Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
04.29.2014  
 

Paso Robles Winemakers Praise Cabernet

CAB Collective educates tastemakers about region's most widely grown grape

 
by Kate Lavin
 
 
“paso
 
Matt Kettmann asks a question of Michael Mooney, co-owner of Chateau Margene in Paso Robles, Calif., during a panel discussion about the region's Cabernet Sauvignon on April 24.
Paso Robles, Calif.—With standout wineries like Tablas Creek and Tobin James Cellars specializing in Rhone varieties and Zinfandel, respectively, even regular visitors to the Paso Robles wine region might be surprised to learn that Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varieties make up 55% of the acreage planted to wine grapes in the Paso Robles AVA.

Cabernet producers from the area organized to host wine professionals and consumers last week in an attempt to educate them about Paso Robles’ most widespread wine variety. The event—CABs of Distinction—was hosted by the Paso Robles CAB Collective from April 23 to 26.

On April 24 Matt Kettmann, senior editor at the Santa Barbara Independent and contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast, moderated a discussion between four Paso Robles winemakers to reveal their perspectives on the noble grape.

CAB Collective
Winemaker Daniel Daou, who co-founded 18,000-case Daou Vineyards & Winery with his brother Georges (read about their winery here), formed the Paso Robles CAB Collective in 2012 with the idea of raising the bar—and awareness—for the region’s Cabernet Sauvignon.

“The CAB Collective came together because in the past wineries in Paso Robles were shy about making Cabernet Sauvignon that earns respect. So we’re working together on collaborating and elevating the flavor of our vineyards,” Daniel Daou told an audience of sommeliers and members of the media who gathered at the Paso Robles Inn for the panel discussion. “CAB Collective is open to anyone from Paso that makes Cabernet Sauvignon.”

Before selecting a site to grow grapes, the Daou brothers scoured California looking for terroir similar to that found in French vineyards. The pair’s search brought them to Paso Robles, Daou said. “Calcareous clay, which is the same you’re going to find in Burgundy and the Rhone region, combined with a high elevation gave us a chance to live the dream.”

Reaching out
For many winery owners, living the dream would mean connecting with the largest nearby consumer wine market: in this case Southern California. “We know they have to drive through Paso to get to Napa,” Michael Mooney, co-owner of 1,300-case Chateau Margene outside Creston, Calif., said of Southern California’s wine-drinking population. 

Daou welcomed the chance to point out differences between Napa Cabernet and the same varietal grown in Paso Robles. “We’re not trying to taste like Napa,” he said. “Ten years from now in Paso Robles I would like to see really high quality vineyards. I would like to see a change in perception in the market, where Paso has the perception for high-quality, distinct classical Cabernets.”

For his part, Daou would like to produce complex wines with more minerality. “Paso has established itself as having affordable Cabernet with a lot of potential, but I think it’s time to go the other way” with high-end offerings, he said.

Growing in Paso
The mild climate in Paso Robles allows growers to ripen fruit with little interference from the elements. “What we found in Creston is that we can control the viticulture, canopy management, watering,” said Mooney, who uses deficit irrigation and shoot thinning to grow smaller berries with concentrated flavors.

However growers in some areas of San Luis Obispo County may have challenges ahead. In August 2013 the county’s Board of Supervisors enacted a ban on new water use (including the planting of grapevines) within the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. (See “Digging Into Groundwater in Paso Vineyards.") 

Many vineyard owners were quick to specify that their properties are outside the protected basin area. Still, grapegrower David Parrish of Parrish Family Vineyard said that water would be his top priority if he were looking for vineyard property in the Paso Robles AVA.

“Water would be No. 1, and I’d make sure I had an area that had enough growing degree days,” said Parrish, whose grandfather planted 740 acres of grapes in Atascadero, Calif., about 13 miles south of Paso Robles.

New AVAs
For years the amount of water and growing degree-days for the region have been split into two distinct areas: east and west, referring to vineyard locations on the east or west side of Highway 101. The west side is known for smaller operations with a cool growing climate. The east side, with its lower elevation farther from the coastal influence, is known for a higher number of growing degree-days. This side is hampered by the region’s scarcity of water.

The days of east vs. west Paso may be drawing to a close—the conversation “needs to go away,” according to Mooney—as 11 subappellations come closer to TTB approval. (See “Paso Winegrowers Back on TTB Track.”)

The move, heralded by some, has others worried. “Paso Robles is not far enough down the road from a media standpoint to start breaking it down into smaller pieces,” Mooney said. “For me, let’s spread the word about Paso Robles.”

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 $627 million
5%
$8,028 million
5%
April 2014 $595 million $7,623 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 $184 million
17%
$1,890 million
15%
April 2014 $157 million $1,649 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 406
34%
252
19%
April 2014 302 212
     
 
MORE » Released on 05.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • May 26
     
    Mendocino Economic Summit
     
  • May 28-29
     
    Direct2015
     
  • May 28-30
     
    WIneMaker Annual Conference
     
  • May 28-30
     
    International Chardonnay Symposium
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: $10 Wine Would Cost $40-plus Under COOL »
 
As a Napa Valley producer, we have spent 30 years building our brands in the...
Reader: Pete Przybylinski
 
Article: Be a Sustainable Wine Ambassador »
 
A great idea. All TR employees at every responsible estate should be encouraged/required to become...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Historic Napa Winery Standing Tall Again »
 
It would be nice to know that Trost Jacking and Heavy Moving is the structural...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Women for WineSense offering scholarships »
 
This is fantastic! Women in Wine Education must find ways to continue their individual pursuit...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Historic Napa Winery Standing Tall Again »
 
Very Interesting, I'm so glad the building is successfully being saved.
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Tasting Room Associate
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Regional Sales Manager
 Sf/Bay Area, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Epicure By Jcb Manager
 Yountville, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Retail Sales
 Sonoma, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Marketing & Social Med...
 Sonoma, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Market Manager
 Various, NA
Sales and Marketing
 Region Sales Manager-M...
 Minneapolis, MN
Sales and Marketing
 Chain Account Speciali...
 Seattle, WA
Sales and Marketing
 Area Sales Manager In ...
 Atlanta, GA
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Representative
 Manhattan, NY
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.