My original plans were to carefully document every day’s activities, do a daily video diary of those activities, and carefully upload said diaries and accompanying photos. And then I actually arrived there and everything turned into a blur.
I had a terrific time simply because it was in the Central Coast wine country. Not only that, but I found it educational, and in a couple of cases, actually controversial.
The video below is a slideshow of some of the photos I took on the first day of the Paso Robles pre-conference excursion. You heard that right. Just the first day, which didn’t begin until the afternoon! It was difficult to resist the urge to record the memories, especially since I had a new camera to use. My Pentax DSLR’s meeting the concrete a little too up close and personal last year was, let’s just say, not good for its picture-taking health.
Because this is a five-minute movie, I didn’t have any music I could legally use with it, so I had to borrow some from YouTube. Not the best, but it’s fun enough for the show. I don’t have quite so many photos for the second day, but let’s see what happens.
Our first stop was at Niner Wine Estates where we heard a panel of Paso Robles winemakers – Augie Hug of Hug Cellars, Gary Eberle of Eberle, and Patrick Muran of Niner, among others – speak about the history and terroir of Paso Robles. As an aside, two words I heard consistently throughout the entire weekend, whether talking about Santa Barbara or Paso Robles, were “diurnal” and “poor soils.” Okay, that’s three words, but you know what I mean. The highlight of the event was the talk with “The Godfather” of Paso Robles, Gary Eberle. What a delightful man, and what a brain! His wit and commentary had us laughing, nodding, and taking notes.
After that experience, we went to Tablas Creek and received a quick overview of the history of Rhône varietals in the Central Coast area, and a demonstration of rootstock grafting. Thanks to Jason Haas for such a thorough and educational tour! And yes, there were lots of wines, with several wineries pouring, including Calcareous, Ecluse, Caliza, and Tablas Creek, of course.
Finally, we ended the day at Daou, where we visited with several other wineries that had come to the beautiful estate to share their wares, and there were about 18 in all. Some of these included J. Lohr, Villa-San Juliette, Hunt Cellars, Adelaida, Calcareous, Justin, and Calcareous. This pouring focused on the Bordeaux varietals, particularly Cabernet. And, believe it or not, there is more Cabernet Sauvignon than Zinfandel or Rhône in Paso Robles. Remember that many of the wineries mentioned are members of the Paso Robles Cab Collective, an association of Paso Robles wineries whose primary goal is to let the world know about the great quality and superiority of Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon as well as other Bordeaux wines.
The evening finished with a delicious dinner, and, of course, more wine! Fortunately, because we were being dropped off at our respective hotels that evening, it was the one opportunity I had to indulge in the gorgeous wines. I stayed at the Paso Robles Inn, by the way. Yes, that’s a brag!