Fans of Rhone varietals may already have March 22 and 23 marked off on their calendars for the San Francisco Rhone Rangers festivities, but why wait that long? The Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience is in just a few weeks and offers a perfect reason to visit this region for the food, wine, and hospitality you’ll find there.
The Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers invites you to come to Paso Robles Wine Country for the 2013 Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience on Sunday, February 17. There will be a Seminar and Luncheon between 10:30 am and 1:00 pm (limited to 200 participants), followed by a Grand Tasting and Silent Auction between 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm (limited to 400 attendees) at Broken Earth Winery (5625 Highway 46 East, Paso Robles, 805-239-2562) in eastside Paso Robles.
Tickets for the Seminar and Lunch are just $85, and seminar/lunch attendees receive free entry into the Grand Tasting. Tickets for the Grand Tasting alone are just $25. If you’re interested, tickets can be purchased here, and you should move quickly as the Experience usually sells out well in advance. If you haven’t made up your mind yet, keep reading for more information about this popular event (which offers a great excuse to head towards central California for the weekend).
The Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience
“Rhone Essentials” Seminar – Taste top examples of Rhone wines as you hear from local winemakers and principals. Wines scheduled for tasting during the seminar are:
- Grenache Blanc: Ranchero Cellars, 2011 Chrome
- Viognier: Mitchella, 2011 Viognier
- White Rhone Blend: Halter Ranch, 2011 Cotes de Paso Blanc
- Rose: Vines on the Marycrest, 2011 Summertime
- Grenache: Cypher Winery, 2010 Grenache
- Mourvedre: Cass Winery, 2010 Mourvedre
- Syrah: Vina Robles, 2009 Syree
- Petite Sirah: J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, 2010 Petite Sirah
- Red Rhone Blend: Caliza Winery, 2010 Cohort
Vintners’ Lunch – Seminar participants will be joined by Rhone Rangers principals and winemakers for a gourmet banquet lunch complimented by members’ Rhone wines, offering extended opportunities for interactions with the producers.
Grand Tasting – Winery members of the Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers will pour nearly 150 wines, including top single Rhone varietals and the best in Rhone blends. The Grand Tasting event will also include a Silent Auction with proceeds benefiting the Rhone Rangers scholarship fund. Some of the wineries expected to be there (in addition to the wineries participating in the Seminar and Lunch) are Adelaida Cellars, Clayhouse Wines, Denner Vineyards, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, L’Aventure Winery, Lone Madrone, Proulx Wines, and Tablas Creek Vineyard. To see the complete list of wineries in the Paso Robles Chapter, please go here.
Tickets for the Grand Tasting are free to qualified trade and media (advance registration is required, please email firstname.lastname@example.org).
The 22 Rhone Ranger Grapes
For a wine to be considered a “Rhone Ranger” wine, the 22 varieties in the Rhone Valley that are recognized and accepted by the French government must comprise at least 75% of the blend.
The primary red Rhone varietals are Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre, and the other relatively common red grapes are Cinsault and Carignan. Additional varietals include Counoise, Muscardin, Picpoul Noir, Vaccarese, and Terret Noir (the Rhone Rangers have also adopted Petite Sirah – also known as Durif – due to its extensive interplanting with traditional Rhone varietals in California).
The principal white Rhone varietals are Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. The other white grapes include Bourboulenc, Clairette Blanc, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Picardin, Picpoul/Piquepoul Blanc, and Ugni Blanc.
Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience Hotel Information
- Courtyard by Marriott Paso Robles (805.239.9700): $139/night
- La Quinta Paso Robles (805.239.3004): $169 Friday/Saturday, $107.10 Sunday for Deluxe King or Two Queens; $189 Friday/Saturday, $125.10 Sunday for Executive King
- Paso Robles Inn (800.676.1713): $164 Friday/Saturday, $128.00 Sunday for Traditional Garden Rooms
The Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers organization is dedicated to the education and promotion of Rhone varietals and Rhone blends to local trade, media, and consumers. They are also committed to highlighting Paso Robles as a top California region in the production of outstanding Rhone varietal grapes and wines.
The Rhone Rangers organization has about 200 winery members, 110 Professional and Grower Associates, and almost 800 Sidekicks (consumer members). The Rhone Rangers Sidekicks program is free: You only need to provide your contact information to get priority notification about Rhone Rangers events, the opportunity to meet winemakers and growers of Rhone varietals, discounts at member wineries, special notice of member winery events, an information-packed educational newsletter and more. To learn more about becoming a member of the Rhone Rangers, please go here.
We are very fond of the Paso Robles Wine Region. If you are looking for suggestions on what to do outside of the Paso Robles Rhone Ranger Experience, please go here to see our favorite wineries and food destinations in the area. Or, you can use the drop-down menus on the Navigation Bar above to see our recommendations for other Central California regions.