The grapes are ripe for the picking, and that means it’s time for Harvest Wine Weekend to begin, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience to taste the fruits of more than 140 wineries’ labors, Oct. 14 through 16.
Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Communications Director Christopher Taranto said the highlight of the harvest is that all the wineries are celebrating the work that went into harvest and invite people to come experience a little bit of what harvest is about.
“Many wineries center their individual events around harvest type activities,” Taranto said. “So there may be barrel tasting, grape stomps, vineyard type tours — all things that allow people to engage more with what goes into some of the farming and the winemaking. This is that unique time of the year when you can actually see what culminates after the many months-long growing season that basically comes to an end here during harvest.”
Many wineries in the area host events all weekend long, some hosting one event that has become a tradition to their brand over the years and some sprucing the experience up with a new event to fire the pallet and imaginations of their patrons. Some events are more engaging than others, but nearly all
the wineries in the area offer something unique to them.
Wineries that are in a state of growth tend to offer new events as they grow, Taranto explained, saying
that the Paso Robles AVA is constantly changing and growing so each year offers a new experience.
“For instance, Adelaide Cellars has their new hospitality area, so I would assume they are doing something new and different with their new space as will any number of other wineries that are expanding,” he said. “Other wineries are only open by appointment that end up, for Harvest Weekend,
having more of an open-house type of atmosphere. That is one of the things that makes this weekend
special because these wineries are not open regularly.”
On the PasoWine.com website, users can go to the Harvest Festival information page and search by
winery name, day of the week or type of event to find festival experience,” Taranto explained.
In Paso Robles, the harvest came a bit earlier than it generally does and has changed progressively in this time of sever drought. With any agriculture, there is a direct correlation between environmental impact and the progression from flower to mature fruit. This does not necessarily mean the quality of the end result is lesser, but different. Taranto said that some wine growers even prefer water starved fruit in its mature form to the fruit that would come out of a wet year.
“With any science there are many variables to contend with,” he said. “But the true art of winemaking is being able to take control of those variables in the fermentation process and turn out a good product regardless of those added variables. With any creative process, the end result is subjective. The best part is that if you don’t enjoy one wine, there are at least 139 more to try.”
To help navigate the wide array of events, anyone can pick up a Harvest Wine Weekend Official Guide at any of the participating wineries. Please note, there is no marquee ticketed event for Harvest Wine Weekend. Costs to participate in winery events varies by winery and are often listed in their event descriptions.
For those that need some direction, there are five events that people may not want to miss out on including the CABs of Distinction Grand Tasting at the Allegretto Vineyard Resort, Vina Robles Winery “I love the 90s” Concert, Wild Horse Winery & Vineyard Pino and Popcorn Movie Night, and Still Water
Vineyard Harvest Olympics.
CABS OF DISTINCTION GRAND TASTING AT ALLEGRETTO
Drink in the best of 2013 with the Paso Robles Cabernet and Bordeaux Collective at the Allegretto Vineyard Resort, from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14, for the annual CABs of Distinction Grand Tasting.
Linda Parker Sanpei, public relations and marketing associate for CABs Collective, said patrons will have the opportunity to taste over 75 different Cabernet and red Bordeaux varietals from one of 24 members of the CABs Collective in Paso Robles.
“Our collective members will come together in the midst of harvest at the Allegretto to share some of their exquisite award-winning Cabernet and red Bordeaux varietals and blends each expertly paired with small bites by chef Eric Olsen, who began tasting and pairing wines at the beginning of September to prepare for the event,” Sanpei said. “The event will take place at the picturesque Allegretto Vineyard Resort with their lavish gardens, outstanding art collection and outstanding restaurant. In addition to tasting the best of the 2013 harvest, there will be live music and the opportunity to meet face-to-face
with vintners to learn all about the wines.”
Members of the Paso Robles CAB Collective who will pour at the Grand Tasting include:something that will fit their idea of the best harvest Adelaida Cellars, Ancient Peaks Winery, Bon Niche Cellars, Brecon Estate, Calcareous Vineyard, Cass Vineyard & Winery, Chateau Margene, Clos Solène, DAOU Vineyards & Winery, Eberle Winery, Halter Ranch Vineyard, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Justin Vineyards & Winery, Opolo Vineyards, Parrish Family Vineyard, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, RN Estate, Rotta Winery, San Antonio Winery, Sextant Wines, The Farm Winery, and Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery.
With about 55 percent of the wineries in the Paso Robles AVA growing Cabernet and Bordeaux varietals, it seems to grow well and must be the go-to for many winemakers, not just for the prevalence, but quality of Cabernet and Bordeaux varietals. The CABs of Distinction Grand Tasting is open to ages 21 and over and will offer exclusive tastings, gourmet food pairings and an educational experience to wine enthusiasts.
Tickets will go fast and are sold online at pasoroblescab.com/events/cabs-of-distinctiongrand-tasting.php and, if available, at the door the night of the event.
VINA ROBLES “I LOVE THE 90S”
Sunday, Oct. 16, Vina Robles will close out the festival weekend on a high note beginning with tastes of Vina Robles’ new wines and complimentary live music from noon to 3 p.m. Then, for the ultimate
crescendo, at 7 p.m., Vina Robles is bringing the 90s back at its outdoor amphitheater under the stars in concert, called “I Love the 90s.”
The concert will transport all back to the area of black spandex leggings, side ponytails and florescent color schemes as rap, hip hop and R&B artists take the stage, including All-4-One, Color Me Badd, Vanilla Ice, Coolio, Salt-N-Pepa, Logo, Kid ‘n Play, Tone Loc, Rob Base and Young MC.
Tickets range from $60 to $100 and are available for purchase by visiting vinaroblesamphitheatre.com, the Vina Robles Amphitheater box office or any Ticketmaster outlet. This show will sell out fast, and it is recommended that people get in the spirit and dress circa 1990 to 1999.
WILD HORSE WINERY & VINEYARDS PINO AND POPCORN MOVIE NIGHT
Wild Horse Winery, like many of their counterparts, will be hosting extended open hours for the weekend, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 14 through 16.
This first night of Harvest Weekend is a kicker featuring Friday night’s “Pinot and Popcorn Movie Night,” screening 1987 hit, “Moonstruck,” on a big screen under the stars.
The movie “Moonstruck,” starring Cher and Nicolas Cage, offers a bit of romance with a comedic twist, and could make the perfect date night. Festivities start at 6:15 p.m., and the movie will start after sunset at 7 p.m. Pack a picnic and bring a blanket or low-back lawn chair. Wines will be available by the glass or bottle, and tickets include the movie, a glass of wine in a keepsake logo glass and fresh popped popcorn all for just $12 pre-sale, or $15 at the door.
Call ahead for tickets at 788-6310 or email leslie.churchill@ wildhorsewinery.com to reserve a space.
Wild Horse Winery & Vineyard is located at 1437 Wild Horse Winery Court in Templeton. For more information about this event and others, visit wildhorsewinery.com.
STILL WATERS VINEYARDS HARVEST OLYMPICS
Another new and exciting addition to Harvest Weekend events is Still Water Vineyards’ Harvest Olympics on Saturday, Oct. 15. This first-ever Still Waters Harvest Olympics offers visitors the ability to put their taste buds and more to the test, with wine trivia, tastes and temptations, a little grape stomping thrown in and a few obstacles along the way.
To see scores, join owners and winery employees in the barrel room anytime from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be plenty of wine and appetizers to sustain participants through the Harvest Olympic games. At the end of the day, the winner goes home with some Still Waters goodies and some Gold Medal Wine.
Still Water Vineyards is located at 2750 Old Grove Lane in Paso Robles. For more information about this event and others, visit stillwatersvineyards.com.
If traveling back to the 1990s, stomping grapes, a movie in the vines and great food and wines are not inspiring an excursion, visit Paso Robles Wine at pasowine.com, on Facebook and Twitter for more information about the wide range of weekend activities, including winemaker dinners, barbecues, seminars, live music, art and other exciting harvest activities.
For the complete article see the 10-14-2016 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-14-2016 paper.
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