From blogs.babble.com - posted by Julievr, September 2, 2011
In celebration of California Wine Month, throughout September wineries, hotels and tour operators throughout the Golden State are offering affordable ways to experience wine country. If you’re looking to get a little extra out of summer and take advantage of a slower travel season, this is a great opportunity to explore California wine country. Deals and discounts for wine lovers during September – California Wine Month:
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When someone talks about wine culture, most of us think about how our society is influenced by the highly regarding beverage we all love so much. But to real winos, wine culture takes on a whole new meaning.
Cultured wine yeasts are widely used in both home and commercial winemaking. They have been a boon to the industry and give winemakers control over the taste and development of the wines we drink. Most wine drinkers probably aren’t even aware that winemakers choose yeasts for their wines like women choose the right shoes to match their outfits. Nor do they know the important role these microscopic transformers (a mere 8/25,000ths of an inch long) play. There are literally hundreds of cultured yeast strains available for wines. Each of them have their own distinct characteristics – just like the grape varietal they are used on – and can significantly impact the taste and style of a wine.
Andre Austin, owner of CellarWise (a winery supply store in Paso Robles) is a 15-year veteran in the industry and he knows his yeasts . He will be the featured guest speaker at the July First Crush winemaking workshop: “Yeasts & Yields,” Saturday, July 23 from 2-5 p.m. at the First Crush Wine Workshop.
Austin will talk about proper yeast re-hydration, how to select yeast strains and conduct a comparative tasting with wines made with different types of yeasts. (To read the rest of the story, follow 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...)
Your first glass of a great 2011vintage wine is being made right now. I know, I know…you hear it all the time: “great winemaking starts in the vineyard.” But is really is true, but more importantly, great grape growing begins with pruning. And there’s no better way to get an appreciation for what it really means than to experience it.
Pruning is the heart of grape growing and the process on which everything else depends. Training and pruning vines to establish a good fruiting framework is pivotal to producing premium wine grapes – the ones you rely upon for a great glass of wine.
It’s pruning season in Paso Robles right now. All over the AVA, you can see the spindly jungles of vines transformed into neat, well-groomed rows of soldier-like trunks standing at attention just waiting for their next orders.
The new First Crush wine workshop is now open at the Silver Horse Winery. If you’ve never made a trip out the winery, you should do so. We’re a bit off of the beaten path but worth the scenic drive. Due to our country location, the area can sometimes get a little wet and muddy during the winter months forcing us to keep the doors shut.
For the month of January and February, the workshop will be open for pre-scheduled and private events. Our scheduled events are listed on our online Calendar. Beginning in March, we’ll be open every weekend and by appointment throughout the week. The First Crush wine workshop is the perfect place for group events and tours, and we’ll take groups as small as four for blending workshops and tasting classes so give us a call at (877-82-CRUSH) to schedule yours.
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe we already have another vintage under our belt.
We’re looking forward to an exciting year at First Crush. We have a lot of new and unique events, classes and tours planned for 2011. We will also be switching to a monthly enewsletter format so be sure to read The Pressing News to keep up to date with First Crush events and promotions, as well as updates on what’s happening locally and in the winery. The newsletter will feature stories about our Crush Club partners, viticulture and wine tips, and of course our popular Wine Trivia. Watch your emailbox for the all-new Pressing News in February.
During the rest of the month, we’ll send out periodic Pressing Updates when we have something exciting to say, and post pictures and stories on the blog and sharing them on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not our Friend or Follower, be sure to “like us” and/or follow us to ensure you receive all the latest updates from First Crush!
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.
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Winery/Office: 2975 Limestone WayPaso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 434-2772 Fax (805) 434-3337