Paso Robles: February 2008 Archives

Zin Fest in Paso

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By Robert Farmer

What is it about Zinfandel that makes people nuts? The feverish following the grape enjoys is bordering on obsessive. I'm willing to dismiss the argument that it's because zins typically have a higher alcohol content than other varietals, in favor of the more logical approach that the wine simply speaks to its advocates on a visceral level. Zins are not shy. They are not given to nuance. They tend to be bold and matter-of-fact, and that transparency, I think, is why so many people count the grape as their favorite. Hence, Zin Fests, held throughout the world in various zin-producing regions, are eagerly anticipated and widely (and wildly) attended.

The 16th annual event in Paso Robles is no exception. The weekend-long celebration of Paso Zins, held March 14-16, features nearly 100 wineries hosting themed-events and activities and of course, spotlighting their signature zins. Among the attractions are winemaker dinners, live and silent auctions, zinfandel seminars, and winery open houses allowing guests to discuss their passion with those who create it. The anchor event for the weekend is the Festival on the 15th, a one-stop shop at the Paso Robles Event Center during which the intrepid zin fan can sample wine and food in copious quantity and variety. It's a popular event that typically sells out, so get your tickets soon and start brushing up on your Zinspeak.

Experience Paso Robles in San Diego

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By Robert Farmer

Ever find yourself in that weird spot where you can't make it to Paso Robles but you can make it to San Diego but you'd rather be in Paso Robles on a wine tasting tour? Me too! And happily for people like us, you can get the full experience wines from "Paso"--as the locals like to call it--during the Southern California stop of the Grand Tasting Tour, scheduled for February 27th at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center (

The Grand Tour, which also has stop later this year in Houston (April 10), St. Louis (April 15), and Kansas City (April 17), is the Paso way of bringing their wine show on the road. I think the idea is brilliant, because frankly it's not always top on my radar when it comes to wine-related destinations. That's mostly because it takes a bit of doing to get there, situated as it is on some 26,000 acres  about midway between LA and San Francisco and their respective major airports. But it's worth discovering--as the Grand Tour promises to prove. The event features the wines of more than 35 Paso Robles vineyards (a sampling from the more than 170 in the region). The Tour also presents an opportunity to meet with and talk to the wine makers and winery operators from Paso, who will no doubt make it clear that soon you'll be coming to visit them, rather than the other way around. For more info on the Grand Tour, check out