Chronicle: Back on the “wine route”
Paso hospitality has never been so welcoming or exciting
– We resume the “wine route” and make up for lost time. This trip to Paso Robles, which was sandwiched between a trip to Napa, was just amazing! The tasting rooms were busy, smiles were everywhere and the excitement of being safely opened was contagious. The spaces are well distributed around, inside and outside. This quick trip allowed us to visit six Paso sites, a few new to us and several old friends. On your next trip to Paso Robles, be sure to write them down if you haven’t visited them already.
As most wineries are by appointment only, please call first.
Emery: Emery is new to the Paso Robles scene, but winemaker Orion Stang certainly isn’t. Divesting from its previous project, Dilecta, Orion presented its new line-up, and it’s a home run. Emercy (his grandmother’s nickname) offers several fruit wines from some of the best vineyards on the Central Coast. Located in the Tin City Annex, this is a new winery on the Paso radar that is already making noise. The cozy and beautifully designed tasting room has a tasting bar and several seating areas. Be sure to check this one out – you won’t be disappointed.
Ulloa Cellars: Ulloa Cellars was another first for me! Nancy Ulloa is a new passionate young winemaker, specializing in white wines, mono-varietal, mono-varietal. These are probably not the varietals you are used to. It was a treat to taste with Nancy. Currently in preparation for its third outing, this one will include grüner veltliner, verdejo and albariño. Having no formal tasting room, all tastings are conducted personally with Nancy, and by appointment only. Email Nancy ([email protected]) to find out how you can taste with her and learn about her wines and exuberant personality. You’ll be glad you did.
ONX: ONX, located in Tin City, is a lovers dream mix. The tasting area is made up of a spacious covered patio, as well as an indoor tasting room. ONX is known as a blending house, where winemaker Drew Nenow and his team work their magic. You will experience a variety of blends made from Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo to name a few. This is the place to go to tease your palate and seduce your senses. Charcuterie boxes are available to complete your tasting. If you haven’t visited this place in Tin City, do so soon, they are open and waiting to welcome you.
The Adventure: It’s all in the name. Adventure. And a wine tasting at The Adventure is exactly what its name suggests: An adventure, in wine! And what wines! L’Aventure hosts seated tastings on their covered patio, while your tasting host guides you through the day’s pours. With side-by-side glasses, you can sip, compare, review, and compare even more. Once you’ve tasted these wines, you’ll understand why L’Aventure recently received two 100-point ratings from reviewer Jeb Dunnuck. Nichole Hegge (tasting room manager) greeted us. His knowledge of wines and welcoming personality made it a perfect visit. The Adventure deserves to be on everyone’s must-do list!
Peace on Earth: Peace On Earth The tasting room is located on Vineyard Drive, overlooking a calming and pastoral view. The outdoor tasting area invites you to come sit, sip and stay a while! The tasting room staff will professionally serve what is on the current tasting list. And, as you sip, Ryan Pease (winemaker/owner) will more than likely be around to say hello, answer questions, and just be “that guy” who makes you feel totally at home. If it’s Mourvèdre you like, I say shamelessly: Ryan is the king of this variety! And (when you can get it), Ryan’s Ugni Blanc (only 30 acres planted in the US) is worth the trip on its own. Enjoy sipping and experiencing “peace on earth” at Peace on Earth.
Copy: First time visitor here. I had heard a lot of good reviews about Copy and its most hospitable owners, Varinder and Anita Sahi. This downtown Paso tasting room features cozy spaces, a back room, and an elegant tasting lounge. Copia currently sources from some of the most reputable wineries on the Central Coast and produces wonderful blends. The tasting areas are well spaced out and very welcoming. Most of the time, Varinder or Anita will be present. Also, depending on the circumstances, wine tours may be available by prior arrangement. I was certainly impressed and enjoyed the tasting, which can be accompanied by a platter of artisan cheeses and well-assorted charcuterie.
The Paso Robles Wineries and Tasting Room are definitely open for business and looking forward to welcoming you back. It’s spring and the excitement is contagious throughout the Paso Robles wine region. Whether tasting in Tin City (or the Tin City Annex), downtown, at one of the many outstanding wineries in the hills and valleys, or in a private home, the Paso and Paso hospitality has never been so welcoming or exciting. Make your plans now to visit, meet the winemakers, taste and enjoy Paso in the spring.
Author Don Sonderling is a freelance writer covering the lifestyle and culture of California’s wine country, from the Central Coast to Napa Valley and Sonoma. He can be reached at: [email protected]