Booker Vineyard is in Paso Robles. It is named for two brothers who bought land in Paso Robles in the 1920s and eventually ended up owning 1,200 acres, which they farmed. Eric and Lisa Jensen purchased 72 acres of the property in 2001 to grow grapes for local wineries, but then decided to try making wine themselves. Their debut vintage was in 2005. Booker makes Rhone style red and white wines made with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne and Petit Manseng. Wine Advocate has written this about Booker:
“Behind Eric Jensen’s outgoing, boisterous personality lies the mind of one of the most thoughtful and introspective winemakers in Paso Robles. An unending drive for perfection means Jensen is satisfied with nothing but the very best. Over the last few years, that has led to some serious rethinking in the vineyards and cellar. Today, the wines are more polished than they have ever been.”
Paso Robles AVA is midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and it is considered one of the West Coast’s most exciting winemaking regions. With its hot, sometimes searingly dry and sunny weather, it is especially good country for growing warm climate grapes such as Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Because many Paso Robles wineries have been successful with blending these grapes into Rhone Valley-style wines, it is known as the Rhone zone of California. The AVA was created in 1983 and there are 32,000 vineyard acres. In late 2014 the AVA was divided into 11 smaller sub-appellations, so starting with 2015 vintages labeling will become more specific on Paso Robles wines, which will now also list sub-appellations. Located in San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles, the town and its surrounding area, was traditionally a farming and ranching region. But from a few dozen wineries in the early 1990s to more than 200 today, the area is quickly becoming known for wine and risk-taking winemakers.
One of the most widely grown grape varieties, it can be found in nearly every wine growing region. A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a hardy vine that produces a full-bodied wine with high tannins and great aging potential.