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Central Coast’s Desparada Wines

Located in Paso Robles’ Tin City, Desparada Wines specializes in inspired, elegant, new-world wines that stray from tradition.

Wine is less defined as a drink and often considered an experience. A time to slowly sip while reflecting on abundant flavors–some bold, some rich, some dry, some fragrant. Winemakers, being the game-makers and the creative minds behind the craft, often add elements of their own personality and life story to not just the wine, but the winemaking process.

Vailia From, winemaker of Desparada Wines who has worked on the Central Coast for more than 17 years, does exactly that–and with exactly those flavor expressions.

What you’ll find when enjoying a winetasting sit-down session on the patio at Desparada is that From uses her own bold expression, colorful life, female dominance and forward-thinking curiosity throughout each flavor in various wines. 

Winemaker Vailia From

But how does she do that?

Specializing in white wine, but offering reds as well, each taste and each flavor is very pure–even the most subtle of tastes still stand out with a bold note. The purity comes from From using a natural approach; sourcing all native yeast through organic farming. The quality of the flavors is a result of From sourcing her grapes from various groves up and down the Central Coast, all grown in different microclimates.

An added twist? The winery doesn’t just age grapes in classic barrels through the winemaking process, but also uses a mix of Terracotta amphora, acacia barrels, French oak, a French oak cigar barrel and even a 500-liter concrete vessel to do the job.

The tasting menu experience:

Kleio – Chenin Blanc, Shell Creek, 285 cases made: A part of the winery’s Explorer Series, when From is experimenting or buying a grape for the first time. Tastes may differ from year to year when bottling depending on where the grapes are purchased. Tasting smooth, silky, refreshing and fruit forward.

Azmidi – Sauvignon Blanc, Presqu’ille, Chelle Mountain, 108 cases made: Aged in new French oak. Tasting as smooth as a glass of Kleio with the first sip, but adding a sharper flavor toward the end of the first impression. An unfiltered flavor.

SoothSayer – An Italian Blend, 44 percent Barbera, 40 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 percent Nebbiolo, Spanish Springs, Star Lane, Luna Matta, Chelle Mountain, 496 cases made: Tasting bold, strong flavor yet smooth.

Sackcloth & Ashes – A Bordeux Blend, 39 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 percent Petit Verdot, 23 percent Cabernet Franc and 8 percent Malbec, Chelle Mountain, 638 cases made: Another tasting deep, but with hints of berry flavors. A blended delight.

What you will find with each sip, whether it be a refreshing glass of Kleio, or a deeper glass of Sackcloth & Ashes, From does not allow her wines to fit a mold. Each bottle, from each season and year, will have it’s unique tastes far from stylistic boundaries.

Desparada Wines is found in Paso Robles’ Tin City, a food and wine entertainment district nestled along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, and is made up of almost 30 different businesses, which all produce local food or drinks. It has an industrial-park look, hence the “tin” in “Tin City,” which is also known as an “evolving industrial makers market.” Vailia and her team have been residents of the lively district since 2014.

Desparada Wines is open Thursday through Monday, 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each tasting is a 45-minute, seated, intimate experience. Flights are $20 per person or waived with a two-bottle purchase.

For more on Desparada Wines, visit www.desparada.com.

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