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Wine history



On the loose: The Wine History Project is all about, well, history, obviously. This month, the project is celebrating 40 years of winemaking with the Hank Donatoni and the Art of Zinfandel panels at Donatoni Winery in Paso Robles. Hank established Donatoni Winery in Inglewood in 1979, but began his winemaking career a decade earlier in Topanga Canyon. In 1968, Hank purchased a home there that came fully equipped with a wine cellar, two barrels of wine, and 150 grapevines. That first year, he harvested 250 pounds of grapes and produced 16 gallons of wine. In 2000, he purchased 10 acres in the Willow Creek AVA and by 2003, had built a winery production facility and tasting room at 3225 Township Road in Paso ... The 37th annual Paso Robles Wine Festival kick-starts a few days of all things Paso wine on May 16 with a selection of Winemaker Dinners at area restaurants. On May 17, select wineries will feature their library reserve, white/rosé, and futures complemented by fresh and local gourmet bites at the RESERVE Event. You could also get educated on May 18 with a winemaking seminar, or you could just go straight to the main event in Paso's Downtown City Park for the Grand Tasting! The big event will be arranged by regions that focus on Bordeaux-style, Rhone-style, zinfandel, Burgundian-style, and Italian varieties for your tasting pleasure (for tickets and more information, visit ... You can turn that hangover into a hang-on-tight by finishing Winefest Weekend at Hearst Ranch Winery with live music (but not too loud), a glass of wine, and wood-fired pizza. Tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; music and 'zas happening from noon to 3 p.m. on May 19 (Hearst Ranch Winery is located at 7300 North River Road in Paso). Δ

Editor Camillia Lanham will celebrate wood-fired pizza any day of the week. Send your newsy nibbles to

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