When it comes to wine from California, those from Napa and Sonoma Valley get most of the attention, but high-quality wine grapes grow in many other places in the Golden State.
One of the lesser-known wine regions is Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County. Located roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and about six miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the large Paso Robles wine region experiences very hot summer temperatures, a condition that isn’t normally good for growing high-quality wine grapes. However, because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Paso Robles also experiences very cool nights and early mornings. This difference in temperatures, which is known as diurnal range, routinely exceeds 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the mid-summer months.
A large diurnal range is good for many types of wine grapes because the cool evenings allow the grapes to retain acidity to balance the fruitiness they get from the daytime heat. These conditions are perfect for California’s historic grape, Zinfandel, but also for many of the grapes that grow in the Bordeaux and Rhone Valley wine regions in France. In total, more than 40 different wine grape varieties are grown in Paso Robles, making it one of the most diverse wine regions in the United States. For this reason, many wine aficionados see Paso Robles wines as hidden gems.
One of the most acclaimed Paso Robles producers is JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, which was named the 2015 American Winery of the Year by “Wine Enthusiast Magazine.” For the month of June at West Indies Wine Company, two of Justin’s wines will be on sale, including its Cabernet Sauvignon. On sale for CI$26.49 for the month, this wine demonstrates that high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon from California can be purchased for an affordable price.