Enjoy wine & cheese pairings in Tuscan-style tasting room
Like many people in the 1980s, Angela and Darren Mitchell were white Zinfandel fans, until they discovered Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon. This led to a passionate quest for fine red wine. After attending several winemaking schools and institutions, Darren planted 20 acres of vineyards on the hilltop overlooking the old adobe farmhouse where he grew up. The Mitchells established their winery along Paso’s 46 East corridor in 1997 and produced 600 cases of their first release in 2002. The annual production now has grown to 2000 cases.
“Our objective was to have a small winery,” said Angela. While Darren is the winemaker Angela claims to be the blender-master. The handcrafted wines are made in small lots, from 25 cases of the 2011 Malbec to 167 cases of the 2012 food-friendly Rambunctious, a signature Paso blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel.
Scenic gardens & tasting room
Mitchella’s intimate Tuscan style tasting room is perched atop Huerhuero Creek in the picturesque rolling hills of Paso Robles. The scenic terrace garden overlooking the vineyards makes an ideal place to enjoy the handcrafted wines savored with small offerings of complimentary cheese plates that accompany the tasting lineup. In addition the tasting room offers a selection of appetizers and the refrigerator is stocked with charcuterie and other gourmet goodies.
“We have Rhone, Bordeaux, some Tempranillo and Zinfandel — my husband is a huge Zinfandel fan,” laughed Angela of the variety of wines produced at Mitchella. The vineyards are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Grenache, Mourvedre and the Portugese varietals Tinta Cao and Touriga Nacional that go into vintage Port-style wines.
Some of Mitchella’s prized Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are sourced by such noted wineries as Justin and Tobin James. The Syrah goes to Napa Valley, noted Angela.
The tasting lineup
The tasting line up begins with the 2013 Grenache Blanc, a refreshing wine showing hints of green apple and a suggested pairing with the Purple Haze cheese. The deliciously fragrant 2103 Viognier is laced with honey notes and the Reluctant Rose of Syrah with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon exudes aromas of strawberries.
There is an interesting tasting of four wines, all 2011 vintages: Single varietals of the violet-tinged Cabernet Franc, velvety textured Malbec, the plumy Petit Verdot and mocha-laced Cabernet Sauvignon. All of which make up the 2011 ruby-red Innuendo Noir, a complex wine with smooth tannins and a long finish, a wine that begs to be cellared for a decade or more. Suggested cheese pairings for this blend range from St. Agur to Bleu d’Auvergne.
For those who favor dessert wines, there’s a delightful trio: Riportella Bianco is a late harvest Viognier and Chardonnay aromatic with hints of vanilla and caramel. The Riportella NV is a blend of late harvest Zinfandel and Portugese varietal Touriga Nacional. Finally, there’s the classic Vintage Port.
Mitchella’s scenic property is a perfect place to stage exciting events in spring and summer. Besides private events and pick up parties for wine club members, the winery offers popular wine blending sessions and culinary events such as the lobster fest and crab feed. Then there’s ‘pizza on the patio” staged first Sunday of each month May through September.
Mitchella Vineyards and Winery’s tasting room is located at 2525 Mitchell Ranch Way in Paso Robes and is open Thursday to Sunday from 12 noon to 5 P.M. For more information visit www.mitchella.com or call (805)239-8555.
– Mira Advani Honeycutt