• By Allen Dale "Ole" Olson   |   Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 6:45 pm   |     |   Print   |   Permalink

You know it’s more than the wine when you have to pass an enormous bronze boar to enter Eberle Winery. Especially when Gary Eberle himself is at the door, looking every bit ready to rejoin the Penn State football team for which he starred many years ago. The boar symbolizes the Eberle name as it means in German. It also symbolizes the tenacity with which Gary Eberle pioneered so much of what happens in the Paso Robles Wine Region.

He likes to walk with you onto the large deck overlooking his vineyards with the Santa Lucia Mountains in the background. As you probe his background he will admit to having shifted gears while at LSU Graduate School from biology to wine and continuing wine studies at UC Davis. He is not only a former football player and biologist, he is a scholar about things wine. And wine business.

Paso Robles hasn’t always been a wine mecca. It took pioneers like Gary Eberle to see the potential and take it on, back in the 1970s. His famous Boar Label was launched with his 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon. Five years later he opened his 16-thousand-square-foot wine cellar, today holding more than 2,000 barrels. It is one of the largest wine caves in the state and one can be forgiven if he momentarily thinks he is in a Bordeaux chateaux.

In the coolness of the cellar we talk and sip our way through some of the wines that place Eberle at the top of anyone’s wine producer list. The 2015 Chardonnay was a double gold winner in San Francisco, creamy and refreshing, like the constant temperature in the cave. Same for the rose, very like those in Provence with a thirst-quenching dry finish.

A wine he calls a bistro wine is one I  ship home. The Cotes-du-Robles Rouge could be Cotes de Rhone, a silky blend of Rhone grapes.  There are others, of course, and the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon proves that done right this grape will equal those of its cousins further north.

Eberle wines will be around for a while.  Chris Eberle is in charge now with impeccable credentials. A scholar, like his father, with degrees in Ag Business and Viticulture, he has checked out how vintners do their jobs in South Africa, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and France. \

The winery is east of Highway 101, just a couple  miles from town, 3810 Highway 46E, Paso Robles 93446. It’s open to the public from 10:00 to 5:00 every day, and by calling ahead, you can enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch on the deck — along with a couple samples of fine wine, of course — tastingroom@eberlewinery.com.

Rub the bronze boar’s nose coming or going, and you’re assured of good luck. And a glass of chilled Muscat Canelli will guarantee it.

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