On Paso EastSide Wines

While hills and valleys with shaded winding roads dominate the land west of Paso Robles, the east side is more rolling, open, and warmer; thus producing different challenges for wine growers and wine makes. Day 1 of our trip took us to the east side.

Eberle
EberleCaveAs the 5th oldest winery of over 150 in Paso, Eberle is a must stop. If available, take the cave tour. Although located directly off highway 46, the patio provides a good view to the west. October ‘09’s Wine Enthusiast rated 3 Eberle wines in the 90s. Keep in mind that Gary Eberle played for Jo Pa in the 70s! We bought here.

Vina Robles
Maybe the most spectacular wine room, but these wines didn’t bowl me over on this day.

Tobin James
This winery is known for its marketing and the tasting room’s Wild West atmosphere is part of the experience. I can see why they claim to have the largest wine club in the country. We bought here and considering their wine club – besides, Toby is a native Cincinnatian.

Maloy O’Neil
Probably the most pleasant surprise of the trip as the overall quality was outstanding. Although a simple tasting room, Maloy O’Neil is a must stop. Their Lagrein grape is only grown on 50 acres in the whole state! We bought here.

EastSideVineyardPenman Springs
Another simple tasting room with a good view of the east side from the parking lot – plus a selection of many single-varietal wines.  We bought here.

East Side Wineries to Visit in the Future

Other Posts about this Trip

On Downtown Paso Robles Wines

Downtown Paso Robles has numerous winery tasting rooms and several tasting bars. Since we went downtown at the end of a tasting day, we were less inclined to attack their offerings – thus much went unexplored.

Pianetta Winery
PianettaTastingRoomAfter accidently meeting Caitlin Pianetta at a Cincinnati tasting in early 2009, I established contact with her and our trip to Paso Robles was on — so when we visited her at the Pianetta tasting room, she was pleased and treated us like family.

We probably sampled everything and the petite syrah, the one she served in Cincinnati, still shined. Paso petites are not as tannic as more northern petites, yet they maintain the unique flavor petite syrah offers. Yes, we purchased here.

I encourage visitors to stop by the Pianetta tasting room and tell Caitlin, “Frank from Cincinnati sent me.”

Anglim Wines
Like Pianetta, Anglim is a small, family-owned winery producing high-quality wines. Although they produce some blends, Anglim features various single-varietal wines. Loved the late-harvest, port-style syrah!

The Anglim tasting room is a few blocks off the square and we were in luck as Steffanie Anglim, the winemaker’s wife and business partner, served us their delightful wines. She was a pleasure and given the wines, another purchase for us.

Asuncion Ridge & Bodegas Paso Robles
These two wineries share the same tasting room. Fortunately for us, Dorothy Schuler (the Bodegas winemaker) was there and shared freshly-picked tempranillo grapes that she uses for her wines made from these Spanish-based grapes.

Asuncion Ridge features pinot noir, which isn’t widely produced in this region (because of the heat), but their vineyards are located in a pinot-suitable location. We didn’t purchase here because the shipping box was full.

Edward Sellers
A server in Los Olivos recommended Edward Sellers (which was around the corner), so we visited their downtown Paso Robles tasting room. Note: The Paso tasting room will be moving to their west-side vineyard location in the future.

Edward Sellers offers good red blends and a tasty syrah – plus have received 90+ scores from Robert Parker – but we didn’t buy because the shipping case was full.

Downtown tasting rooms to visit next time

Other Posts about this Vacation

Downtown Tasting Bars

On Hands Monday Music

With a title like this, you may be expecting Handel. Although that may be a good idea for the future, Handel isn’t today’s theme.

Since football season is underway, today is the perfect time to introduce hands into the Monday Morning Music feature. After all, we hear broadcasters use terms as good hands, bad hands, hands team, and hands of stone to describe various abilities.

Opinion in the Shorts Vol. 35 brought you One-String Willy playing Flight of the Bumble B-String on a one-string guitar. Well today, it another rendition of the same song, but this time with hands – thus renamed Fart of the Bumble Bee. I’m sure Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov is ever so proud of these guys.

College Football Rankings Week 4 ’09

Another weekend of college football once again scrambles the rankings. Since the purpose of this ranking system is to provide a top 10 based on 2009 results – thus no speculations about future games, no high ratings based on expectations, nothing to do with returning lettermen or last year’s results … simply who one plays and the outcome.

Before the ranking I must say that what I heard several ESPN commentaries this weekend that was pleasant music to my ears. They simply made these points:

  • Preseason ranking get too much emphasis, especially in the season’s early weeks
  • Voters should be more fluid during the early weeks to result in teams who have earned respect versus teams who we still don’t know much about beyond expectations
  • Several challenged anyone to identify a team that had done more to date than the Miami Hurricanes

For those needing more explanation, read this post about PreSeason Rankings.

I would imagine that many fans will have problems with this week’s rankings, but hey – life is what it is and some teams have played 4 very respectable games to start the season.

  • Out from last week: Miami, Cal, Boise, North Carolina, Texas, UCLA
  • Dropped from last week: Cincinnati, Auburn,

They’ve Earned It Top 10

  1. LSU (4-0) Next: @ Georgia
  2. Alabama (4-0) Next: @ Kentucky
  3. Georgia (3-1) Next: LSU
  4. Oregon (3-1) Next: Washington State
  5. Iowa (4-0) Next: Arkansas State
  6. Va. Tech (3-1) Next: @ Duke
  7. Houston (3-0) Next: UTEP
  8. Cincinnati (4-0) Next: @ Miami (Oh)
  9. South Carolina (3-1) Next: South Carolina State
  10. Auburn (4-0) Next: @ Tennessee

Conference games are becoming more of the norm rather than the exception, so keep your eye on the Sun Belt race as other teams seek to catch Nebraska (3-0). Besides games involving the top 10 teams, I’m keeping my eyes on these potential ranking-impact games.

  • Georgia Tech @ Mississippi State
  • Michigan @ Michigan State
  • Oklahoma @ Miami
  • Oregon State @ Arizona State
  • USC @ Cal
  • Washington @ Notre Dame
  • Wisconsin @ Minnesota

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 36

On Smile – You’re on Candid Cantor
So House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) says Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is “in another world.” Although I somewhat agree, let me explain more to Mr. Cantor. Yes, the left wing’s heads are in the clouds, but that is only the response to the right wing’s cranial insertion through the opening where the sun doesn’t shine – thus I’m thankful that moderates see situations for what they are while seeking grounded solutions. Our problem is that we have so little representation in Washington.

On Tough Numbers
If 250,000 new jobs were created each month, it would take 70 months to recreate the jobs lost in this recession. Ouch!

On Double Speak
Granted – double speak is the language of politicians. How about Senator Grassley (R-IA) calling for both meaningful health care solutions and contributions to defeat health care proposals? Senator, just continue keeping your head in your reading material during committee hearings – and stay relaxed – I don’t vote in Iowa.

On Health Care Reform
First of all, the GOP doesn’t want different health care reform – they don’t want it at all. So I wonder, if a plan passing, will GOP candidates campaign to repeal it?

As I said even before the debate stated, lobbyists will determine health care legislation. Let’s see … 6 lobbyists per legislator and expenditures around $400 billion. Enough said. For those wanting more, here’s a source tracking dollars on every member of Congress.

I added the Brookings Institute to the Resources links in the sidebar. Here’s a direct link to their information about the health care debate.

Not long ago I suggested an honest and truthful approach to the health care debate. In a recent column Leonard Pitts also likes the idea.

On White House Czars
Legislation is being drafted for regulating appointments by the White House that bypass Congressional approval. I for one would support this legislation but here’s my problem. Since actions by a Democratic president initiated the Republican reaction, what if a Republican president did the same thing – would the party lines switch places? You betcha!

On College Football Rankings
As I examine national polls and opinion rankings, it is obvious that the number of returning lettermen, expectations, and speculations are more important than games played. So why play the games? Oh … I forgot … the revenue.

On Ochocinco
Chad wanted to do the Lambeau Leap but didn’t want to disrespect Packer fans. Sorry Chad – By getting your wish you not only disrespected Packer fans, you disrespected the traditions of the game and the game for your own self-interest.  … and I’m a Bengal fan. I’m against anything you do to bring attention to yourself. Work hard, catch the ball, help the team, shut up, and no gestures on the field of any kind that draw attention to yourself.

On Handbell Music
Since I can’t find a video of this song, here’s a fast handbell piece our choir will be doing in several weeks. Actually with a title as Fanfare and Exultation, some may find it fitting for football, but marching handbells just doesn’t seem to fit – but I know a retired band director who misses marching band.

On an Entertaining Video
I know this is an old video and one that has been used as a hoax (for those thinking it was real), but I enjoy this musical animation.

On Paso Wines

ReadyZinGrapesThe Paso Robles (CA) wine region is known for its red wines – especially red blends. Although it’s not online (at least not yet), the October ’09 Wine Enthusiast issue has an excellent article about this region, its wines, and some ratings.

With 150+ wineries in the area, I did my share of online research to develop a trip strategy – plus I had suggestions from Caitlin Pianetta (Pianetta Winery, who we met in Cincinnati earlier this year), and from the Adelaide Inn staff (where we stayed) – so we had plenty to keep us busy during a 3-day stay. Unfortunately, I discovered the Daily Wine Dispatch after returning home.

Since Paso wineries specialize in red wines, expect to see many more reds than whites. Most wineries will have viognier, chardonnay, muscat, or white blends. Paso whites are generally unoaked andrefreshing with possibly a note of crispness, thus easy to drink.

Paso reds are allover the map with zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and petite syrah leading the way – although cabernet franc, tempranillo, sangiovese, petite verdot, and others are abound. Given the number of red varietals grown in this area, no wonder Paso winemakers excel with blends, including Meritage, Rhone, and Bordeaux styles.

As with any wine region, tasters will encounter wineries they may not know plus wines from known wineries that are only sold at the winery – thus one reason to do your pre-trip homework and be aware of what is available in your home stores.

Future posts will feature east side, west side, and downtown Paso Robles winery notes.

Others Posts about this Trip

On Losing Something Simple

Adults of the time criticized the young generation who listened and danced to the music of the roaring 20s; but didn’t the same thing happen in the big band era? And again with the Elvis followers and that the early years of rock n’ roll? And once again in the classic rock era of the late 60s and 70s? And hasn’t hip-hop’s thumping sounds continued the tradition? Seems like all us have been damned to hell and back for our music.

Life has many constants -one being how a generation looks at the next generation with a question mark. Then again, making connections and seeing patterns is one of the things we see over time. So what the heck is this post about?

Well …. Presidents get it with the position, Aretha spells it, and Rodney never gets it. Although respect is something that transcends generations, each generation looks upon it a bit differently. I claim that is because each generation is shaped by different circumstances.

Think about the latest events involving Congressman Joe Wilson and entertainer Kanye West – or the continual disrespect talkshow pundits give to those who disagree with them. – or the way some use emails and blogs to instantly launch insulting bombs instead of stewing and calculating – or the trash talking that athletes display on the field – or this question: Are reality show behaviors imitating society or is society imitating reality shows? Well, one thing for sure, the list can go on.

I think about these Kathleen Parker words from a recent column

Across the spectrum of society, people are behaving badly. Even those at the very top of their games, who enjoy wealth and status, no longer can be relied upon to carry the standard of exemplary behavior.

All in all, I find it sad that so many are selecting the low ride over the high road, thus overshadowing the goodness that humans have. Maybe Gene Roddenberry had something in mind with Vulcans in Star Trek.