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Felix Patland
 
January 23, 2024 | Felix Patland

Venturing Beyond Napa

 

The year 2020 commenced like any typical vintage, slightly warmer and drier, with nothing too extraordinary considering California's ongoing drought. The grapes were ripening beautifully, and the vineyards were pruned to perfection. Unfortunately, the Glassfire emerged, consuming over 67,000 acres, casting surreal smoke that dimmed our hopes of producing wine in Napa that season. To assess smoke taint, we conducted trials, sampling each vineyard and fermenting grapes from various locations. Nearly all returned with smoke taint, except for one Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in Coombsville. Nestled amidst hills and with its unique microclimate, this small vineyard remained untouched by smoke. Although this vineyard’s grapes were healthy, we wouldn’t settle with only producing one wine this season, and as this wasn't our winery's first encounter with fires, we've learned not to give up but to work harder to keep producing the wines that we love.

Determined, we decided to journey outside of Napa. I, having studied and graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo already had an idea of what the region had to offer. It didn’t take much convincing to get Jay on board with his passion for producing all types of wine. So we made our way South and tasted wines from esteemed producers to understand the region's highest caliber offerings. Although distinct from Napa Cabernet blends, the Paso Rhone blends stood out in a league of their own. Unlike the bold and tannic Napa blends, Paso's Rhone blends were more gentle and lively on the palate, yet possessed exceptional fruit and flavor ripeness.
After exploring numerous vineyard sites, we settled on the most well-exposed and drained locations to create our Rhone Style Paso Blend. With our palates attuned to the best of Paso, and our vineyard sources secured, the rest became history. After four years of aging, we are thrilled for you to taste the wine and discover the finest that Paso Robles has to offer.

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