Cheers May 2013

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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The view looking north from Terry Hoage Vineyards in Paso Robles, with the Ecluse Wines boutique winery seen in the distance. CALIFORNIA WINE CENTRAL Stars of the Central Coast A broad wine-growing region with diverse varietals and values By Liza B. Zimmerman 24 | MAY 2013 Santa Cruz have seen a 16% increase in growth from 2009 to 2012 in winery numbers, with the majority of brands tracked producing less than 5,000 cases, according to the Central Coast Symposium. Diversity, value and what is perceived to be a more CENTRAL COAST FAST FACTS Major AVAs: Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz. Growing conditions: Highly diverse given the large area of the region, with a wide range of soil types and microclimates. Popular varietals: Chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, zinfandel, as well as many Italian and Rhône varietals. Major vineyards and wineries: Au Bon Climat, Laetitia Vineyard Winery, Qupe Wine Cellars, Kendall Jackson. PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY ALLIANCE S tretching from Los Angeles to San Francisco, "the Central Coast is too diverse to be categorized as one singular wine-production region," says Arthur Hon, wine director at Sepia restaurant in Chicago. For instance, "You can find delicate varietals that are planted in the colder parts of the Central Coast, and more-hardy grapes—especially the reds—that are grown in the warmer parts of the regions," Hon notes. Sepia carries about 15 wines from the region, priced from $50 to $150 a bottle. The area has such a wide range of grapes, soil types and microclimates that it can successfully produce everything from chardonnay and pinot noir to Italian grapes and Bordeaux blends and Rhône varietals, Hon says. In fact, the area boasts many unusual Italian grape varietals, such as sangiovese, vermentino, aglianico, arneis and nebbiolo. And the "Rhône Ranger" movement of the early 1980s, which introduced syrah, viognier and other grapes from France to California, started in the Central Coast. The region is home to nearly 700 wineries, according to data from the 2013 Central Coast Wine and Viticulture Symposium, which was held in Paso Robles, CA, in March. The counties of Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and

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