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July 2009
 
by Kate Lavin
 
 
Mack and Mitch
 
Jim Mack (left) and Michael Brown poured wines from Jemrose Vineyards of Santa Rosa. Mitch Bakich (right image), manager of Donati Family Vineyard, often blogs on the winery's website.
 
Paso Robles, Calif.--The 17th annual Hospice du Rhône, held at the Paso Robles Event Center, took inspiration from the movie "Grease," with the 2009 theme: You're the Rhône that I Want.

Hospice du Rhône this year honored stemware authority Georg Riedel as its person of the year. For the past nine years Riedel has provided stemware for the event. As part of the Hospice weekend, Riedel gave a well received talk about how stemware affects the way we perceive wine.

Jay and Ross
 
Jay Kell and Emily Collins Kell pour Viognier and Syrah from Healdsburg's Verge Wine. Ross Rankin (right image) says he makes Imagine wine, and Landee Rankin does "everything else."
PHOTO: Kate Lavin
 
Moderating the final session at Hospice du Rhône, billed as "the world's largest international celebration of Rhône variety wines," event co-founder John Alban got weekend participants personally involved in the high-level barrel trials and vine row-spacing experiments taking place on-site at some of the Central Coast's most prestigious producers of Rhône-style wines.

More than 200 people gathered for "Beyond the Yellow Brick Road," an informational session about viticultural and enological experiments at Stolpman Vineyards, Piedrasassi and Saxum Vineyards. Sashi Moorman of Stolpman discussed the outcome of his vineyard density studies while offering crowd members a chance to gauge the results for themselves.

Skylar and Addie
 
Skylar Stuck serves as senior vice president of sales for Hope Family Wines, including Treana. Addie Pitts and Orion Stang (right image) of Booker Vineyard live and work in the Paso Robles area.
 
At the much-anticipated grand tasting, more than 160 producers poured wines from the U.S., France, South Africa and Australia.
 
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