On February 17th the Paso Robles chapter of the Rhône Rangers, a group of winemakers dedicated to promoting wines made from Rhone grapes grown in America, gathered at Broken Earth Winery to discuss the area’s emergence as a top Rhône producer and showcase some of the AVA’s current offerings in a grand tasting.
During the panel discussion winemakers emphasized the unique geological factors--namely calcareous soils--that make the area particularly well-suited to producing grape varieties found in France’s Rhône Valley. Halter Ranch’s 2011 Cotes de Paso, Cass Winery’s 2010 Mourvedre and the 2010 Petite Sirah from J.Lohr showed particularly well, proving the area’s latent potential. In fact, many feel that as Paso Robles’ vines age, consumers should expect to taste the complexity-inspired effect of vine maturity in future vintages. “It’s Paso the ride. Hang on and enjoy it,” said Cypher winemaker Christian Tietje as he poured his 2010 Grenache. “It’s only going to get better.”
Upcoming Rhône Rangers events include a March 22 tasting in San Francisco, June 23 in Los Angeles, and September 11 and 12 in Chicago. For more information visit www.RhoneRangers.org.