My guest this week is Paul Hodgins, the author of The Winemakers of Paso Robles.  A massive coffee table book with spectacular photography by Julia Pérez that presents more than 50 winemakers from one of the hottest and fastest growing wine regions in America…Paso Robles.  Learn more about this great book

Great winemakers have the hands of a farmer, the mind of a scientist, and the heart of a poet. The Winemakers of Paso Robles captures all of these characteristics beautifully, with stunning photography and intimate profiles of 50+ amazing winemakers of California’s hottest wine region.  Most wine books have pictures of elegant tasting rooms, or stately wineries, mostly barrel rooms or sweeping vineyard landscape photos that take your breath away. This book focuses more on the human stories of these talented artists, telling the fascinating story of Paso Robles through the lens of their struggles, sacrifices, desires and accomplishments.

This gorgeous book is the culmination of the entire 2016 vintage spent embedded with 50+ of the AVAs most influential winemakers. From pre-dawn grape-picking to late night punchdowns and everything in between, Argentine portrait photographer Julia Perez took advantage of extraordinary access to capture the soul of Paso. Author Paul Hodgins spend hundreds of hours interviewing winemakers, vintners, historians, and wine professionals of all stripes to create intimate profiles that take the reader beyond the cellar door.  In these pages you will meet a group of fascinating, passionate people, with amazing diversity. Athletes and scientists, writers, and engineers, successful businessmen and scrappy service workers. There are journeymen from every corner of the world, and there are local kids done good. Some are seasoned pros and some are relative neophytes – and many on their second, or even third career. They overcame tremendous adversity, made enormous sacrifices and risked everything.

They have come from different places and circumstances, they have different methods, and experiences, and philosophies. But they all share a single quality: a burning obsession with making wine that lives up to their dreams. Get a copy of the book NOW!

About Paul Hodgins:
Paul Hodgins has been an award-winning journalist for the Orange County Register for more than 20 years. With a doctorate in music from USC and credits as a dance and theater composer, Paul began his career as a performing arts educator and critic. He is the Register’s wine writer, penning a weekly column called Good Libations.  Paul Says:

“As the wine writer for The Orange County Register, one of my favorite topics over the last decade has been the meteoric rise of Paso Robles as a wine region. When I first visited in the 1980s, there were more cattle than people in the area and only a handful of winemakers. Now there are well over 200 bonded wineries nestled in the hills and plains surrounding this quaint Central California town, and a few of them have been showered with praise, prizes and 100-point scores. Robert Parker, an early champion, thinks Paso Robles holds Napa’s potential, but on a much larger scale. Within its 11 sub-regions are a vast array of micro-climates, soils and geologies, and a group of artisanal winemakers, many still under 40, are cracking the land’s secrets to refine their mastery of Bordeaux and Rhone varieties as well as Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Italian and Spanish grapes. In The Winemakers of Paso Robles I profile more than 50 winemakers and winery owners, letting each tell his or own unique story about the passion, toil, happy accidents and sublime insights that have led to making great wine in Paso Robles. Photographer Julia Perez provides a wealth of intimate and beautiful photos that reveal the indomitable, quirky and charming personalities of these singular men and women. This is the first book to look in detail at the people behind one of America’s most important new wine regions.”

Learn more about Paso Robles wineries, restaurants, lodging and more!

Good Life Guy’s Wine of the Week:
2016 Daou Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Blackberry, cassis, plum and currant aromas greet the nose, surrounded by black olives, anise, leather and cigar box. Notes of graphite and crushed stone mingle with just a hint of cool mint. Robust and full bodied, an undercurrent of restrained power is palpable just below the surface at the core of this wine. Firm, fine grained tannins provide ample backbone for the layers of boysenberry, black cherry, licorice and dried herb flavors. Meaty and fleshy while retaining an overall elegance, it finishes with authority and finesse.
100% Cabernet, 10 months in 60% new French oak, 14.2% ABV

Pick up a bottle or three at Jacob Liquor Exchange and join us!  🙂

THE DAOU BROTHERS As children growing up in Lebanon, Georges and Daniel fell in love with the rural way of life during visits to their grandfather’s ancient olive groves. Their world was turned upside down, however, when the Daou family home was struck by an errant rocket at the start of the Lebanese civil war. The Daous were forced to emigrate to Paris and later moved to Southern France. It was here-surrounded by vineyards that reminded them of their childhood-that Georges and Daniel first began to dream of a life in wine. THE DREAM Georges and Daniel came to the United States to study engineering at the University of San Diego and graduated at the top of their classes. Industrious and driven to succeed, they soon started their own networking technology company. Ten years later they would find themselves at the height of their industry and ready to return to their roots. It was now time for their winemaking dream to prevail. VISION Their vision was to produce unrivaled Cabernet Sauvignon. They spent years searching for the ideal terroir, led by research and instincts that would ultimately defy the paradigm. Indeed, the moment that they first set eyes on this staggering mountain in the heart of the Adelaida District, they recognized it as the place they had imagined all along-a singular property with an impeccable confluence of soil, aspect and climate. Their search was now over, and their pursuit of the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon had begun. HISTORIC HOFFMAN MOUNTAIN RANCH The greatness of DAOU Mountain was foretold decades earlier when renowned winemaking authority Andre Tchelistcheff hailed it as “a jewel of ecological elements.” Then known as Hoffman Mountain Ranch, the property produced notable wines and was widely considered the birthplace of modern winemaking in Paso Robles. However, its full potential lay unfulfilled for more than 30 years. When Georges and Daniel acquired the original Hoffman Mountain Ranch property, they began restoring the original redwood winery to preserve a vital part of Paso Robles history. Their intent was to carry the torch that Tchelistcheff and the Hoffmans lit a half century ago-and to finally fulfill the mountain’s long-held promise.

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