Friday, February 17, 2006

Turley Wine Cellars

The drive south to Santa Barbara is much nicer when you stop off in Paso Robles to visit Turley Wine Cellars. Just 2.5 miles off Hwy 101 at Vineyard Dr., this is the only Turley tasting room (the St Helena location no longer does tastings even by appointment) and the only retail source for Turley wines. All of Turley’s production is allocated, and for good reason. They made some of the best and biggest Zinfandels.

The greater Santa Barbara area is well known for Chardonnay and, after the movie Sideways, Pinot Noir as well. A bit north in Paso Robles the temperatures run a bit warmer – perfect for the huge, fruit-packed Zinfandels that are Turley’s signature style.

The Turley winery is on the grounds of the old Pesenti winery. Pesenti was famous for their ancient vines, and now Turley is making great use of the grapes. I enjoyed the 2003 Turley “Pesenti” but ended up purchasing the 2003 Turley “Ueberroth” also from old vines in Paso Robles. I added the 2003 “Dogtown” from Lodi and the “Duarte” from Contra Costa to round out my order.

Turley Wine Cellars: 2900 Vineyard Dr, Templeton, CA (805) 434-1030