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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Paso Robles is one area of California that yields quality wine at an affordable price

Are you looking for value oriented wines in our current economic downturn? While many folks are seeking value-oriented labels from Argentina, Chile, Italy and Australia many can find what they are looking for right here in California. Paso Robles is one areas of California which yields quality wine at an affordable price. According to Jennifer Waters who reports for WSJ, "First, you have to find it." She means find Paso Robles which seems to suffer from a bit of an identity crisis.

Paso does indeed suffer from a bit of an identity crisis. Everyone knows about many of the major California wine hot spots like Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbra. Folks Paso is fast becoming a vibrant and happening wine scene worthy of your time, attention and a vote with your wallet. Because they don't have the visibility of other wine hot spots, many wineries have taken to the strategy of appropriate pricing and smart tasting room policies. The city leaders of Paso also recognize that if they want a piece of the revenue pie from the thriving (even in this economy) wine industry then they need to also be business friendly, meaning get out of the wineries way (read that reduce regulation). If everyone is rowing in the same direction than everyone has a much better opportunity to move ahead.

Please check out the video below on the Paso Wine Scene. The reporter Ms. Waters keeps on saying Peso, Peso, "that's how the locals pronounce it!" But check her interviewee's from Eberle and Four Vines who contradict what she is saying and they the "natives" call it Paso, too funny! But the main focus of the video is right on point, good quality wines, low prices and very consistent quality! But it's not about the just land prices, it's also about "perceived value"! Perception is in the eye of the beholder!
Ever since my week long odyssey in Paso Robles I can now say, "Man I love Paso and my experience there could have not been better." The people, the wine and the scenery are all equally wonderful. Now of course
before I sound like too much of a cheerleader here, there are in my opinion some wineries in the Paso area who are long on history orcreating a great enviornment, but have lost their main focus, which is of course making great wines. Folks due your self a favor and do a weekend escape to Paso, you'll not be disappointed.


Other voices: Steve Heimoff the West Coast Editor of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, "But the direction of my reviews, for years, has been heading away from a blind devotion to cult wines and a growing receptivity to newer producers, from newer regions. (Paso Robles comes foremost to mind.)"

If you have not read my four part series on the Paso Wine Scene I invite you to check it out! Paso Robles, a tale of two cities! Part 4 "Rhone Rangers" . The Paso wine scene is yielding some amazing deals on high caliber wines. The quality is going up but the prices are not rising in equal porportion, what does that mean to you the average wine shopper? It means some smoking hot deals (the QPR) on premium wines, that if made else where like Napa or Sonoma would cost you far more!
So you say well give me some examples of what you are talking about, okay sure here you go. The J. Lohr Old Vines Zinfandel is always a good buy selling under $14.99 in many places, this wine is consistently well made and delivers on all aspects the aspects of QPR (quality price ratio).
How about another example, Silver Stone 2004 Syrah at $20.00 brings quality and price to a wine glass near you in amazing fashion, big bold and brawny with full extraction and flavor. Another QPR label I am reminded of comes from Four Vines, their Old Vine Cuvee Zinfandel selling many places for under $15.00 is a great "everyday drinker" and the majority of their other labels can be acquired for under $40.00. A few other places I really like and who have very good QPR are, Justin, RN Estate, L'Adventure, Tablas Creek and Tolo!
I am sure there are many others who could be added to this list so please feel free to comment so your favorite can be added to the conversation here. Until next time Cheers everyone and remember a day without wine is just another day!

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