Good Pinot from Paso?

El Paso De Roblas is a warm wine growing region in Central California. A bit inland, temperatures frequently get into the 100′s in the summer, making it an ideal location for many Rhone varietals and Zinfandel. But the calcareous Limestone soils in some areas have also lent themselves to the growing of Pinot Noir. Since 1963 the oldest Pinot vineyard in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties has been grown, and is offered by Adelaida Cellars.

Adelaida is located above the fog line on the western side of Paso Robles, but temperatures at their higher elevations are never too extreme, which allows for the making of a fine Pinot Noir. It’s the only Pinot Noir in the area that I have had, and although finicky, Adelaida has been able to mold this varietal into a great wine. If you ever have a chance to try the 2002 HMR Estate Pinot Noir, taste it up against some Pinot’s from the Santa Ynez Valley, very similar climates and orientation to the ocean, but a welcome difference in taste from the unique soils of both areas.

Or better yet, stop by and treat yourself to some of Adelaida’s other fine wines, like the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Viking Estate Reserve, a very fruity complex wine, with lots of good tannic muscle for aging. The staff is warm, welcoming and unpretentious, a welcome change over some other highly rated wineries in the area. When I was down for the Harvest Festival this year I was able to sneak into a private tasting of some of the reserve wines hosted by Paul Sowerby (pictured), National Sales Manager, who was very well spoken, easy to listen to, and knowledgeable. All of the wines were delicious, and all were cabs, a surprise for me since I haven’t had Cabernet Sauvignon I liked from Paso until trying these.

For more information on Adelaida Cellar’s, visit their website [Adelaida.com]