Unlock Paso Robles Wine: Vines to Wine
Wine can be intimidating. With unlimited varietals, blends, wineries and prices, wine can become overwhelming. What’s great about wine is that there’s so much more to wine than the glass you enjoy. Years of planning, growing, crafting and skill go into each bottle produced. In Paso Robles, this couldn’t be more true. It’s about local people taking their passion to a new level of excellence for you to enjoy. Let me help you make wine easy and a part of your lifestyle as I guide you through all that the Paso wine culture has to offer.
Vines: In the wine business, fall is celebrated. It’s when the “vintage” is put to the test by turning grapes into wine. To me, however, spring brings even more excitement of the vintage to come.
Spring is when the vines, after a long winter’s nap, wake up and begin anew. Leaves grow, roots stretch and little clusters of what could someday be an epic bottle of wine, begin to develop. Warm spring days encourage astonishing growth. On average, vine shoots can grow 3 cm each day during this period of development!
This month, clusters are also beginning to bloom all around Paso. This is a very important time of year. Grapevines self-pollinate and rely on warm, steady weather to complete the job. Too much of anything can kill the small flowers. Heat, wind, rain and even early morning frost can have negative effects. Each flower on a cluster is a forming berry. If berries are damaged they will not fully develop and, poof, there goes your crop! Growers are nervous weather-watchers this time of year because Mother Nature can be a bit fickle!
Wines: This is a great time of the year in the winery. Last year’s wines have finished fermentation and are now being evaluated for quality. This is where the rubber meets the road for last year’s vintage. Though, if you ask a winemaker who sometimes tastes 60 new wines a day, they may call it “grueling.” I have sat through these long tasting days and I agree. But, hey, a “grueling” day in the winery is awesome work! You will always know the winemakers when you see them around town: They’re the ones with purple teeth and stained hands!
It’s a fantastic time of year to get out to local wineries where you can find barrel tastings, new releases and vineyards “waking up.” Warm days at tasting rooms make for wonderful opportunities to slow down and enjoy our lovely surroundings with a good glass of wine. What could be better?
Past Times: Did you know that the Paso Robles AVA was formed in 1983? An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape growing region. AVAs are defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and are distinguishable by geographic features. Wine grapes have been grown around Paso Robles since the early mission days but it wasn’t until growers and vintners came together in 1983 to petition that the Paso Robles’ wine growing region was a distinct area worthy of designation. Happy 30th anniversary! Well done, Paso, well done.
Stasi Seay, owner of “Unlock Wine” is a third generation California farmer who was literally raised in a vineyards where she fell in love with agriculture. Staci has worked for the world’s largest wine and spirits company and has collaborated with some of the best winemakers and growers in California. As a result, she has been involved with the best-practices for winemaking and winegrowing on both large and small scales. This experience has cultivated a deep understanding of the science, passion and commitment contained within each bottle. Stasi also holds a WSET Level 2 diploma.