2018 Paso Rhone Rangers
Every year we really look forward to joining members of the Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers for a day in Paso Robles Wine Country. Held at the great barrel room at Broken Earth Winery we had a wonderful day with some of America’s leading producers of Rhone varietals while getting to explore what makes Paso Robles so ideal for these great grapes and wines. This fun day includes not only a grand tasting, but if you get in soon enough, a seminar and luncheon with the wine makers.
We could not attend the ‘Rhone Essentials’ seminar this year but if we had like in past years, we would have tasted a top example of each of the principal categories of Paso Robles Rhone wines as we heard from winemakers and principals who have chosen the Rhone Ranger route in Paso Robles, and who are forging the area's reputation as California's "Rhone Zone".
This year the seminar was moderated by Patrick Comiskey, Senior Contributor for Wine & Spirits Magazine, Principal Wine Columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and author of "American Rhone: How Maverick Winemakers Changed the Way Americans Drink." Wines and speakers representing the major categories were:
• Viognier: Paul Hoover, Still Waters Vineyards (2016 Estate Viognier) • Other White Rhone Varietal: Kevin Sass, Halter Ranch (2016 Grenache Blanc) • White Rhone Blend: Chris Eberle, Eberle Winery (2016 Cotes-du-Robles Blanc) • Dry Rosé: Jeremy Leffert, Tooth and Nail Winery, (2017 Rabble Rosé) • Grenache: Carl Bowker, Caliza Winery (2015 Grenache) • Mourvèdre: Damian Grindley, Brecon Estate (2014 Mourvedre) • Red Rhone Blend: Terry/Jennifer Hoage, TH Estate (2015 “The 46”) • Syrah: Jeremy Weintraub, Adelaida Vineyards & Winery (2015 “Signature” Anna’s Vineyard)
What an amazing lineup. To top off the morning next is the ‘Vintners Luncheon’.
Seminar participants were joined by Rhone Rangers principals and winemakers for a gourmet banquet lunch prepared by Chef Jeffery Scott. Throughout lunch, members' Rhone wines were passing freely around the tables, while attendees enjoy an extended opportunity to interact with the producers. We have really enjoyed these in the past and recommend you don’t miss this next year!
This year there were about 150 wines from the membership of the Paso Robles Rhone Rangers, including top single Rhone varietals and the best in Rhone blends. Oh and add to that, this year there was a delegation of wineries from the Santa Barbara Rhone Rangers Chapter. What a great tasting surprise.
Doing our best to get around and taste things we don’t always get to was hard work, but we were up to the challenge. Of course there are some that we cannot pass up as well.
This event is one of our favorites and is always full of amazing wines from some of our favorite producers. Year after year the Paso Rhone Rangers 'boom' hit it out of the park!
Happy Tasting Adventures,