Awhile back, My long-suffering Hubby and I were visiting friends who were in the wine business in Paso Robles, California. They said that one of their favorite wineries in the area is Shale Oak because it is architecturally unique, has an emphasis on sustainability, and the wine is really good. Well, to me that sounds like a home run!
When we pulled up to the winery, it was stunning to see a huge wall of stained glass as part of the tasting room. But yet it blended so well with the native landscape. It sort of reminded me of those funky A-frame houses from the 1950′s. Even the interior had a Mid-Century Modern feel to it.
The buildings at Shale Oak are LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified. The landscape consists of native vegetation and rainwater is caught and used throughout the winery. Here is some info about the sustainability of the winery: inbalancegreen.com
The tasting menu was a small selection, which I think is wonderful. It shows (at least to me) that the winery is focused on what is good at the time of harvest. I also noticed while I was digging up my notes, that Shale Oak prides themselves on doing small batches and they don’t have all of the same wines available all the time.
For example: I tried a wine named Ku. It is a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, Zinfandel and Grenache. The vintage was 2008. It is currently not available, but you can get Petite Sirah as a lone varietal now, which I couldn’t get at the time I was there.
Speaking of Ku…It is a beautifully lush, plummy red wine with hints of smoke and pepper. The finish lingers a bit. I wish I had bought a case of this.
I also loved the Albarino. It was a bright, crisp wine with tropical fruits, and the finish was a balance of minerality and creamy texture. Sometimes I feel that Albarinos get a little too harsh, but this one was just right.
The last wine I bought was the Syrah. It had layers of black fruit, pepper, tobacco leaf. It was rich with a smokey finish.
If you are ever in Paso Robles, do not pass up an opportunity to see this winery. Until then…please check out their website: Shale Oak
Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier