I love a big, beautiful Cab just as much as the next girl. But when it comes to most wines, individual varietals generally don’t have the legs to stand on their own. As with most things, there are exceptions to every rule, and I’m sure some of my friends (and foes) may disagree (and will likely tell me so)…but in general, blended wines surpass their individual parts in balance, complexity and flavor.
Look at it this way: do you like to eat peanut butter by itself? Or do you prefer it with chocolate or perhaps with some jelly and bread? Like many great taste sensations: sometimes two great tastes, just taste great together. This may sound like a clever jingle (which it is), but it’s also true for wine grapes. In my opinion, there's nothing better than a wine that exhibits the bright, fruity cherry-flavors of a Cabernet Sauvignon softened by the silky-chocolate hints of a Merlot and the lingering complexity of a Cab Franc (much like our 2008 Soul Mate, I might add). Whereas to achieve this with anyone of these individual varietals, you'd be giving up one of these delectable traits. (For the rest of the story, click the READ MORE link below...)
Our 2011 Wine Grape Escapes are better than ever. Every Grape Escape lets you experience wine country during our most exiting and spectacular time of year -- CRUSH! You'll get a taste of winemaking while having a fantastic time in the vineyard and the winery. You'll enjoy fabulous wine country cuisine, premium Paso Robles wines and learn about the region, its wines and how they're made from the people (growers, winemakers, and chefs) that actually make Paso Robles one of the hottest wine regions in the country.
HERE ARE SOME EXCITING NEW (& OLD) FEATURES:
1, 2 and 3-day programs with new pricing and featuresSunday Brunch & Bottle lets you bottle and take home wine that weekendAll-inclusive hotel package options are back! You can once again purchase a "complete" Grape Escape Package with discounted hotel options from four of Paso's best hotels: the Paso Robles Courtyard Marriott, the Holiday Inn Express, La Quinta and La Bellasera Inn & Suites. These are great rates that are only available from First Crush with the purchase of your Wine Grape Escape.
So....sip, crush and stomp your way into a wine lover bliss in the beautiful Paso Robles Wine Country this fall. Space is limited and early registration discounts are available so don't delay, register today!
DETAILS & AVAILABILITY
Download registration form
Come celebrate Wild West Wine Fest this weekend with the Silver Horse Gang – First Crush, Silver Horse & Tassjara Cellars. All three wineries will be circling the wagons to bring you lots of good ol’-fashioned fun. Both at the park and out at the ranch, you can kick up your heels or just kick back with good food, great wine, winemaking activities, vineyard tours, live music and barrel samples.
Be on the lookout for Jessica, Ashley and Jennifer and the Little Pony Gang pouring at the park. All three wineries will be pouring together in the Silver Horse booth located near the entrance at the corner of Pine & 11th Streets. This pretty posse and their friends will be arresting the tastebuds of the good, the bad and the ugly with our great tasting wines. But don’t get out of line, or you might just find yourself locked up in the Wine Jail. If you’re really lucky, you could get deputized.
First Crush will be introducing its 2010 Spring Fling Chardonnay and we have cowboy beads and badges for all you city slickers, country folk and local yokels. You can also get yourself a Tassajara tattoo.
If the park isn’t your scene, blaze your trail out to the Silver Horse ranch Friday, Saturday or Sunday where we’ll also be rustling up some fun. It’s a great place to kick off your wine fest with a leisurely lunch before heading to the park on Saturday or winding it down on Sunday. This weekend just also happens to be Sunday Funday, so the good times won’t end until 7 pm on Sunday. (For the rest of the story, click the read more button below...)
Another first for us, we went to a port blending seminar put on by First Crush Winemaking and Roxo Port Cellars. This was a can’t-miss for us due to our love of port wines, and to have it hosted by Becky and Lowell Zelinski of First Crush was awesome. First Crush puts on seasonal events where they get you out in the vineyards and in the winemaking facilities to learn the process, as Becky says, “from berry to bottle”. If you ever want to learn more about wine and the processes behind it, First Crush provides very educational classes while keeping it a casual atmosphere. After all, we wouldn’t be able to handle the status quo classroom with our personalities, so being mixmasters with port was the coolest way to get learned up!!
Read more on Annie's blog
Do you struggle every year trying to find a special gift for friends and customers? Custom-labeled wine is the solution and First Crush MAKES IT EASY!
At First Crush, there are two ways you can have custom-labeled wines for the holidays. Either one will give you a fabulous, Paso Robles wine – with your name or message on it – to serve with holiday meals or give to your friends, family and customers. There’s no better way to show your friends and customers that you are thinking about them, and they’ll certainly remember you when they’re enjoying your wine.
Option 1: Purchase our pre-bottled premium Paso Robles wines, go to our online label program, choose your label from a wide assortment of templates, create your label and voila! In just a few days, you’ll have your own custom-labeled, Paso Robles wine. You can also provide your own artwork for an additional fee.
We have two pre-made wines for you to choose from: A velvety, traditional 100% 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, or a bold, flavorful blend of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Both of these wines were professionally crafted with the assistance of our winemaker, Steve Kroener of Silver Horse Winery, and have been receiving rave reviews from our customers! Each wine costs $30 per bottle, or $24 for Crush Club members. Also, additional bulk discounts are available.
Option 2: Create your own custom-blended wine. Attend a blending class or schedule your own and create your own custom blend. Create your label online or provide your own artwork, and in less than two weeks, you can have your own custom blended, custom-labeled wine.
We would love to help you create your wine to share with friends and family this holiday season, so give us a call for more information or to schedule your private blending today! Our office numbers is (805) 434-2772, or send us an email inquiry to
Sometimes, there’s a lot more going on inside a bottle of wine than you might think. Even if it says “Cabernet Sauvignon” on the front of the bottle, there’s a good chance that the wine you’re about to enjoy has been blended with an entirely different grape altogether, like Cabernet Franc, or maybe some Merlot. But this blending practice isn’t intended to be an act of deception; it’s a way for winemakers to add their own personal touch and flavor to the wines that they help create, by highlighting a particular flavor or characteristic.
Blending wine is where the true art of winemaking comes into play. While every part of the winemaking process, from growing the grapes to filling the bottles, affect the final flavor of a wine, the blending process can be the most influential, and the most fun. This is because blending is actually more of an art than a science.
Do you know the different wine grape varietals that comprise a Meritage blend? Do you know when and why single varietals started appearing on American wine labels? And what’s the real difference between a GSM, SMG, or even a MGS?
You can learn the answers to these questions (and a whole lot more!) when you attend a First Crush blending workshop. Typically, winemakers are the only ones who get to make the wine, but at First Crush, we make it easy for you and your friends to get in on the fun. Our blending classes (newly dubbed “The Art of Blending Wine”) let you be a winemaker for a day, and create a wine tailored to your personal taste. These events are perfect for wine lovers of all wine-knowledge levels. They give you the chance to learn how different varietals affect how blends taste, pick apart the many nuances of a glass of wine, and much more!
This Saturday, Nov. 20 at 11 a.m. will be our last “scheduled” blending class for 2010. Don’t miss your last chance to experience the Art of Blending Wine, create and purchase your own custom blend, and have a blast with First Crush!
If you can’t make it to our blending workshop this Saturday, schedule your own! From now until December 31, blending classes are available by appointment for groups of four or more, Thursday – Monday from 11-5 PM at our new winemaking workshop out at Silver Horse Winery. Call (805) 434-2772 for more information.
The Art of Blending Wine – Nov. 20, 11 am – 1 pm
Blending wine is truly an art form, and First Crush blending workshops have taken on a new name to reflect what blending is all about. Formerly known as our “Blending Workshop,” the Art of Blending Wine will guide you to a whole new appreciation of wine.
These blending seminars are a fun way to learn about the art of blending wine, sharpen your palate and gain a new understanding of why blending is an important process of making great wines. You’ll also taste some great Paso Robles wines and have the opportunity to purchase your custom blend and create a custom label for your wine that will be made from 100% premium quality Paso Robles wine varietals.
At our newly opened First Crush Wine Workshop, you’ll begin by learning how to evaluate a selection of base wines for aromatics, flavor, texture and aging characteristics. After learning the nuances of each wine, we’ll give you the tools that real winemakers use (graduated cylinders and Erlenmeyer flasks) and let you create several unique blends.
When you’re all finished, you can create your own custom label for your wine using one of First Crush’s beautiful templates, or you can unleash your inner graphic artist, and design your own! Custom wine is an excellent gift for friends, family, and co-workers, and is a big hit at holiday parties and dinner tables.
First Crush makes your custom winemaking experience simple, and fun! Don’t miss it! Includes wine and cheese pairing. (Approx. 2 hours.)
$40/pp, $32 for Crush Club members in advance. $50/pp at the door. You can register by visiting our online store or by calling (805) 434-2772.
Don’t miss this great opportunity for a truly unique winemaking experience. Join us this Saturday, November 13 from 1-3 PM for our Roxo Port Cellars blending workshop.
Just in time for the holidays, you can create your own custom-blended port from Roxo’s great port varietals and put your own name on it! What a great holiday gift or crowd pleaser at those special holiday meals. This is also a fun way to learn about the art of blending wine, sharpen your palate or just gain an understanding of why blending is an important part of the winemaking process.
For this special event, First Crush will be teaming up with Roxo Port Cellars and their winemaker/owner, Jeff Steele to take you beyond the tasting room! Jeff will be rolling out barrels of FOUR of these different delicious port varietals: Touriga Nacional, Souzao, Tinta Roriz, and Bastardo. Then, Jeff and First Crush owner, Becky Zelinski, will help you craft your very own custom blend of premium, Paso Robles port!
Traditional, Portuguese-style ports are typically blended, and this time, you and your friends get to be the winemakers! We’ll also be serving port’s favorite pairings: a selection of fine artisan chocolates and cheese. This way, you’ll know exactly what to serve with your own, custom-made port at your holiday events and family gatherings.
Once you finish blending your port, you can really make it your own by naming and designing your own custom label for your wine. First Crush has a number of beautiful label templates for you to choose from, or you can create one that is completely your own design. Custom wine is an excellent for friends and family during the holidays, because there’s no better way to keep warm during the coming winter months than snuggling in front of a fire with a glass of premium Paso Robles port.
Register by visiting our online store, or calling (805) 434-2772.
Cost is $53 for Crush Club members, and $65 for non-members in advance. $75/pp at the door. Cost includes admission, wine tasting, chocolates and cheese pairings, and a souvenir bottle of your blend.
First Crush blending seminars and wine classes make great company or private holiday parties. You and your group can have a great time learning about Paso Robles wine by helping create your own custom blend, or by simply tasting and enjoying some delicious food and wine pairings. The First Crush winemaking workshop is now open, and located behind the tasting room at Silver Horse winery in San Miguel.
First Crush makes celebrating the holidays in style fun, and provides you with an experience you can’t get anywhere else in Paso. Call us at (805) 434-2772 to get the ball rolling on your next holiday event. Also, don’t forget to ask about our special group discounts, and other holiday promotions! You can also register online for our pre-scheduled events by visiting our online store.
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Winery/Office: 2975 Limestone WayPaso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 434-2772 Fax (805) 434-3337