Typically, because this blog is meant to be a guide for events and places the public can go, I don’t make a practice of blogging on Industry only events. But Thursday night I was treated by the Paso Robles CAB Collective (PRCC) and Parker Sanpei PR to one of the coolest events I’ve been to so far; and if you read this blog, you know that is saying A LOT! Especially with all the unbelievably, wonderful events I’ve been lucky enough to attend recently. The reason I enjoyed this event so much is simple, it was an incredible opportunity to meet/ re-meet and mingle with the people behind some of the best wines on the Central Coast. From winemakers to vineyard and winery staff and owners, they were all together, in one incredibly beautiful location, Daou Vineyards. The PRCC was formed in 2012, and is a grass roots, non-profit organization made up of a group of wineries to promote and improve awareness of the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA), with regard to the area’s unique ability to produce great Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietals.
Since Doug was stuck working late at his day job I took my friend Sandy as my date and wine go-getter. The event was the 1st Annual BBQ dinner and Social, the only requirement for the winery participants was they had to bring a bottle (or 2) of their winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon. The event was held at Daou Vineyards, one of the most picturesque vineyards and wineries in Paso Robles. Sitting high (2,200 feet, high) atop the stunning promontory of Hidden Mountain Road the property was once the Hoffman (Hidden) Mountain Ranch (HMR) vineyards, and one of the very first wineries to pop up in Paso Robles back in the 1970s. Daou’s 212 acre Estate has one of the most gorgeous views in the county.
The whole event was being catered by Trumpet Vine Catering who put together some gorgeous cheese and charcuterie plates and bbq’d up some tri-tip (which I topped with a wonderful chimichurri sauce) and a side of potatoes, salad and dinner rolls. I know dessert was served but never got a chance to see what it was. In fact I barely got a chance to eat I was so busy chatting, re-connecting and meeting wonderful new people.
As I mentioned all of the vintners brought Cabs, and I can tell you there was no shortage of delicious wine. One of the things I was asked most was “what is your favorite one?” Well today my answer is, all of them. I came into this event with the idea of just enjoying each wine I got to taste for what it was. I wasn’t taking notes, or trying to figure out what aromas I was smelling, or fruits that were on my palate.
For me it was all about meeting the amazingly talented people behind the wines, and learning about who they are and about their wineries; especially because there seems to be a new winery opening weekly, I can’t keep up with them all. And even with that in mind I still didn’t get a chance to meet everyone but, it was such an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss a moment. Although to be honest by the end of the evening I was feeling pretty happy, because for each person I spoke to, I tried to taste the wine they brought or recommended! I must say I got to meet some of the most charming and delightful people. I had a chance to reconnect up with Matt Ortman from Villa San-Juliette, who introduced me to JP, the wine maker for Stanger Vineyards and Daniel Sinton from Shell Creek Vineyards both very nice guys. David from Carina Cellars was hilarious and very passionate about me coming out to visit the winery, immediately, so we’ll be making a trip out there soon. I was pleased to have gotten an opportunity to meet several people from Le Vigne winery and talked about the upcoming Gourmet Mac and Cheese Fest they are hosting. Ted from Cass Winery is genuinely one of the most delightfully, joyous people I’ve ever met. I had a great opportunity to meet Cynthia Lohr from J Lohr who was there representing the brand. And I caught up with Gary and Marcy Eberle of Eberle Winery who I’ve known for many years, at which point Marcy told me that Gary had just been named 43rd out of the “100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry” by IntoWine.com. Gary also gave a lovely speech along with Daniel Daou, a sweetheart of a man who was very hospitable and welcoming to us. In fact toward the end of the evening he gave us a great tour of the tank room and the winery’s lab.
Even with all the great people I did meet, and the wines I did drink, I still didn’t get through everyone. So with that in mind, here is a list of the rest of the participating wineries that were there :
Bon Niche Cellars
Burbank Ranch Winery
Falcone Family Vineyards
Kenneth Volk Vineyards
Parrish Family Vineyard
Record Family Wines
Red Soles Winery
Starr Ranch Vineyard & Winery
Still Waters Vineyards
Victor Hugo Winery
“God made Cabernet Sauvignon, whereas the Devil made Pinot Noir.”
Next great events: 8/24/13 Mac and Cheese Fest, 8/24-25/13 Stone Soup Music Festival 9/14/13 Mud Run 9/21/13 Firestone Walker 805 Beach Festival, 9/26/13 Savor the Central Coast, 9/29/13 The Savor Run