If you haven’t visited Bushong Vintage Company in downtown Paso Robles, you’re missing out. Between the Star Wars pinball game, the vinyl record collection, and of course, the wine, you are sure to enjoy you’re visit. I’ve had the opportunity to chat with Jason Bushong, the owner, a couple of times and he’s a really interesting guy so, let’s learn more about him.
Matt: If you weren’t in the wine industry, what would you be doing?
Jason: A consumer advocate… or a sci-fi writer.
Matt: What interests/ hobbies do you have outside of the wine world?
Jason: I’m a collector of high quality, vintage audio equipment, and vinyl records.
Matt: What is your favorite wine region not including Paso Robles?
Matt: What’s your current favorite wine/ variety/ winery to drink?
Jason: Our (Bushong Vintage Company) 2018 Barbera, named “Svefn-g-englar” which is Icelandic and roughly translates into “Sleep Angels” or “Sleep Walking”.
Matt: What is your favorite aspect of the wine business?
Jason: All of the creative flexibility and opportunities for creative expression! and meeting and connecting with so many different kinds of people from all walks of life.
Matt: How about least favorite?
Jason: My knee pain during harvest. Brutal.
Matt: How long have you been in the industry?
Jason: 24 years.
Matt: What different parts of the wine industry have you worked in?
Jason: ALL, but mainly production.
Matt: Where are you from originally?
Jason: Born in Ohio, grew up primarily in Riverside, CA.
Matt: How long have you been in the Paso Robles area?
Jason: 20 Years.
Matt: How many vintages have you worked?
Jason: 26 total, 23 as head winemaker.
Matt: What was your first job in the industry?
Jason: Intern in Humboldt County for Fieldbrook Winery.
Matt: What is your first wine memory?
Jason: I moved out of my mother’s home when I was a teenager in Riverside and lived with a bunch of friends when I was still in high school; one of my roommates shared a bottle of Santa Barbara County Chardonnay during that time and “the rest is history”.
Matt: Favorite part about Paso?
Jason: The diversity; especially in AVA’s; we aren’t really defined as any one particular varietal-centric region so there is a lot of room for creativity without needing to compromise on quality.
Matt: Least favorite part about Paso?
Jason: Construction is the bane of my existence at the moment.
Matt: Where do you see the industry in the Paso Robles region going? Do you see any interesting new trends or directions?
Jason: The Napafication of Paso Robles.
Matt: When you’re not drinking wine, what’s in your glass?
Jason: Water or a crisp beer but not IPA.
Matt: What are some of your favorite food and wine pairings?
Jason: We recently paired our Albariño with ceviche made by Love.Joy.Eat. catering for a Downtown Wine District stroll that was INCREDIBLE.
Matt: Why do you think Paso Robles has become such a big wine destination?
Jason: Excellent wines and increased marketing!
Matt: How many acres of vines do you have?
Matt: How many cases are you producing each year?
Jason: +/- 1,000.