Page 101 - SLO Visitors Guide Fall 2023
P. 101

Wine Tasting
‘Have a glass of cabernet with me,’ invites winemaking legend Gary Eberle
 A personal invitation from the godfather of Paso Robles
Gary Eberle just might be
ready to take the term “The Godfather of Paso Robles” to heart.
“It’s certainly not a title I came up with,” he said. “Telling people not to call me that didn’t work, maybe I shouldn’t fight it. I am not really that special – it’s the people that work for me that are truly special.”
In 2020 Eberle marked his 50th year in the wine industry. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Eberle started at Pennsylvania State Uni- versity in 1962, balancing between being a defensive tackle for the Penn State Nittany Lions and a biol- ogy major. His Bachelor of Science in Biology from Penn State and his work at Louisiana State University in cellular genetics earned him his Master's in Zoology and a National Science Fellowship to Charity Hos- pital in New Orleans. One of his professors introduced him to the decadent world of food and wine. After tasting the Bordeaux from his professor’s cellar, Eberle took a keen interest in Cabernet Sauvignon, envisioning an American wine that would rival those of Bordeaux. He soon found himself enrolled in the Enology Doctorate Program at the University of California Davis.
After earning his Ph.D. in Enol- ogy and Viticulture at U.C. Davis, Eberle began his career in Paso Robles by co-founding the Estrella River Winery in 1973. After several successful years as the winemaker, Eberle turned his attention to pro- ducing premium, small-production wine. Eberle soon started his own prestigious label, releasing his flag- ship 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Since then, he has earned recog- nition for many wine industry firsts including co-founding the Paso
Robles Appellation in 1983, the first to list the Paso Robles Appellation on his label, and the first to produce a 100-percent commercially pro- duced Syrah. Industry awards to Gary include the Robert Mondavi Hospitality Award, the California State Fair Lifetime Achievement Award, Wine Industry Person of the Year from the PRWCA, and the 2020 American Legend Wine Star Award from the Wine Enthusiast.
Visit Eberle Winery any day of the week and there is a good chance you will be greeted by Gary with his French Poodles Sangio and Bar- bera. “I try to spend three or four hours meeting people and their dogs! We are very dog-friendly here. Come out and have a glass of cabernet with me.”
Winemaker Chris Eberle
Winemaker Chris Eberle – no relation – garnered degrees in agricultural business and viticulture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and an enology degree from Washing- ton State University.
Chris may not be related to Gary, but definitely has roots at Eberle Winery. Starting as a “cellar rat,” Chris became the assistant winemaker before spending fifteen vintages honing his winemaking skills in South Africa, Germany,
New Zealand, Australia and France. In 2015, Gary, in need of a head
winemaker, brought Chris back home.
    Join Us For a Spirited Time!
Walk-ins & Reservations Welcome · Thurs - Mon 11:00am - 5:00pm 1266 N. Bethel Rd., Templeton, CA 93465 · 805-434-0319
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