Wine Country

News and discussions about wine, the wine industry, and those who love wine, along the Central Coast of California.

Wayne Craig, President and CEO Lodi Memorial Hospital and Board Member of Visit Lodi CVB
Thomas Wilmer

Lodi is America’s largest grape growing region, along with approximately 91 family owned boutique wineries. The town of 60,000 residents offers a small town feel. Join Craig for a local’s insight about Lodi attractions, including upscale dining. 

No change for Santa Barbara County's winery rules

Nov 22, 2016
Flickr member Damian Gadal

In a move that surprised many, Santa Barbara County officials have struck down a controversial and long-planned update to the county’s winery ordinance. In a 4-to-1 vote, the Board of Supervisors rejected the adoption of new rules governing the area’s wine country. 

Flickr member Damian Gadal

The Santa Barbara County wine industry will get another chance to address lawmakers regarding a proposed set of new rules for wineries and vineyards. 

Winemakers come from all walks of life. Some are almond farmers who made the switch to grapes because it paid more. Some are artists, drawing on their creative talents to craft wine. And then there are scientists. 

KCBX News - Randol White

This week's heat wave hit during mid-harvest for many local wine-grape growers—one of the Central Coast's top crops.

Denis Degher sold his recording studio in L.A. and retired in Paso Robles just after the turn of the millennium. By chance he made a batch of wine that turned out to be quite good. And his feel for winemaking comes from his musical instincts. He gives us an example in this interview.

Still from Dronesey YouTube video

Controversy is growing over a vineyard-expansion project in the Paso Robles Wine Growing region.

The plan calls for the clear-cutting of an oak forest on land owned by Justin Vineyards. Much of the project has already been completed, but what remains currently on hold.

Alta Colina, Paso Robles - 2015

A new study shows San Luis Obispo County's wine industry helps generate $1.9 billion for the regional economy. 

Flickr member Sharon Mollerus

An annual look at the nation's wine industry was released on Thursday and says this year could show an unusual decline in consumption.

Biodynamic farming is a growing trend for California vineyards

Nov 30, 2015
Aidan Mathews

Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles is a 120-acre property that not only grows wine grapes, but houses animals as well. A flock of sheep at Tablas Creek helps maintain a farming process called Biodynamics.

The goal of the process is to help a vineyard function more efficiently.  It's “a practical way of removing weeds in the vineyard," said Levi Glenn, the vineyard's viticulturist. He says this is the number one benefit of having a flock of sheep roaming around the property.

Flickr member Damian Gadal

New wineries in Santa Barbara County could face new rules if local leaders approve a list of proposed changes to the county's Winery Ordinance. 

Tom Wilmer

    

Come along and join Tom Wilmer at Larner Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley.

California drought amounts to mixed blessing for winemakers this harvest

Dec 9, 2014
Julian Del Gaudio

When you walk around Tablas Creek vineyard in Paso Robles, there are few obvious signs that California is in one of its worst droughts on record.

“It actually looks less different than you would expect grapevines have evolved to grow well in climates that are dry” says Jason Haas who runs this vineyard.

Grapes have their origins in the Middle East and Mediterranean, two regions with similar and sometimes even drier climates than the Central Coast.

Vines have adapted ways to protect the plant when rainfall is scarce and that included changes to the fruit production.

Video Still: Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance

Wine Spectator is out with its Top 100 Wines list for 2014, including wines from producers wordwide, and only one California wine cracked the Top 10 this year.

Lompoc's Brewer-Clifton 2012 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills came in at No. 8.

One of the winery's founders, Greg Brewer, says when he found out about the ranking he was just as thrilled for the Lompoc area as he was for his winery.

Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance

Vintners in the Paso Robles Wine Growing Region will now get the chance to be far more specific on their labels as to where their grapes were grown. The Federal Government announced Thursday the creation of several new American Viticultural Areas (AVA).

The greater Paso Robles AVA will still be the headline regional signifier, but if at least 85-percent of the grapes come from within one of the eleven smaller zones, then that specific area can be signified on the label as well.

Robert Hall, Local Winery Founder, Passes Away

Oct 7, 2014
Robert Hall Winery website

Robert Hall, the founder of the Paso Robles winery that bears his name, passed away Saturday according to a letter to the media released Monday morning.

A winery spokesperson says the 85-year-old died peacefully at his home from complications related to an extended illness. Hall fell in love with the idea of winemaking during a trip to the South of France in the 1970s and eventually chose the Central Coast as the location for his vineyards and winery. His vision was realized when he began making wine in 2001.

He is survived by his wife Margaret and his three daughters.

Flickr member Sharon Mollerus

Wine Enthusiast Magazine is out with its annual list of the 100 best wine restaurants in the United States, and two Central Coast locations made the cut.

Les Marchands in Santa Barbara was selected for its blend of European and local wines showcasing small grower-producers "that make wine in a natural, noninterventionist style."

San Luis Obispo's Novo Restaurant made the list for its large selection of wines made within a 60 mile radius.

Flickr member Dan'o

The Central Coast is well known for its award-winning wines, and in recent years, the Paso Robles region has become a favorite of wine critics.  

The area also faces challenges from drought and rapid growth.

Randol White shares insight into the many aspects of our local wine industry during his latest interview.

Information on the 32nd Paso Robles Wine Festival can be found at PasoWine.com

April is 'Down to Earth' wine month in California

Apr 2, 2014
Wine Institute

Eco-friendly wines and winery events are featured this month as part of the Wine Institute's third-annual Down to Earth celebrations in California.

The month is aimed at bringing attention to the state's leadership in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking.

"Our California Sustainable Winegrowing Program leads the world in comprehensiveness and size with wineries and vineyards that produce nearly three-quarters of California’s wine grapes and wine participating,” said Bobby Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute.

The Paso Robles CAB Collective

Apr 1, 2014

The Paso Robles wine region is best known for its zinfandels and Rhone style wines, but cabernet and Bordeaux varietals have made their mark in the area, too.  A grass-roots non-profit, The Paso Robles CAB Collective, highlights these wines with their event, CABs of Distinction.  Central Coast Wine Classic Founder and Chairman, Archie McLaren, talks about the event and the wines that inspired it with Cynthia Lohr of J. Lohr Winery and Daniel Daou of Daou Vineyards.

Flickr member Cielo de la Paz

A growing number of wine regions throughout the world are working to protect the names associated with their geographic locations. Santa Barbara County wineries are joining that effort this week at a meeting in France.

Assessing local vineyards after our recent rains

Mar 3, 2014

Wednesday evening on KCBX News, we spoke with Jason Hass of Tablas Creek about his "after the rain" blog post.