Lisa and I just spent two wonderful days in Paso Robles exploring wine country and attending the WiVi (Wine & Viticulture) convention. It has been a while since we had a day away from the winery and it was great to spend a day exploring wineries and the various microclimates. On Tuesday we explored 8 different wineries across the Paso Robles AVA; it was a lot of fun and we came home with quite a few bottles.
An American Vinicultural Area (AVA) is a federally designated wine grape growing region in the United States. Each AVA has evidence that the growing conditions such as climate, soil, and elevation are unique and distinct. The French might express these differences in regions as Terroir. The federal government requires that one of the federally recognized AVA be listed as the origin on every bottle of wine. Some other well-known AVAs would be Napa, Sonoma, Lodi and Santa Barbara.
The Paso Robles AVA is 614,000 acres and was established in 1983. In 2014 it was subdivided into 11 sub regions to better express the diversity in this large region.
Because of these micro climates, Paso Robles is able to grow a wide range of grape varietals from the cool climate Burgundian grapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnays, through Boudreaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlots and then the Rhone varietals including Syrah and Mouvedre. We saw a little bit of everything and tasted a bit of everything and everything was done very well. Across the region we saw French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese varietals; this is a very diverse area.
I would highly recommend visiting Paso Robles and taking some time to explore the different regions. Hopefully you will have a great time and be able to better understand all of the diversity of the region. The scenery is beautiful, the people are kind and the experience is fantastic.
P.S. The Zin’s are wonderful from this region and one could spend an entire week exploring all of the different Zin styles and profiles from this wonderful area.