Pasos Vineyards, a Boutique Winery

Located at the Vino Piazzo (winery plaza) in Lockeford, five miles east of Lodi and 100 miles east of San Francisco, Pasos Vineyards is one of the rare treasured boutique wineries among the 75,000 plus acres of wine grapes and one of the 55 plus wine tasting rooms in the Lodi appellations.

Pasos Vineyards is a boutique winery that produces only about 1,500 barrels of wine per year. Although much of Pasos grapes are contracted from local and Oregon state growers, including Lockeford, Lodi, Alta Mesa, and the Umpqua region, it is his formula of the finished product that exemplifies superior complexity and greatness.

Back in 2002, 12 flourishing boutique wineries produced and showcased wines at this historical 63-year-old establishment. Today, only seven wineries remain that are still producing wines. Although in a recent study by the Lodi District Grape Association suggested the wine industry remains strong with a value of $5 billion, there is still a struggle for the small time boutique wineries, and this is a sure product of the current economy. Winemakers, like Antonio Pasos of Pasos Vineyards are one of the few active boutique wineries that are still producing wines at Vino Piazza.

Pasos Vineyards has produced some of the finest wines with vintages like the 2009 Grand Harvest award winning, 2005 Reserve Dastarte(left), a signature Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec blend, the 2006 Tannat(right), an intense grape which is normally used for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Florida Grape Growers Gold medal, 2007 Albarino(center), an exquisite limited Spanish varietal. Other notable mentions are the 2006 Silver medal award at the California State Fair for their Sierra Foothills, Syrah, Silver medal Old Vine Zinfandel, and their Gold medal award winning, Lockeford Charbono.

Part of Antonio’s success isn’t just about producing and selling wine, but the service. This 15-year winemaking veterian always greets his customers with courteous smiles, along with eagerness from his experienced staff provides a proven success of this establishment. With that formula, weekly events with musical performances from talented musicians, and hosting special dinner pairing events provides a constant flow of customers. Most of Pasos visitors are regulars from neighboring cities, but many people are from across the country and around the world here to visit Pasos for the atmosphere and excellent wines.

Other exceptional vintages that are produced at Pasos Vineyards:
2007 Chardonnay/Albarino. This vintage is a blend of 50 percent Chardonnay and 50 percent Albarino. This vintage has the buttery flavor of a Chardonnay, but with an intense earthy tone of the Albarino. This wine has perfect balance with hints of ripe peach and other tropical fruits and a long citrus finish. A delightful alternative for non-Chardonnay drinkers.

2005 Charbono. Grown near the Mokeloumne River, this bold and deep burgundy colorful vintage is fitted with medium-firm tannins and exceptional acidity with a nose of currants and ripe plum. This wine is a great compliment with Italian dishes or rich hearty meats.

2007 Collaboration Celebration. As good as the 2005, this delightful vintage is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Tannat, Counoise, and Viognier. Deep with ripe fruit with tones of eucalyptus, black cherry, and ripen black cherry. The name says it all. This vintage truly is, “Heaven in a Bottle”.

2004 Reserve Pinot Noir. 100 percent grown from the appellations of Umpqua, Oregon, these grapes are of the essence of French Burgundy wine. Fermented in French oak for 36 months for added structure and loaded with Asian spices, this wine is every Pinot lovers dream. On the palate are dense flavors of deep cherry with earthy notes, smoke, vibrant raspberry, and cherry with a lasting finish. Unfortunately, this wine is no longer in production. Only about 10 unlabled cases remain.

One of the attractions of Pasos Vineyards is their resident artist and writer, David Jon Foster. Not only is he a prominent and talented artist, he is responsible for the beautiful artwork labeling displayed on each and every bottle produced by Pasos Vineyards. The entire tasting room is a virtual art gallery of Foster’s work.

While there is not an active website to inquire about this winery or purchase wines online, I implore you to take a trip to the Lodi appellations and pay a visit to Pasos Vineyards wine tasting room.

Pasos Vineyards is located in Vino Piazzo at 12470 Locke Road in Lockeford, just 7 miles east of Lodi, Calif. near Highway 88 and Highway 12. To check for upcoming events, call (877) 53-PASOS or (209) 727-3153

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