A California Adventure

Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco lies California’s largest wine region by acreage under vine. No, your knowledge of California geography isn’t off, we’re not talking about either Napa or Sonoma, it’s actually Paso Robles. While it has been gaining in notoriety the last several years, when California’s best wine regions are discussed, Paso Robles is still overlooked for the world-famous valleys in the Bay Area. Well, believe us when we tell you that Paso Robles produces wines every bit as good as its neighbors to the north and belongs in the discussion for best California region.
 
Much like Napa and Sonoma Valley, Paso Robles has a long growing season made up of warm days and cool evenings that produces vibrantly ripened fruit with dynamic flavor profiles. Its 26,000 vineyard acres along the rolling hills of California’s picturesque central coast allow for 40 different varieties of winegrapes to be grown in the region. This has led to some of the most innovative and unique winemaking not only in California, but the entire world.
 
It was exactly this type of land of opportunity Stephan Asseo was looking for when he left his native France in 1996 to search for a great terroir that would allow him to pursue his ideal as a winemaker. Asseo began making wine in 1982 in the Bordeaux region of France. Over the next 15 years, Asseo developed a well-earned reputation as a maverick and artisan winemaker of fastidious craftsmanship. But he couldn’t stand operating under France’s AOC laws which he felt was stifling his creativity, so he set out to find a new home that would allow him to make the wine he wanted. His search spanned the globe, taking him from South Africa to Lebannon to Argentina to Napa, and finally to Paso Robles.
 
The minute Asseo set his eyes on the rolling topography of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, the deep calcareous soils, and felt the maritime influence of the region, he fell in love. He purchased 127 acres in 1998 and started L’Aventure. Watch Asseo explain his winemaking philosophy in his own words:
 

 
L’Aventure wines have earned over 30, 90+ scores from the prestigious independent wine guide Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. You can find three of their blends on shelves and wine lists across the State of Ohio right now:
 
Côte à Côte (Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah blend)
Parker Scores:
2010: 93
2009: 95
2007: 95
2006: 96
2005: 94
2004: 97+
2003: 96
2002: 93
 
Estate Cuvée (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Syrah blend)
Parker Score:
2010: 95
2009: 94+,
2008: 94
2007: 95
2006: 97
2005: 97
2004: 98
2003: 94
2002: 94
 
Optimus (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Syrah blend)
Parker Scores:
2009: 90
2008: 90
2007: (93-95)
2006: 92
2005: 94
2003: 93+
2002: 92  
 
The 2011 vintages of all three blends are now available throughout the Buckeye State. The Estate Cuvée and Côte à Côte currently sell for $89.99 while the Optimus is available for $49.99.
 
To Find Out More About L’Aventure:
Visit their website: aventurewine.com
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