SLO County Wineries News

Monday, May 9, 2011

April Frost Damage Coverage in Western Farm Press: "More than half of vineyard acreage in the Paso Robles area was damaged by frosts"

Western Farm Press recently published a detailed report on the April 8 - 10 frost that damaged vineyards throughout the Central Coast, right at bud break, and fried, to a brown crisp, the tender, young buds. The good news is, as of May 8, the "secondary and tertiary buds" mentioned below seem to be doing quite well on the north SLO County vines we observed.


  • California wine grape growers and vintners are tallying up the damage caused earlier this month when a bitter-cold Alaskan weather front slowly moved through a large chunk of the state’s Central Coast premium wine grape growing area.

    Damage is unquestionably extensive in the northern San Luis Obispo and Southern Monterey counties around Paso Robles, Calif., and north to the King City area where tender 2011 crop buds were fried from hours of mid-20 degree temperatures.

    Some vineyards may not have a crop to harvest this fall due to the April 8-10 frost.

    Vintners and growers from Solano to Santa Barbara counties are assessing the damage. Although the vines may push secondary buds to set a crop, Stacie Jacob, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Alliance, reports growers are estimating the loss could range from 30 percent to 50 percent of the 2011 crop from the area’s 26,000 acres of vineyards.

    “Although the magnitude of the frost was widespread and prolonged, it is too soon to tell exactly what the loss will be. It all depends on what the secondary and tertiary buds do from now on,” she noted.

    Viticulture consultant Lowell Zelinski of Templeton, Calif., estimates that more than half of vineyard acreage in the Paso Robles area was damaged by frosts.

    “15,000 of the 26,000 acres in the area suffered some damage,” said Zelinski. “Right now I would estimate 25 percent of the total acreage suffered a 90 percent crop loss. Losses will be so heavy that it will not pay to harvest some vineyards.”

    “I have seen vineyards that look like they have been sprayed with paraquat. Buds are black. It is going to be bad.” Zelinski estimated only about half the vineyards in the Paso Robles area were covered by crop insurance when the frost hit.

  • Read the entire story at this link.


    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    New Central Coast food and wine celebration "SUNSET-Savor the Central Coast," Sept 30-Oct 3

    Reminder: SLO County discounts on "SUNSET-Savor the Central Coast" main event tickets end on September 20.
    Discounts for SLO county residents purchasing main event tickets October 2-3 to the new and very exciting culinary and wine celebration "SUNSET-Savor the Central Coast" end Monday, September 20, 2010.

    General admission tickets at a special price of $75 per person, per day are available on a limited first-come basis; $130 for two-day passes.

    General admission tickets for the main event at Santa Margarita Ranch are $85 per person, per day ($150 for two-day passes). Tickets for auxiliary activities range from $15 to $185 -- seminars ($15), culinary tours ($50), winery and harvest tours ($50), winemaker dinners ($125) and special events ($25-$185).

    Some events are already sold out. These include: Morro Bay Oyster Company and Center of Effort Winery and Vineyards guided tours and lunches on Friday, October 1; Paso Glow and Niner Winery dinners on Saturday, October 2; and Tyler Florence Cooking Demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, October 2-3. Others, are close to being sold out, so purchase tickets early to avoid disappointment.

    To purchase tickets for "SUNSET-Savor the Central Coast," visit or call 800-768-6653.


    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    2010 Central Coast Wine Competition Winners at the Mid-State Fair

    Paso Robles, California-- The Central Coast Wine Competition was held from June 17-18, 2010 at the Paso Robles Event Center. A total of 527 wines from the Central Coast American Viticulture Area (AVA) as well as Ventura County were entered. The Central Coast AVA encompasses Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties.

    Best of Show, Best of White Wine, Best of San Luis Obispo County, and Best of Other White Dry

    Vina Robles, Paso Robles 2009 White4 Huerhuero

    Best of Red Wine and Best of Italian Red Varieties

    Alapay Cellars, Santa Maria 2008 Lagrein, Paso Robles

    Best of Dessert Wine and Best Dessert White

    Pear Valley, Paso Robles 2009 Orange Muscat

    Best of Cabernet Sauvignon

    Aron Hill Vineyard, Templeton 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles

    Best of Chardonnay

    Harmony Cellars, Harmony 2008 Chardonnay, Paso Robles

    Best of Fortified Red, Port Style

    Paso Port, Templeton 2007 Ruby

    Best of Meritage Rhone Blend

    Rideau Vineyard, Solvang 2007 Chateau Duplantier, Santa Ynez Valley

    Best of Meritage Style Bordeaux

    Justin, Paso Robles 2007 Isosceles

    Best of Merlot

    Rancho Sisquoc, Santa Maria 2007 Merlot, Flood Family Vineyards

    Best of Other Red Varietal and Best of Santa Barbara County

    William James Cellars, Santa Maria 2007 Grenache, Santa Maria Valley

    Best of Petite Sirah

    Leprino Vineyards, Paso RObles 2007 Petite Sirah

    Best of Pink

    San Marcos Creek, Paso Robles 2009 White Estate Merlot

    Best of Pinot Grigio

    Quail Crossing, Santa Ynez 2008 Pinot Grigio, Santa Ynez Valley

    Best of Pinot Noir

    Claiborne & Churchill, San Luis Obispo 2008 Pinot NoiR

    Best of Rhone Style

    Venteux Vineyards, Templeton 2007 PMS

    Best of Sauvignon Blanc

    Ancient Peaks, Santa Margarita 2009 Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Paso Robles

    Best of Spanish Red

    Alapay Cellars, Santa Maria 2008 Tempranillo, Paso Robles

    Best of Super Tuscan Red

    Rancho Sisquoc, Santa Maria 2007Tre-Vini, Flood Family Vineyards

    Best of Syrah

    Venteux Vineyards, Templeton 2007 Syrah

    Best of Viognier

    Eberle, Paso Robles 2009 Mill Road Vineyard Viognier

    Best of White Rhone

    Per Cazo Cellars, Paso Robles 2009 Tres Blanc

    Best of Zinfandel and Best of Monterey County

    Kenneth Volk, Santa Maria 2007 Zinfandel, Monterey

    For the past eight years the Central Coast Wine Competition has continued to grow, showcasing some of the finest wines produced on California’s Central Coast.

    This year, major changes occurred, including expansion of growing areas eligible to compete.

    The geographical boundaries will be expanded to include all of the Central Coast AVA and Ventura County.

    The Central Coast AVA is a large American Viticultural Area that spans from Santa Barbara County in the south to the San Francisco Bay Area in the north. The boundaries of the Central Coast include portions of six counties. With around 100,000 acres planted in wine grapes, the AVA is home to several smaller appellations that share the same cooling influence from the Pacific Ocean.

    The other new key component is a ground-breaking, networking solution in the California fair industry that will showcase the winning wineries. The California Mid-State Fair will be partnering with the Santa Barbara County Fair, Monterey County Fair and Ventura County Fair to host the Central Coast Wine Competition.

    The Central Coast Wine Competition is the largest wine organized evaluation that recognizes wines produced exclusively from vineyards grown on the Central Coast regions of California.

    This event promotes the excellent quality and diversity of commercial wineries and grape growers while recognizing the fastest growing wine regions in California.

    The Judging Panels for the 2010 Central Coast Wine Competition will be comprised of wine professionals representing a variety of fields within the wine industry. The selection committee will see that the makeup of the judging includes a distribution of wine industry professionals such as winemakers, winery principals, retail and restaurant wine buyers and sellers, wine journalists, educators, trade professionals, and serious wine collectors.

    To qualify for entry in the 2010 Central Coast Wine Competition, 100% of the grapes used to produce the wines must have been harvested within the Central Coast AVA Wine Region or Ventura County.


    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Wine Community Contributes more than $45,000 to Local Organizations in 2009

    [From the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance:]

    The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance contributed more than $45,000 to 14 community organizations in San Luis Obispo County in 2009. A portion of the proceeds ($26,000) were raised at the Zinfandel Festival (March 21, 2009) and Wine Festival (May 16, 2009) auctions and were gifted back to six organizations at the December Membership Meeting on December 15, 2009. These proceeds focus on health, education and community services to the growing workforce and their families. In 2009 the Alliance was also able to donate an additional $19,000 to eight other organizations through in-kind and monetary donations and were honorably mentioned at the December Membership Meeting.

    “The Paso Robles Wine community is proud to give back to the population that makes so much of what we do possible,” said Stacie Jacob, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "To date, the Alliance has been able to contribute over $125,000 to local organizations.” The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance was honored to gift more than $45,000 in proceeds to 14 of the following organizations:

    Monetary Donations Gifted on December 15, 2009
    Artistic Resources Team, A.R.T. - $2,000
    Boys and Girls Club of North San Luis Obispo County - $2,000
    Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County- $5,000
    La Clinica de Tolosa Dental Clinic - $10,000
    Paso Robles Library Foundation - $5,000
    Wellness Community – Paso Robles- $2,000

    In-Kind and Monetary Donations Gifted Throughout 2009
    Boy Scout Troop 60
    Heritage Oaks Family Fun Day & Fun Run
    Hospice of San Luis Obispo County
    California Mid-State Fair Junior Livestock Auction
    Paderewski Festival
    Paso Robles Pioneer Day
    Studios on the Park
    Wine Country 1/2 Marathon & 5K Run

    The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance began its commitment to support the local community that supports the wine industry in 2006 with funds raised at the 14th Annual Zinfandel Festival. For the first time in 2009, the Alliance facilitated a Wine Country Auction during Wine Festival, furthering the Alliance’s dedication to giving dollars back to the community. The Wine Country Auction enriches Zinfandel Festival and Wine Festival by providing a charitable platform to exciting marquee events in wine country. Festival goers are encouraged to bid on wine and lifestyle items that are not available through commercial or retail outlets. Auction lots include signed large format library wines, wine country getaway packages and the annual collaborative blend wine.

    Save-the-date for 2010 Wine Country Auctions
    18th Annual Zinfandel Festival: March 19 – 21, 2010 - The Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival marquee event puts the fun back in Zinfandel by combining a classic Zin Tasting with a Wine Country Auction on Saturday, March 20, 2010.

    28th Annual Wine Festival: May 21 – 23, 2010 – The Wine Festival marquee event is full of exciting surprises including a revamped Wine Country Auction with thrilling auction lots unavailable anywhere else.

    Tickets for Zinfandel Festival are now on sale and Wine Festival tickets will be available in February. Both event weekends are filled with individual activities at area wineries.

    The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance represents wineries, growers and businesses in Paso Robles Wine Country. Centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, along California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles Wine Country is California’s fastest growing wine region. It encompasses more than 26,000 vineyard acres and more than 180 wineries.

    For more information, visit
    # # #

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Vineyard Team Nets Environmental Award


    After more than 10 years of effort to help local wine-grape growers spray fewer pesticides on their crops, the Central Coast Vineyard Team has won a national award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    EPA representative Cara Peck presented the “Best-of-the-Best” award for Sustained Excellence in Integrated Pest Management to the vineyard team’s executive director, Kris O’Connor, at the Sustainable Ag Expo in San Luis Obispo on Nov. 16.

    The Vineyard Team’s new “Sustainability in Practice”—or SIP—certification for local wines was named as one reason for the award.

    “Our growers have always worked very hard to push the envelope in terms of pest management,” O’Connor said when accepting the award.

    “We’ve been doing research and education for over a decade in this area and have consistently seen positive results.”

    —Kathy Johnston


    Monday, October 5, 2009

    2009 Harvest Wine Weekend, October 16 - 18, Throughout Paso Robles Wine Country

    Over 130 North SLO County wineries will host more than 150 individual events during "Harvest Wine Weekend," October 16 - 18.

    The event celebrates the grape harvest season currently taking place throughout San Luis Obispo County -- a new vintage!

    Individual weekend events from select wineries include:

  • Clautiere Vineyard
    1340 Penman Springs Road, Paso Robles
    Weekend Hours: 12 - 5 p.m.
    Friday - Sunday: Be prepared to add some pizzazz to your life when you visit a tasting room like no other! Think Edward Scissorhands meets the Mad Hatter at the Moulin Rouge. Enjoy our garden's winding paths decorated with mosaic spheres, cubes, metal sculptures and rock circles!
    Saturday: Join us for our famous flame-licked grilled chipotle hamburges served with our new release, 2 Cocky Sisters, complimentary with your tasting from 1 - 4 p.m. mmMMM Scrupdeli-o-cious! While you are here, take advantage of our 2004 Grand Rouge which will be discounted 50% off this weekend only.

  • Écluse Wines
    1520 Kiler Canyon Road, Paso Robles
    Weekend Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Friday - Sunday: Écluse may not be familiar to you yet, but we will be! Join us as we open our winery for the rare opportunity to taste our handcrafted award-winning Rhône and Bordeaux-style Écluse Wines. We're showcasing our 2007 wines released this weekend. Be the first to taste our highly anticipated Lock Vineyard Zinfandel/Syrah blend "Improv" - it's fabulous! If you're lucky, you'll find Steve with the wine thief doing some barrel tasting. Experience wine tasting the old fashioned way in the barrel room with the winemaker. No fancy barbecues or events, just great wine. Come savor the wine that is truly Écluse!

  • J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
    6169 Airport Road, Paso Robles
    Weekend Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Friday: Chef Jeff Jackson from The Range in Santa Margarita will prepare a fantastic five course menu of fresh, seasonal offerings. Seating at 6:30 p.m. $105/pp; $95/Club Members. Reservations required.
    Saturday: Club Members and their guests may enjoy a VIP tour and tasting of limited release wines at 10 a.m., 12 and 2 p.m. We'll feature our new J. Lohr Gesture wines. No reservations required.
    Sunday: Experience an Olea Farms Olive Oil seminar and tasting paired with a five course Tasting menu prepared by Cahoots Catering. Seating at 11 a.m. $60/pp; $50/Club Members Reservations required.

  • Jada Vineyard & Winery
    5620 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles
    Weekend Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Friday: Jada's Second Annual "Halloween at Harvest" Celebration starts Friday! A nod to the 60s. Hippie attire encouraged. New releases, barrel samples. LLWC members only Pick Up Party 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Prize for most original 60s look and more! Call for reservations.
    Saturday & Sunday: Celebrate the 2009 Harvest the Jada Way! "Halloween at Harvest" celebrates the 60s all weekend long. Wear a 60s costume and you will be entered in our contest. Prizes for costume categories - Best 60s get-up and more! New releases, gourmet cheese pairing, live music and chocolates

  • L'Aventure
    2815 Live Oak Road, Paso Robles
    Weekend Hours: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    Friday - Sunday: Stephan and Beatrice invite you to celebrate our 12th harvest at L'Aventure. Experience some of Paso Robles' most highly rated wines at our winery and tasting room, and learn more about our wines and westside terroir from our staff. Harvest Wine Weekend visitors will also be able to reserve a case of our 2007 estate wines and a wine club membership over the weekend. A vigneron first, Stephan Asseo has produced world-class, artisan, handcrafted wines in Paso Robles since 1998.

  • Opolo Vineyards
    7110 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles
    Weekend Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Friday & Saturday: In between grape stomping, ethnic folk dancing, gypsy serenades and of course fabulous Opolo wines, we will be serving up some of the finest food in North County! Call today! $85/pp; $75/Members.
    Saturday: Join the now 17 Far Out Wineries on Saturday morning to taste through what each winery considers to be their best wine. Meet the owners and winemakers. Reservations required. Call 805.237.0138 today!
    Saturday & Sunday: Join us on the patio for wine tasting and our famous authentic, south-of-the border, carne asada tacos, carnitas and whole roasted lamb. Lunch $12/pp and tasting $5/pp. Both are complimentary for members

  • 2009 Harvest: Yield "Up," Quality "Incredible"

    From an article in Pacific Coast Business Times:

  • Unlike last year, when temperatures fluctuated drastically throughout the growing season, this year was mild and temperate, Fred Holloway, winemaker at Justin Vineyard & Winery in Paso Robles said. “The quality of these grapes is going to be very intense,” he said. “They’re going to be very flavorful.”
    Just down the road at Firestone Vineyard, now part of the Foley Family Wines group, winemaker Paul Warson agreed that the grapes are some of the best he’s seen in recent years. “I’m expecting good things from this year,” he said.
    In Santa Barbara County, Pinot Grigio grapes are flooding in, said Shayne Kline, general manager at Wild Horse Winery & Vineyeards in Templeton, while his part of the region is enjoying a bit of a later harvest. Wild Horse gets grapes from both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county vineyards.
    “There really is a lot of excitement this time of year for everyone,” Kline said – and not just for busy winemakers, but for visitors who often schedule late-summer trips around harvest time.
    Chris Taranto, communications manager of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, a member organization for the region’s wineries and vineyards, said that he’s been hearing good things from his part of the wine world.
    “All accounts at this point in time are that it’s up from last year,” Taranto said. “And the quality is also showing to be incredible this year.”

  • ###

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    2009 Growing Season: So Far, "Just About Perfect"

    From Talley Vineyards' great "Winegrower's Log":

    Our growing season has been just about perfect this year with foggy mornings and daily high temperatures in the mid 70s. In Arroyo Grande, we’ve been spared the excessive heat that others have felt over the past couple of weeks, and this has allowed our crop to develop under ideal conditions with very little stress on the vines. We had some unseasonable rain in June that gave us enough moisture for some late season tillage to open the soil and expose the vine roots to more air.  The crop size looks to be slightly above average, which is a relief after the short years of 2007 and 2008.  Though it’s hard to make any definitive statements about quality until we get the grapes into the winery, things look good with a nice balance between crop level and canopy, very little mildew and no noticeable botrytis.

    Vineyard Manager Kevin Wilkinson predicts that harvest will begin sometime during the week of August 24.