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HELLO Opening LOAM Letter BABY

LoamBabyV5_PasoRoblesIssue

HELLO

HELLO Opening LOAM Letter BABY There has never been a more interesting time to visit Paso Robles. This sprawling, diverse region is in the midst of a renaissance across its 11 dynamic sub-appellations. Gone are the days of old, when Paso Robles could be reduced to a facile definition: A hot, dusty, cowboy town, with an east side and a west side, producing mostly big, overly-extracted wines. Today Paso Robles is rightly recognized for what it is deep down: an exceptional, maritime-influenced appellation, capable of growing a much broader range of varieties. Noteworthy wines of refinement are now being produced not only from Bordeaux varieties, but also Italian and Rhone plantings. When I was consulting in Paso Robles many years ago, this region was known mostly for big Cabernet Sauvignons and Zinfandels. While working on this issue, I dined at a few of Paso’s finer restaurants. One evening, I asked a couple seated near me what wine they enjoyed most while visiting Paso. Without hesitation, they both replied, “The Picpoul at Adelaida.” Times have changed. The community of winemakers in Paso Robles is exploring this region’s diversity with great gusto. It’s still possible, and relatively affordable, to experiment with plantings (compared to the Napa Valley, for example, where land prices are so high that few are bold or fiscally adventurous enough to plant varieties that fall outside the Bordeaux paradigm). This is great news for the consumer, as you can try a great number of affordable varietal wines from Paso and decide what you like best. The township of Paso Robles has evolved greatly, as well. In the “Things to Do in Paso Robles” section of this issue, I highlight several points of interest in this coastal, country town. Picturesque and easy to navigate by foot, the Paso town square includes a number of fine restaurants, a great little movie theatre, an old-fashioned sweets shop, the notorious Pine Street Saloon, boutiques and Studios on the Park, an interactive gallery space where visitors can view, as well as make, art. Central to all of this are two good hotels: The Paso Robles Inn, and the more high-end and romantic Hotel Cheval. If you’re planning to visit Paso Robles, try and set aside at least a full weekend; you’ll want extra time for some relaxing drives through the astoundingly breathtaking Paso Robles countryside. While there, I pulled my car over more times than I can count, just to take in a raptor drifting high above a California-oak-dotted valley, or to watch cows graze off in the distance with the Pacific Ocean as their backdrop. If you love road trips, this is an appellation for you. So, let’s make this trip together… 01

TABLE OF Opening Letter 01 Shambala Cartoon 03 What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been 04 Visiting the Royal Nonesuch Farm 09 Of Cabernet, Crochet and a Washboard 15 Building Towards a Legacy 19 My Paso Is… 25 The Numbers Game Cartoon 30 Things to Do in Paso Robles 31 Setting Paso to Music: Tyler Russell of Nelle 35 8 Days a Week: A Week in the Life of Cellar Hand Nico Fritz 38 Proust Questionnaire: Orion Stang of Dilecta 44 Acknowledgements 47 Dedication 48