Page 88 - SLO Visitors Guide Winter 2023
P. 88

Wine Tasting
Living the wine country dream at Asuncion Ridge Vineyards
 Enjoy great wine with playful names in a magical place
Pacific Avenue heads west from the south end of downtown Paso Robles. As it reaches the city limits and curves uphill, it becomes Peachy Canyon Road. The road is lined with oak groves and vine- yards. A quick half-mile beyond town appears an inviting winery on the left hand side. The facility
is new, but the winery has been an outstanding part of the Paso wine scene for many years.
Over a quarter century ago, Michael Dilsaver and Philip Krumal met in Southern California through a shared interest in wine.
Their friendship grew and they decided to make wine together. They established Asuncion Ridge, starting with a vineyard of Pinot near Atascadero and produced their first vintage in 2005. In the years that followed Asuncion Ridge has grown significantly: acquiring new vineyards, sourcing grapes from all around Paso; producing a broad range of varietals; winning awards and accolades from the wine com- munity. Still, Michael and Philip have maintained a boutique, craft style, only producing about 2000 cases per year.
They approach wine with pa- tience and care, believing in keeping wines long in the barrel. The result pays off in exceptional wines with balanced flavor and smooth oaki- ness. They also have playful senses of humor, naming their Syrah
     ‘Nefarious’ and their Rhone blends ‘Salacious’ and ‘Lascivious.’ On a less scandalous naming trend, there are also a couple red blends named after their dogs, Olivia and Benton. No matter the name of the wine, the quality is outstanding and the prices are very reasonable.
In 2020, Michael and Philip purchased an 11-acre former vineyard less than two miles from the center of town. After invest- ing substantially in rehabilitating the buildings and improving the grounds, the new property and tasting room opened at the end of 2021.
I had the opportunity to visit on a cool, sunny day recently. The tast- ing building is a repurposed barn filled with chic furnishings. One wall is lined with black and white
framed portraits of some of Paso’s most influential wine makers who have been friends and mentors to Michael and Philip, a reminder of the collaborative spirit that infuses the local wine community. The attached patio is just one of several outdoor seating spaces. Massive oak trees magnificently shade other seating clusters.
During the warmer months they have hosted live music and offered charcuterie plates and there is a lawn space that could host larger events like weddings. They also provide the opportunity to stay in the rustic farmhouse on the property in a newly remodeled two-bedroom/ two-bath house.
The feel is very country, with a sense of intimate seclusion amidst the oaks and the vineyard. Yet the
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