On the Central Coast of California, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is where you will see the best views of the rugged Pacific coastline. This area is also home to the Paso Robles wine region. Once known primarily for cattle ranches and grain fields, the region also has a rich history of grape growing by true American farmers.
You will find many noteworthy wineries in Paso Robles producing wines made from local grapes. Miles of vineyards surround over 200 wineries where more than 40 premium wine varieties are produced, including Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne and Zinfandel.
The wines produced in the region are wonderful accompaniments to enjoy with your Thanksgiving dinner. The various varietals will pair well alongside hors d’oeuvres, turkey and all the trimmings, followed by dessert, or they can be enjoyed on their own. Choosing American made wines by hard working passionate people adds to the tradition of the holiday and helps support our industry.
For Chuck and Marlyn Hope, they started their American dream in 1978 after purchasing land in Paso Robles that would soon become Hope Family Wines.
Today, the Hope’s son Austin is Winemaker and President of the family business with the purpose of crafting wines that would embody the same values of hard work, exceptional quality, and spirited adventure that have shaped his family’s life. These values are not only reflected in the name on the bottles, but also in the wines, with five unique labels: Austin Hope, Treana, Liberty School, Quest, and Troublemaker.
Austin played a huge role in the development of the Paso Robles sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas). In 2007, he began the process of creating a Westside AVA for the Paso Robles region, which eventually led to the TTB (Alcoholand Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) petition for the creation of 11 new sub-AVAs for Paso Robles. Both the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot showcase how the creation of these sub-AVAs has allowed winemakers like him to fully express the diversity of the Paso Robles region.
Austin worked with neighboring farmers to help create the Austin Hope 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, from the El Pomar, Creston, Estrella and Geneseo sub-AVAs of Paso Robles. The diversity of the microclimates throughout these vineyards is apparent in the wine’s depth of aromas, including hints of black currant crushed blackberry, along with flavors of dark berries, cherry, cedar, and toasted oak. This is the perfect choice for big red lovers, with Thanksgiving dinner or with dessert.
The Liberty School 2014 Merlot is composed of grapes from vineyards located in the El Pomar district of Paso Robles and Paicines AVA in San Benito County. The loamy soils and unique microclimates of these two regions lend to the dark fruit on the palate of this wine, and the firm yet velvety tannins. The remainder of the fruit comes from cooler vineyard sites in Santa Barbara County, which contributes to the wines poignant acidity.
Other suggested Hope Family Wines for the holidays priced between $15-$35 are:
A smooth easy drinking white wine with floral and tropical aromas and flavors of white peach, vanilla and honey. Serve on its own or with appetizers and salad.
Aromas of Caramel and butterscotch lead to tropical flavors and tastes of rich crème brulee. A goof choice with creamy soups, alongside hors d’oeuvres, and with white meats.
A popular red blend made with a selection of mostly Rhone varietals show aromas and flavors of mixed dark fruits and hints of sage and vanilla. A crowd pleaser pairing well with veggies and turkey – both white and dark meat.
Quest Proprietary Red 2016
A new wine by Austin Hope, a full-bodied red blend made mostly of cabernet sauvignon, rich yet velvety soft with a long lasting finish. Serve with pasta, white and red meat entrees, and dessert.
For more information and to order wines direct from the winery, visit hopefamilywines.com
JoAnn Actis-Grande is the Wine Editor for Taste of the Seacoast, and writes wine and travel columns for Coastal Home and TheFiftyBest.com. She also writes a weekly column “Let’s Talk Wine” for Seacoast Media Group - Wine Jag Journeys