When writing a blog, one never thinks about the last blog actually being the last. So it appeared last June 30, when I left the vines and wines for a 7th back surgery in San Diego. Three surgeries and 3 1/2 months later I am back home after 12, 4, and then 49 consecutive days in the hospital. Follow that up with a one month stay in a step-down care facility next to the hospital, and the last
3 1/2 months have literally disappeared. Gone. Finished. Worse, I was deprived of caring for my vines, watching them mature, fine tuning them, watering, adding nutrients, thinning, pruning, waiting, watching. Fortunately, our vineyard manager, Dewight Jones, and good friend, Doug Kruse, of Jack Creek Cellars, were here to oversee the vineyard, and they did yeomans' jobs under some downright frightful conditions.
The unseasonable heat of May revisited the Paso area again in late September for almost 2 weeks with temps above 105 degrees on a number of days. Our recently grafted lower vineyard of Pinot Noir and Sauv Blanc got hammered, but our signature Cab Sauv and Syrah did famously. Yes, we have a smaller crop than planned, but the quality is once again non-pareil. Tough as this year was, our Cab and Syrah from our mountain vineyard will once again be something special.
The death knell of a good blog is irregular or infrequent writings or postings. If that is the case, then Pasodocwine blog should be on life support. Instead, however, we returned home to find our Paso Bordo prominently displayed in the October issue of Wine Enthusiast, with a 92 point rating and a very nice write- up on Cerro Prieto Vineyard & Cellars...with our Cab/Syrah blend featured as one of the top half dozen of California's Big Bold Blends.
Additionally, the Paso Robles AVA was recognized for what it now is...a very legitimate player/producer of fine wines in California, and Cerro Prieto is smack dab in the heart of the Big Bold Blend area. Altho we are influenced by the high temps of Paso AVA, we additionally have the low-lows from the Templeton Gap influence. Five wineries/vineyards received special recognition in Wine Enthusiast: L'Aventure, Linne Calodo, Cerro Prieto, Jack Creek Cellars, and Saxum.(Booker should have been in there, too). All are within the "Willow Creek"area(which one day will be a sub-appellation of Paso AVA). As Justin Smith of Saxum said, "When you are getting a wine from the Willow Creek area, you know what you are getting."
So things could have worked out better healthwise, but the end result of our labor of love, work, time, expense, and devotion were all well rewarded...albeit in our absence. The only sad thing is our Paso Bordo inventory is now down to less than 80 cases, so if you wish to try some, sooner is probably better than later.