Paso Robles winery, region nominated for Wine Enthusiast awards

jrobillard@thetribunenews.comSeptember 25, 2013 

The vineyards of Paso Robles.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Wine Enthusiast magazine is giving plenty of praise for Paso Robles in a nod to the growing popularity of the wine region.

For its 2013 Wine Star Awards, the magazine has nominated Hope Family Wines of Paso Robles for American Winery of the Year. As well, Paso Robles is a contender for Wine Region of the Year.

The magazine’s editors say Paso Robles is “having a moment in the sun, attracting truckloads of dynamic young talent unafraid to experiment with grape varieties and winemaking techniques.”

In the Wine Region of the Year category, Paso Robles is up against Walla Walla Valley in Washington state, Douro Valley in Portugal, Rias Baixas in Spain and Stellenbosch in South Africa.

As for Hope Family Wines, the magazine praises the five-brand operation for bringing “renown to the up-and-coming Central Coast.”

The Hope family has farmed in Paso Robles for more than 30 years. The winery consists of brands Liberty School, Treana, Candor, Austin Hope and Troublemaker.

Also in the running for American Winery of the Year are Paumanok in Long Island, N.Y.; Ponzi in Willamette Valley, Ore.; Rodney Strong in Sonoma; and Schramsberg in Calistoga.

There are 12 Wine Star Awards categories in all, including Sommelier of the Year, European Winery of the Year and Retailer of the Year, in which Trader Joe’s is a nominee.

Winners will be announced in a special Dec. 31 Wine Enthusiast issue and will receive their awards at a gala in New York City on Jan. 27.

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Wine Enthusiast also featured six young Paso Robles winemakers in its October issue who are contributing to what the magazine characterized as the wine region’s “renaissance.” Writer Steve Heimoff notes that in “many respects, Paso Robles has become the most exciting appellation in California.”

Featured winemakers were:

  • Guillaume Fabre, 34, owner and winemaker of Clos Solene.
  • Aaron Jackson, 30, owner and winemaker of Aaron Wines.
  • Amy Butler, 37, owner and winemaker of Ranchero Cellars.
  • Matt Villard, 31, owner and winemaker of MCV Wines.
  • Brian Brown, 34, winemaker at ONX Wines.
  • Nicholas R. Elliott, 31, owner and winemaker of Nicora.

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