Eastside Rhone Rangers

December 6, 2006 

Eastside Paso winemakers, too, are producing some of the best syrah, grenache, viognier and roussanne outside of France. Stop by these wineries to get in on the Rhone Revolution.

Tucked off Highway 46 East in a small industrial park, you’ll find Garretson Wine Company (2323 Tuley Court, Suite 101, 805-239-2074). The location may be nondescript, but the wines – and their maverick creator – are anything but. Mat Garretson is a leader of the Rhone revolution and a co-founder of Hospice du Rhone, the largest celebration of Rhone varietals in the world. "Well, we’ve never heard of you, either," reads the opening of Garretson’s Web site, which also touts, "No cab. No chard. No merlot. No crybabies." You’ve been warned.

Another mile or so down Highway 46 East is Robert Hall Winery (3443 Mill Road, 805-239-1616), the brainchild of Hall’s 1970s trip along the Rhone River. His love of the region’s wines led him to search the county for the perfect place to start his own winery, which he did in 1995. In addition to other wines, the grenache, syrah, viognier and two blends, Rhone de Robles and Blanc de Robles, are particularly good. And spend some time poking around the extensive grounds, new hospitality center and underground caves.

Nearly across the street is Eberle Winery (3810 Highway 46 East, 805-238-9607). Gary Eberle was the first to plant syrah in Paso Robles and the first California vintner to produce a wine made from 100 percent syrah. Today, his boutique winery offers voignier, roussanne and syrah rosé as well as syrah. Plus you can tour the cool (in both senses) underground wine caves. There’s also a scenic deck for picnics and bocce ball.

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