Very interesting panel with the stars of the California wine industry – Steve Lohr, Justin Smith of Saxum Vineyards, Chris Cherry, of Willa Creek, Mike Sinor of Ancient Peaks Winery, and Kevin Willenborg of Vina Robles.
Interesting discussion on terroir of the Paso Robles AVA which was created in 1983 and now awaits a grant for 11 sub-regions.
A key tasting map showcases the terroir each of the wine comes from – characteristics of the micro-climates of each include intense diurnal temperature (very hot days approaching 90 degrees, cool nights approaching 50 degrees), high elevations, poor soil and thin shallow topsoil that limits foliage production.
San Margarita is the most southern spot (22 miles south of Paso Robles) – tasting Oyster Ridge from Ancient Peaks Winery with calcium based soils (and a decorative oyster shell atop the map to prove it). “Soil is like powdered moon dust,” says Mike Sinor. The wine is 48 percent cabernet sauvignon the 44% Merlot and 4% Malbec and 4% Petit Sirah filling out the balance. The vineyard is 12 miles from Ocean and 8 miles from Edna Valley (where Syrah is planted).
There are certain changes in the region – for example now, Irrigation is every two months during growing months.