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Our new AVA. What is an AVA?

October 10th, 2014

AVAs of Paso RoblesAs many of you know, our tasting room and vineyard are actually about 8 miles away from each other. Confusing? Why yes, it can be. Especially since we are now considered to be located in 2 separate AVAs. What is an AVA? An American Viticultural Area is a grape growing region distinguished by the Trade & Tax Bureau that can range in shape and size. This is a very similar concept to the European appellations of origin or the Italian Indicazione Geografica Tipica.  How ever, our AVAs do not control the blending and wine making methods that we use. Also, it truly only signifies the location the wine grapes were grown for that bottle. And, to top it off, only 85% of the grapes making up the wine had to have been grown there. But, don’t be alarmed. Yes, here at Hearthstone we remain 100% estate and we use only our grapes for our wine making. Our 40 acre vineyard is located in what is now considered the Adelaida AVA where we share a fence line with friendly and organic Tablas Creek. Is that a helpful reference?  But, to come taste this estate grown delicious wine you will need to find yourself in the Paso Robles Willow Creek AVA. Our tasting room is nestled between Dover Canyon (home of the big dog and great Zin) and Denner Vineyards (pioneers in healthy water conservation). Now some of you might be wondering “why all the fuss?”. Well, these new AVAs will actually help the budding wine connoisseur. Don’t get me started on the various microclimates, water tables, and soil types happening in Paso Robles. That is for another blog. But, long story short, we have so many different types of possibilities in terms of resulting textures, flavors, and colors in the numerous varieties growing. Each AVA will produce these different personalities accordingly because of its natural surroundings. And now, instead of being confused, you can read a Paso Robles wine label and know what you might expect in the resulting wine based on the AVA you read.

Sept. 6 dinner on the patio

August 28th, 2014

With the end of summer in tow we are experiencing delicate and warm breezes, crisp and clean air, and beautiful sunsets coming earlier each night. Come enjoy all of these comfort qualities of the harvest season on our patio from 5-8pm while sipping fine wine and munching on tacos catered by Los Robles Cafe. Musical ambiance will be provided live by Wind & Waves. Tickets are $10/person and $5/club member. Our most recent evening on the patio sold out early so be sure to RSVP by either calling the tasting room or emailing me at hearthstonevineyard@gmail.com

Fireside Claret vertical tasting seminar

August 11th, 2014

On August 30th from 5-7pm join winemaker Paul Ayers at a vertical tasting seminar as he opens our Fireside Claret (Cab Sauv, Cab Franc blend) vintages ’04-’11. Tickets are $40 and will include a bottle of our Fireside Claret in the vintage of your choice to take home. Light appetizers of gourmet cheese will be served. Please purchase your ticket at our website before August 25th. We will sell out. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the tasting room.

Hang time on the vine!

August 7th, 2014

estate grown zinfandel in paso roblesPictured is a great example of zinfandel experiencing veraison, transitioning from green to purple. Zinfandel is notorious for wanting to ripen unevenly, with one side ripening first and then the other following. This is why shoot thinning is so important for a zinfandel vine. Removing excess foliage allows sun to evenly touch the grape clusters allowing for more even ripening.

Veraison can last for several months depending on the local climate. During this time the grape is developing sugar, acid, tannic, and mineral structures making this phase in development crucial.

Climate and variety plays the deciding roles in ripening a grape and the date of harvest. In hot climates grapes may be harvested as soon as 30 days after veraision if they are a soft skinned berry. Much cooler climates can take as long as 70 days after veraison to fully develop, especially if the berry itself is thick skinned. Last year we harvested in October across the board due to a beautiful weather pattern of warm sunny days and cool nights lengthening the growing season.

Dinner and a sunset

July 10th, 2014

hearthstone vineyard and wineryFor those of you who joined us last weekend for our July 5th tri-tip bbq, you’ll remember it was a fabulous hit so we will be doing another event on August 2nd from 5-8pm in much the same fashion. On that note, we also sold out of tickets on the 5th, so for our mid-summer dinner be sure to RSVP ahead of time. We will be cooking up kabobs(vegetarian, chicken, or shrimp) and other sides for $10/plate, $5/club members. To enhance the ambiance, we will be joined by pianist Brett Mitchell. You can reserve your ticket by contacting the tasting room at (805)238-2544 or hearthstonevineyard@gmail.com

July 5th Independence BBQ!

June 16th, 2014

In honor of Independence in our country Hearthstone Estate is serving up a bbq of tri-tip and other goodies to go along side an award winning wine selection, fun music, and great weather from 12-3pm. Tickets are $20 and include a meal and a flight of 6 wines. Contact the tasting room if you have questions.

Fruit Set: Fun on today’s vineyard tour

June 14th, 2014

Each Spring the growth cycle of our vines begin with bud break. In Paso Robles, this stage begins around March/April when tiny buds on the vine start to swell until shoots grow from the buds. This is when the first sign of green in the vineyard arrives.  After bud break the process of flowering begins with little flower clusters appearing at the end of the small shoots looking like buttons.  Soon after, the flowers begin to grow to an observable size. It is during this stage that the pollination and fertilization of the grapevine takes place with the resulting product being a grape berry. Fruit set follows flowering almost immediately when the fertilized flower develops a seed and then a berry to harbor that seed. In Paso Robles, this normally takes place in May/June. This stage is important as it decides the potential crop yield. Following fruit set, the berries are unripe, firm, and very bitter. They have little sugar and elevated acids. They begin to grow to about half  of their final size when they enter this stage of veraison. This stage signals the beginning of the ripening process which will be discussed during the next phase of our vineyard tour series.

vineyard tour series at Hearthstone Estate

May 19th, 2014

paso robles vineyard tourVineyard Tour Series

A 30 minute walk through a zinfandel vineyard, wine and cheese pairing $30/tour/couple, $20/tour/WC

June 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st 1:00 or 3:00 -Fruit Set: The vines are flowering and setting fruit for the season.

July 11th and 12th 1:00 or 3:00 -Verasion: the onset of ripening.

September 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th 1:00 or 3:00 -Pre Harvest: taste the grapes while learning about preparing to harvest

To Make a reservation Call the Tasting Room 805.238.2544

Mother’s Day patio event

April 18th, 2014

Stop by our tasting room and enjoy a cheese & wine pairing with your mom on Mother’s Day, May 11th, 2014. $15 will include a flight of 6 wines to be accompanied by cheese, dried fruits, and nuts. Our tasting room opens at 11am and closes at 5pm. For those of you who have yet to enjoy the view from the patio this would be a wonderful day to do so.

Bring your next event to our Picnic Patio!

April 7th, 2014

From birthdays to bridal showers allow Hearthstone to accommodate your party planning needs. As you know, our patio offers a panoramic view of the surrounding Paso Robles countryside not lacking a view of the local equine and oak trees. Contact the tasting room manager to work out a personalized package for your special day.