July 31st, 2008 16:25 EST
Chumeia Wines: In Paso Robles
In Paso Robles there are several wineries along the 46 east, among them was a winery called Chumeia Vineyards. The winery entrance is made of rock and stone and the wrought iron gate has some very impressive metal art work created with vibrant colors like that found on their wine labels. Once you enter their gate you are immediately greeted by their vines. The rolling vines and oak trees make for a very relaxing setting. In order to get to the tasting room, you must drive over the Chumeia Crossing which is a basin that allows for unrestricted crossing of local species including the endangered Kit Fox. In front of the tasting room are two wine barrel tables, a few chairs and one umbrella. For what ever reason that table with its simple view of the oak trees and the vines relaxed me. In fact I sipped a glass of wine from that table and made my notes for this story.
This particular tasting room is small, but has enough space to allow for 20 to 30 people to taste comfortably. Upon entering their wine room I was greeted by Josslyn. I do need to say that she treated me like family and gave me an excellent tour of their tasting room and barrel room. We sampled several wines together including their zinfandel and Barbera wines which were the two wines that they featured that I wasn`t familiar with.
The 2006 Barbera tasted very nice! It had flavors of blueberry. I am told that it pairs very well with lamb or beef. The grapes come from the Partridge-Leigh Vineyard. The suggested retail price of this barbers is $35.00
The 2006 Zinfandel was excellent and the price was amazing. They are selling it for $14.00 dollars retail. Just released a few months ago, Jossyln told me that it is becoming their favorite. This Zin boasted a jam like aroma and you could taste the vanilla and spice on your palate. It had an excellent finish!
The Ancient Greeks had a word for alchemy; Chumeia (koo-may-a) is that word. Historic alchemists believed that by applying four basic elements: heat, air, earth and water as well as philosophical beliefs, they could transform basic elements into gold. Lee Nesbitt, Chumeia`s Winemaker, believes that not only is winemaking an alchemic process, but the grapevine has its own transformation of basic elements to gold (the grapes). Holding true to form, Chumeia`s philosophy is to source exceptional fruit from specific locations. This philosophy allows the dynamics of the vineyard to be expressed by blending specific lots, thus achieving varietal correctness and complexity.
Rocco Loosbrock runs a food and wine company in Los Angeles, California. Visit www.cvwine.com to learn more.