National Geographic and Somm Journal are teaming up to present a virtual exploration of vineyards from around the world. The series is titled “Unique Wine Regions of the World”. In the most recent virtual experience, J Lohr Vineyards & Wines represented the Paso Robles wine region.
Paso Robles wine country
Paso Robles is one of our favorite wine regions to visit and explore. Paso Robles has eleven AVAs. The soil, terrain and climate are suitable for several varieties of grapes. There are over 200 wineries in the area, ranging from small welcoming centers to elaborate and luxurious visitor centers.
The history of Paso Robles wine began in the early 1970s. For many years Zinfandel was the most notable wine, then came Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, Rhone wines occupy a central place in white and red wines. Whatever your preference in wines, you will likely find it in Paso Robles.
The area is more relaxed than Napa Valley. Things are moving at a slower pace. For us, the country roads are varied and beautiful. Around every bend there is something exciting to see.
Downtown Paso Robles is booming, even amid the COVID pandemic. Restaurants and accommodation establishments appear to be very busy with customers. In short, there is a lot to explore for wine lovers in this region.
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
J Lohr started in 1976 and its founder Jerry Lohr inspires the winery to produce quality wines from its 3000 acres of vines. Wine production is 1.5 million cases. In supermarkets across the United States, we are likely to find the J Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon and the J Lohr Monterey Pinot Noir, among others. These wines are excellent value and usually cost around $ 15.
At the top of the range, and in limited production, is the J Lohr single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, “Signature”. The grapes for this wine come from the Beck vineyard. The elevation there is 1700 feet, and it has limestone soils. The vineyard is on its way to refreshing afternoon breezes from the Pacific Ocean. All of this results in a delicious, world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tour of J. Lohr and other Paso Robles wineries
The COVID pandemic is affecting the way many wineries in Paso Robles organize their wine tastings. Currently, the J Lohr cellar does not accept visitors. We hope the wine scene will return to normal in 2021.
In the meantime, many wineries are doing tastings in their outdoor areas. Most wineries require reservations. It is best to plan your trip to Paso Robles by checking the websites of the individual wineries. Find out about their tasting room policy before you go.
Additional Paso Robles Resources
We would recommend either Wineworks Premium or Wineworks Superior as your first 30 Bottle Kit Wine. Both of these ranges are designed to produce a good quality wine that is ready to drink within 2-4 weeks but will benefit if left up to 6-8 weeks. Furthermore, they also have a great selection of wines to choose from.
If you’ve never made wine before or you simply don’t have any of the equipment or ingredients any longer then you could purchase one of our bundles. These bundles allie all the required equipment along with your prefered wine kit so that you can have everything delivered to your door and just get started. The Wineworks Superior Starter Bundles are a great choice if you want to keep the equipment budget down but still choose the quality of wine you’d like to go for. Whereas, the Wineworks Luxury Starter Bundles offer a better quality equipment pack and still let you choose from a great choice of wine packs.
The two most important critères of making wine are Cleanliness and Temperature. Firstly remember everything that comes into contact with the wine should be cleaned and sterilised ( see below ). Secondly maintain a constant temperature between 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ). It is much better to be on the cool side and constant than hot one minute and cold the next. Airing cupboards are definitely no, no’s. ( See below )
Clean and sterilise all equipment. Here’s a selection of Sterilisers you can use and if you not quite sure which steriliser to go for then you can take a look at our Beginners Wine Making Part 1 - Cleaning, Sterlising
Wineworks Superior wines : These usually take 10-15 days to ferment, and a further week to clear. Again the wine can be drunk immediately but we recommend ageing it 4 weeks but you can leave it up to 12 months. The time you will leave it will depend very much on your stocks. So get plenty built up. The reds benefit more than the whites with ageing. Certain packs ( see the list below ) are suited more to the experienced wine maker and take around 4 weeks to ferment and then left for a further 2 weeks. These products does really benefit from ageing. All the kits we list in this section require little ageing.
As it’s new to you it will probably take in all 2 hours for your first batch. However, once you are used to it 1 hour is about the maximum amount of time needed. We would also point out bar the bottling side; it takes just as long to make 6 bottles as it does to make 30 bottles, so we strongly recommend you make the larger quantity. After all 6 bottles doesn’t go very far as we said before !
From our experience it is much better to maintain a constant temperature than a fluctuating one. We suggest 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ), although if it is cooler than this, it is not a problem, it just takes slightly longer to ferment. If you can’t maintain this then we supply three different forms of heating equipment : Brew Belt / Heat BeltThis is a simple insulated electric cable that wraps round your container and provides a gentle heat. It is very flexible and extremely easy to use. Heat Tray ( 4 demi/5 Gallon Fermenter ) This is like a flat tray that provides a gentle continuous heat that goes under the fermenter. Immersion HeaterThis drops into the conteneur, through the bung and can be thermostatically controlled to maintain the exact temperature. Similar to a fish tank heater. All these can be added to our starter coffret packages. See our video showing the variétés of heating equipment available for your fermentation.
It is important to clean
If you’ve made it this far, hopefully understanding a bit of what we’ve said, then you’ll want to know how much it will cost to get started ! As you may have noticed, we’ve put together a couple of equipment packs which include everything you need, and take the confusion out of buying. You can make your first 30 bottles of Wine for approximately £65. 00. That’s all in ( Equipment