Hospice du Rhône, one of the very few events that brings people from all over the world right here to Paso Robles. Annie and I were fortunate to attend this amazing wine event for the fifth time on April 27-28. We’re even more fortunate that they started the event back up after stopping it for a few years. Rather than having it yearly, they have decided to hold it every other year. I actually think that’s a great way to do it.
Below you can see the schedule for day one. Due to some work things we only took part in the two seminars and the Rose lunch. The seminars are always fantastic. There is so much information given by the panelists that it’s difficult to retain all of it.
Check-in and Garden Breakfast 8:30 am – 9:15 am
Seminar One: South Africa’s Cinsault Renaissance 9:30 am – 10:45 am
Seminar Two: A 6th Generation Crusade in Barossa Valley 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Rose Lunch 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Opening Tasting 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (early access for media and trade)
Opening Tasting 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Both seminars were great but if I was forced to pick I really enjoyed the Barossa Valley panel. The history of the Hoffman family was absolutely fascinating and the panelists did a great job. Adrian Hoffman of Hoffman Vineyards was on the panel with four winemakers: Paul Heinecke of Soul Growers, Michael Twelftree of Two Hands Winery and Twelftree, Russell Johnstone of RBJ Vintners, and Chris Ringland of North Barossa Vintners Collection. It was moderated by Chuck Hayward of Vinroads.
It was a very in depth look into the farming practices of this one vineyard and how different winemakers make wine from those grapes. One thing that Adrian said that stood out to me is that he doesn’t grow grapes, he grows wine. Just an interesting perspective. We were lucky enough to pull Adrian aside at the Rose lunch and chat with him. Good guy.
The Cinsault seminar was phenomenal as well. A beautiful selection of wines from South Africa from Ryan Mostert from Silwervis, Andrea Mullineux with Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines, Tremayne Smith with The Blacksmith, and Danie Steytler with Kaapzicht Wine Estate. This panel was hosted by Lauren Buzzeo from Wine Enthusiast.
The Rose lunch is arguably our favorite part of the day. Picture a couple of dozen picnic tables set-up with Rose wine for as far as the eye could see. Simply delicious. The food for the lunch was prepared by Chef Nick Nolan of Society Cuisine. It was served family style which was a great change to the event. In past years you had to wait in line. Great change!! Here’s the menu:
Soft Boiled Deviled Egg: boquerones, salsa verde, crostini
Spring Mix Salad: pepitas, avocado, orange, dried apricot, beet vinaigrette
Provencal Style Braised Chicken Thigh: melted fennel, San Marzano tomato, basil, goat cheese polenta gratin
Pork Cassoulet: wild mushrooms, spinach, Great Northern white beans, carrot
Grilled and Roasted Vegetables: mushroom, eggplant, peas and pea tendrils
To Finish: aged cheeses, strawberries, olive oil cake
Superb food to go with all of the different Roses. This lunch is also the perfect time to mingle and visit with new and old friends. John Alban announced Jeb Dunnuck as Person of the Year, which was well deserved. Jeb has done a lot for the Rhone wine segment of the industry.
We want to sincerely thank John Alban, Vicki Carroll, and Faith Wells (along with the crew and somms) for hosting such a fun, informative, and delicious wine event. You guys knocked it out of the park yet again!