Paso’s Alta Colina Winery is all about simplicity. Estate-grown Rhônes are farmed organically and produced with a gentle, no-nonsense finesse that speaks volumes in the glass. Standing inside Alta Colina’s bright new tasting room located off Adelaida Road, you can actually taste and see where their fruit is grown: on their green, gorgeous mountain property. Alta Colina’s 2012 Claudia Cuvée (made from 100 percent estate marsanne) is plush, creamy, and a striking golden hue. In the wine world, many people talk about “true varietal character,” but not many wines shine with such heart and clarity. I recommend spending an afternoon chewing the fat with the winery owners—the Tillman family, always up for talking at length about their beloved grapes. The vineyard really is part of the family, too.
• Alta Colina’s 2012 Claudia Cuvée—$32 a bottle; 2825 Adelaida Rd., Paso Robles.
When Lone Madrone moved from its 46 West location to Adelaida Road, its little goat petting zoo went with it. I do love to pet a scruffy goat or two, but a really delicious lineup of wine can make me forget even the furriest of critters. Newcomers Four Lanterns Winery purchased the tasting room—and 35 acres of rolling, vineyard-dotted hills—in 2013, making great use of the rustic space. Superstar winemaker Amy Butler has been having a ball playing with the estate Rhône fruit, which ranges from sultry syrah to clean, lemony picpoul blanc (a floral white quite rare around these parts). Dying to try this exotic varietal? Stop by the Paso Robles tasting room and take a gulp of Four Lanterns’ 2013 Apricity, a citrusy-honeysuckle delight. In case you were wondering, “apricity” means “to be warmed by the sun.” It’s an apt name, for sure.
• Four Lanterns’ 2013 Apricity Picpoul Blanc—$28 a bottle; 2485 Highway 46 West, Paso Robles.
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