Get to Know Paso Robles

Get acquainted with the California wine region at a Grand Tasting next week

With more than 180 wineries and 26,000 vineyard acres, Paso Robles, an area located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is California's fastest growing wine region. More than 40 varietals are grown in this fertile region (with zinfandel its standout grape), which boasts a greater day-to-night temperature swing than any other appellation in California, plus distinct micro-climates, diverse soils and a longer-than-average growing season.

On Tuesday, March 10, Chicago wine enthusiasts will have a chance to get to know the Paso Robles wine region better with a day-long event at the River East Art Center. More than 25 Paso Robles wineries and 100 wines will be represented at the event, which will include a technical seminar and walk-around tasting for the trade and the media from 1-5PM, followed by the Grand Tasting, which will be open to the public from 6-8PM.

Among the wineries that will be represented are J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Robert Hall Winery, Silver Horse Winery and STANGER Vineyards. Highlights of the event include tastings of affordable red and white selections that retail for less than $20 a bottle, plus artisanal cheeses and passed hors d'oeuvres including flavorful offerings like Moroccan-spiced lamb with minted yogurt and roasted butternut squash, and blue cheese-and-fried sage pizza.

Tickets to the Paso Robles Grand Tasting are $45 per person in advance; $55 at the door. Until March 6, you can purchase two tickets for $75. Call 800-549-WINE (9463) or visit the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Web site to buy tickets.

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