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Wine Spectator: Will Breaking Up Be Good for Paso Robles?

October 13, 2014

Paso Robles wine just got a lot more complicated—but many local winemakers say that’s for the better. Seven years after it was originally petitioned, the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has approved 11 new American Viticultural Areas (AVA) within the existing Paso Robles viticultural area. The move will subdivide Paso’s 614,000 acres—the largest un-subdivided AVA within California—into more distinct winegrowing regions. By comparison, Napa and Sonoma are both smaller in terms of acreage, but contain 16 sub-AVAs each.

The 11 new viticultural areas are: Adelaida District, Creston District, El Pomar District, Paso Robles Estrella District, Paso Robles Geneseo District, Paso Robles Highlands District, Paso Robles Willow Creek District, San Juan Creek, San Miguel District, Santa Margarita Ranch and Templeton Gap District. The hope is that these distinct regions within Paso Robles will adequately reflect the region’s diversity of soil types, rainfall, elevation and temperatures.

“I am extremely excited to start using the AVAs on my labels,” said Saxum’s Justin Smith. “We source fruit from mainly the Willow Creek AVA, but also have a vineyard in the Adelaida AVA. Saying Paso Robles on the label didn’t really tell you a whole lot about the wine. Paso was just too huge and diverse.” Wine Spectator has the full story.


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