Two weeks ago Derek and I took a wonderful road trip and stopped in Paso Robles. This was my first trip to the area, and I was very excited to taste through some of the wines. I wrote a bit about this on our blog, though I don't really feel like I did the trip or the wineries justice. It's a fantastic place, with amazing wines and incredibly friendly people. Though I do love Sonoma, I think Paso may be the region that has finally brought me around and made me a full-fledged California wine drinker.

In Paso, besides Zinfandel, they focus on Rhone varietals. These are the grapes grown in the Rhone region of France such as the red (or black) grapes Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache and the white grapes Roussane, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. The people in Paso are making some great wines and experimenting with blends which is a nice thing to see in the wine world. In Europe, where the wine laws are old and quite strict, winemakers are mostly forced to grow only the grapes allowed in their region. In Paso, wine makers are growing grapes from all over Europe like Tempranillo, Tannat, Petit Verdot and Moscato, with some very interesting and tasty results.

Villa Creek was the second winery we visited on our tasting tour. There was a lovely young lady there to pour for us whose name is unfortunately lost to me, most likely due to the fact that we tasted a lot of wines with her. Their wines were classic Rhone wines with a distinct American twist; more full and round, but surprisingly balanced. The owners of Villa Creek also own a great restaurant of the same name in town, where Derek and I dined later that night. We chose to feature their white for this post, because it's summertime but their reds are awesome as well and we added a few to our growing cellar. The Villa Creek 2008 White is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier. The bouquet is amazingly aromatic with citrus, honey and white flower notes. On the palate the wine is silky and full, with a really nice feel. The fruit is round and rich, tasting of pear and mandarin oranges. The finish has a nice bit of white pepper spice. The perfect white for a hot summer evening.