | Bethel Rd. Distillery & Winery 

Wednesday, April 22: Cellar Mates – How winemakers can work under the same roof

Eric Ogorsolka, Zenaida Cellars

Dorothy Schuler, Bodegas Paso Robles

Jeff Strekas, ONX Wines

Friday, April 24: Food Pairings – What would you pair with the wine you’re drinking?

Aaron Jackson, Aaron

Clay Selkirk, Le Cuvier

Jeffry Wiesinger, Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ

Wednesday, April 29:  Tin City Happenings

Brian Terrizzi, ETTO Pastificio | Giornata

Andrew Jones, Field Recordings.

Curt Schalchlin, Tin City Cider | Sans Liege Wines

Friday, May 1: History of the region, we grew up here together

Janell Dusi, J Dusi Wines

Austin Hope, Austin Hope & Treana Tasting Cellar

Joe Barton,  Grey Wolf Cellars & Barton Family Wines

Wednesday, May 6: The Heightened Guest Experience

Maggie Tillman, Alta Colina

Glenn Mitton, Booker Vineyard

Leanne Kudla, L’Aventure

Friday, May 8: What’s happening in the vineyard

Molly Scott, JUSTIN

Guillaume Fabre, Clos Solène

Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins, Santa Margarita Ranch
Wednesday, May 13: Sangiovese and other Italian varieties in Paso Robles

Chris Eberle, Eberle Winery

Jimmy Zanoli, Bella Luna Vineyard

Amy Butler, Pelletiere Vineyard / Ranchero Cellars

Friday, May 15: Experimental Vessels

Manu Fiorentini, ITEK Wine

Jordan Fiorentini, Epoch Estate Wine

Vailia From, Desparada Wines

Wednesday, May 20: How does the art/sport of surfing influence the art/science of winemaking

Josh Beckett, Peachy Canyon Winery

Philipp Pfunder, Law Estate Wines

Patrick Muran, Niner Wine Estates

Friday, May 22: ABV- Why Does it Matter?

Gary Eberle, Eberle Winery

Wes Hagen, J. Wilkes / MIller Family Wines

Wednesday, May 27 – Barrel of Choice

Sterling Kragten, Cass Winery

Brenden Wood, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Jason Joyce, Calcareous Vineyard

Friday, May 29 –  From Service to this Country, to Serving the Country (some great wine!)

Hal Schmitt, Volatus

Leon Tackitt, Tackitt Family Winery

John Pianetta, Pianetta Winery

Wednesday, June 3 – A Bunch of Cork Dorks

Adam Montiel, The Cork Dorks radio program

Jeremy West, The Corks Dorks radio program

Rich Hartenberger, Midnight Cellars

Martin Croad, Croad Vineyards

Friday, June 5 – Rosé All Day

Chelsea Franchi, Tablas Creek Vineyard

Rebecca McMahon, Fulldraw Vineyard

Dan Smith, Villa San-Juliette Vineyards & Winery

Thursday, June 11 – 3 p.m. – The Musicality of Wine

Mark Adams, Ledge Vineyards

Paul Lopez, Denner Vineyards

Daniel Callan, Thacher Winery

Wednesday, June 17 – 4 p.m. – Wine On Earth Taste-A-Thon

This special Zoom Hangout (note day and time) has been organized to coordinate with the Wine Origins Alliance’s international Wine On Earth Taste-A-Thon

Thirteen regions from seven countries will be participating in this one-day Taste-A-Thon. The Paso Robles contribution will feature three iconic brands showcasing the viticultural diversity of our region.

Janell Dusi, J Dusi Wines

Daniel Daou, DAOU Vineyards & Winery

Neil Collins, Tablas Creek Vineyard

Thursday, June 25 – 3 p.m. – Downtown Happenings

Paso Robles’ downtown is a must visit when coming to Paso Robles wine country. The combination of great restaurants, unique boutiques, and winery tasting rooms give the visitor another reason to spend some time in Paso Robles wine country. At this Zoom Hangout we visit with three wineries whose tasting rooms are in the downtown area.

Anita Kothari, Copia Vineyards and Winery

Philip Krumal, Asuncion Ridge Vineyards

Raymond Smith, Indigene Cellars

Thursday, July 2 – 3 p.m. – What’s Happening in the Vineyard? Summer Update.

Now that we are past spring and at the beginning of summer, lets learn where we are with the 2020 vintage. Fruit has set and is now showing some sign on what the yield could be. We will hear from a few brands whose vineyards are in the Adelaida District, Willow Creek District, Estrella District, and more.

Soren Christensen, Hearst Ranch Winery

Kevin Jussila, kukkula

Terry Hoage, TH Estate Wines

Thursday, July 9 – 3 p.m. – Paso Wine Video Vault

Before these Zoom Hangouts, Paso Wine had a run with a successful series of videos that featured the Paso Wine Man. The first of the series about Zinfandel won a best video of the year award from Wine Spectator. The year prior, this prestigious award with to a video called Wine Is, also from Paso Robles. At this Zoom Hangout we meet the people behind these videos.

Click here for Paso Wine Man – Zinfandel.
Click here for Wine Is.

Casey Biggs, Actor – Paso Wine Man

Joel Peterson, Executive Director at the PRWCA – producer of Wine Is

Dina Mande, Director, Filmmaker – Paso Wine Man videos and Wine Is

Christopher Taranto, Communication Director at the PRWCA (moderator) – producer of Paso Wine Man videos

Thursday, July 16 – 3 p.m. – The Mentor Show

You’re not just born a winemaker. Whether you have a formal education in wine making or not, one way or another you learn from others. Typically someone in your career serves as a mentor, someone you taught you best practices from years of doing. Someone who inspired you and still serves as a benchmark to success. Today we hangout with three winemakers who have a common mentor in Kenneth Volk.

Terry Culton, Le Vigne Winery

Matt Trevisan, Linne Calodo

Karl Wicka, Turley Wine Cellars

Ken Volk, Kenneth Volk Vineyards

Thursday, July 23 – 3 p.m. – From the Millennial Winemaker Point of View

Experience in wine making is earned over many vintages, and yet in a short amount of time in their craft, these wine makers have been making exceptional wines. Today we meet a few millennial wine makers and get to know the industry from their point of view. We’ll talk about education, their personal growth, and how they came to be in the Paso Robles AVA.

Amanda Gorter, Robert Hall Winery

Alex Frost, Sextant Wines

Drew Nenow, ONX Wines

Thursday, July 30 – 3 p.m. – Technology in the Vineyard, Crush Pad, and Lab

Winemaking is part science and part art. The science part doesn’t live up to the romantic thoughts of what wine and wine country represent, but ultimately it is what helps winemakers progress. These tools can be found in the vineyard, on the crush pad, or in the winery lab and today we will talk with a few winemakers about technology and how they leverage it to make the best wines they can.

Ryan Bosc, Adelaida Vineyards & Winery

Carl Bowker, Caliza Winery

Josh Harp, Jada Vineyard & Winery

Thursday, August 6 – Becoming an Iconic Vineyard, The Paper Street Vineyard Story

Today we hangout with three winemakers who source fruit from the iconic Paper Street Vineyard. At only seven years old, this incredible property is home to 11 different varieties, all farmed by the Dusi family. Developing this vineyard was a daunting task. It was a true Paso Robles feat to complete and the end result is fruit that is widely revered.

Mac Myers, McPrice Myers Wine Company

Matt Glunz, Glunz Family Winery & Cellars

Edgar Torres, Bodega de Edgar

Thursday, August 20 – PR and Journalism in the Wine Industry

In this new landscape of marketing, everyone had to “pivot” in order to still continue to cultivate a relationship with an audience. These Zoom Hangouts are an example. The world of wine PR has also had to adjust as wine marketing is a very personal relationship. There is no other product out there quite like it where the traditional model involves sampling, traveling, meeting, dining, and the development of interpersonal relationships. Today we discuss wine and wine country PR and journalism with a few professionals who know a thing or two about it.

Patrick Comiskey, Wine and Spirits Magazine

Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Stephanie Teuwen, Teuwen Communications

Thursday, August 27 – Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles

Sparkling wine is often identified with special occasions. Milestone celebrations of all sorts, with memories attached that warm the heart. Sparkling wine is also an everyday sipper while enjoying summertime fun in the backyard. Today we discuss sparkling wine’s rise in the Paso Robles region and how one brand is helping many achieve their goals with the bubbly.

Lauren Rava and John Clark, Rava Wines & Events

Steve Gleason, Four Lanterns Winery

Paul Hoover, Still Waters Vineyards

Thursday, September 3 – We’re in Good Spirits – The Distillery Show

Paso Robles is like a stellar nursery for craft beverage stars. Along with the great wines we produce, the region was one of the first to begin distilling saignee into spirits. Which kicked off the movement into Paso Robles distilling with other base fruits and grains. Today’s show focuses on the distilling movement in Paso Robles, showcasing only three of the many brands lifting people’s spirits who live, work, and visit Paso Robles.

Alex Villicana, Re:Find Handcrafted Spirits

Aaron Bergh, CalWise Spirits Co.

Max Udsen, Bethel Rd. Distillery

Thursday, September 10 – So You Want to Plant a Vineyard?

Ah the wine industry. Many believe it is quite glamorous. A life of leisure among the vines. One of the misconceptions about this biz is that people forget it is agriculture. There is farming involved and when planting a vineyard, there are a lot of factors that go into it. Today we talk with a couple experts on planning, planting, and managing vineyards in the Paso Robles region.

Sean Geoghegan, Derby Wine Estates

Steve Vierra, Certified Professional Soil Scientist (Derby Wine Estates)

Matt Merrill, Mesa Vineyard Management

Thursday, September 17 – Road Warriors

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make wine, but it takes equal, if not more to sell wine. How does that bottle of wine get on a wine list or on a store shelf? We may think a good bottle of wine sells itself, but with the competition of over 5,000+ domestic wineries and an unfathomable array of international brands out there, it takes a special individual to get on the road to take on the competition. Today we delve into the three-tier system and hear the stories, trials, and tribulations that come with it from three Road Warriors.

Justin Tooley, Broken Earth Winery

Cary Thrasher, Opolo Vineyards

Steve Lister, Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery

Thursday, September 24 – There Ain’t Nothin’ Petite about Petite Sirah

This bold and expressive variety is one to be admired. Its history comes with an interesting story being born in a French greenhouse in the late 1800s to find itself more widely planted in California and Isreal than its birthplace. Laden with blueberry, ripe plum, chocolate, and pepper, this grape can stand alone or lend itself as a great blending varietal. Paso Robles’ warm weather and diverse soils makes it a fantastic place to grow Petite Sirah and we talk to a few winemakers and growers who create impressive variations of this wine.

Matt Villard, MCV Wines

Vic Roberts, Victor Hugo Winery

Aaron Jackson, Aaron Wines

Thursday, October 1 – The Wine Competition

Wine is such a subjective thing, right? You either like what is in that particular bottle, or you don’t. Many equate wine as art and it is the interpretation of that specific year by that individual wine maker. So how do wines earn Best Cabernet, or Best in Show? What goes into a wine competition and how is judging universal with so many different palates? Today we sit down with four wine judges to learn more about the world of wine competitions.

These four guests are sommeliers, authors, bloggers, wine educators, speakers, and long time wine industry professionals. If anyone knows the wine industry, its this illustrious quartet.

Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier, The Sommelier Files
Jeff Kralik, Author, The Drunken Cyclist
Tim McDonald, Founder, Wine Spoken Here
Sarah Tracey, Sommelier, The Lush Life

Thursday, October 8 – Behind the Label

Ever wonder what goes into creating a label for a wine? It’s not as easy as it sounds. Do you create a piece of art that showcases the wine’s personality? Do you make it perfectly legible and exact to attract the more finicky buyer? Bright colors to stand out or subdued text to emote the seriousness of the wine? Let’s talk to a couple brands whose labels stand out on the shelves and learn what goes into the design and the wine.

Jeremy Leffert, Tooth and Nail Winery
Jason Bushong, Bushong Vintage Company
Dirk Neumann, Absolution Cellars

Thursday, October 23 – 3 p.m. – The Tour of Paso (in support of the Cancer Support Community)

The Tour of Paso is a bike ride through the winding roads of Paso Robles that serves as a fundraiser for the Cancer Support Community. Today we will hang out with our friends at the Cancer Support Community and some of the wineries and businesses in town that support them. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we’ll talk about cancer awareness, wine, cycling in wine country, and how all these things tie into each other within the Paso Robles wine community.

Shannon D’Aquisto – Cancer Support Community
Andy Niner – Niner Wine Estates
Joeli Yaguda – The General Store
Jake Beckett – Peachy Canyon Winery

Thursday, October 29 – 3 p.m. – The Award Goes To

The San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Awards recognizes the dedication, stewardship, innovation, and leadership demonstrated in the San Luis Obispo County wine community. The 2020 San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Awards go to – Winegrape Grower of the Year, William and Derryal (posthumously) John, John Vineyard Applications; Winemaker of the Year, Joe Barton, Grey Wolf Cellars and Barton Family Wines; Wine Industry Person of the Year, Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins, Ancient Peaks Winery. What is really interesting about this year’s awards is the relationship that all three awardees have together. They are multi-generational in the region and their families have been working with one another in different capacities over the years. We will delve into these stories and more at this Paso Wine Zoom Hangout.

Will John, John Vineyard Applications
Joe Barton, Grey Wolf Cellars and Barton Family Wines
Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins, Ancient Peaks Winery

Thursday, November 5 at 3 p.m. – Behind the Label Stories

So many people in the Paso Robles wine community have come from another vocation. Their passion for wine begins early and is only fully realized after time spent developing another career that helps fund what is often a hobby gone crazy. These stories of how second career winemakers get their start all have a common theme, yet are so different. Today we talk to three winemakers who, with their spouses, made the leap into creating a wine brand as a second career. We will get their backstories and learn the trials and tribulations of what it takes to make a successful brand.

Victor Abascal, Vines on the Marycrest

Greg Martin, Seven Angels Cellars

Pedro Vargas, Vino Vargas

Thursday, November 12 at 3 p.m. – Vintage 2020

Now that harvest has wrapped up in what is an unprecedented year in many respects, we check in with some growers to learn how 2020 fared as a vintage. What were the challenges this year and what do we have to look forward to in the bottle. These three exceptionally smart and experienced individuals will share their thoughts and observations from the year.

Randy Heinzen, Vineyard Professional Services

Molly Scott, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery

Aron Nevarez, Denner Vineyards

Thursday, November 19 – 3 p.m. – The Geneseo District

Positioned front and center in the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA) is the Geneseo District. At approximately 17,300 acres, this region of the Paso Robles AVA comes with an interesting history of agriculture that originates in the Midwest in the late 1800s and continues today with the growth of exceptional wine grapes that express the land that they are grown in. Today we visit with three brands who make wine from this region and hear their thoughts on what make the Geneseo District unique and so well suited for growing winegrapes.

Cindy Steinbeck, Steinbeck Vineyards & Winery
Steve Cass, Cass Winery
Jared Lee, Pear Valley Winery