Superbowl isn’t just for beer drinkers anymore. It’s time to step it up a notch with these End of the Day/Game Day wine and appetizer pairings!
2019 Rosé Paired with Melon Prosciutto Skewers
2019 Albarino Paired with Shrimp Ceviche
2017 Cuvée Paired with Homemade Mediterranean Flatbread
For the Dough:
For the Pizza:
For the Dough:
For the Pizza:
2018 ZM Cuvée Paired with BBQ meatballs
People often ask me during Harvest something to the effect of "how are things looking this year?" Without fail, I find myself overwhelmed by the question, and perhaps come across a bit amateurish for the inability to find an adequate response.
What a lot of people might not realize is that even for small producers, a vintage consists of 10, 20, 50, or more lots of wine that are all being treated independently of one another. These lots are all developing over time separately and nothing is a sealed deal until the cork is in the bottle, and even then things will change. The result is an incredibly complex tapestry that cannot be justified by generalizations. This is the reason that the question about how things are looking never has a short answer, even when things are indeed looking very good.
Luckily, as winemakers, we have the luxury of making educated guesses based on trends that we have seen over the years. Now that all lots of wine from 2020 are pressed and undergoing malolactic fermentation (or completely through with it), I would like to provide you with a little insight as to how the season unfolded and what you may expect from this vintage.
First off, let's talk about what Mother Nature dealt us.
Apropos to the year 2020, there were plenty of curveballs that kept us on our toes. Some of the most notable weather traits preceding and during Harvest were extreme heat spells. A fairly mild summer came to a screeching halt around mid-August when warm tropical air pushed over the Central Coast on several different occasions. For the critical point of the growing season triple digits were commonplace. Through most of the estate this sped up the ripening process by rising sugar levels and conversely lowering acid levels. Harvest officially began with the first pick of Tempranillo and Viognier on September 14, which was five days ahead of 2019 and two days behind 2018.
With regard to the heat, certain varietals fared better than others, but at Caliza we were reminded of why Syrah is our star-child. It seems as if the heat benefited most Syrah clones as these lots came into the winery with unprecedented depth of color and ripeness. Overall, the heavier varietals tended to follow this trend whereas the lighter varietals were driven more towards bright characteristics and were picked at slightly lower than average sugar levels. For this reason, I predict 2020 to be somewhat of a hybrid of 2017 (which saw brighter, redder characteristics throughout) and 2018 (which was classic Paso dark). This could serve to broaden the palette of colors we have to choose from as we begin blending in April, thus opening the door for more complex and well-rounded wines.
Aside from the heat, like most of the West Coast, Paso was tortured by terrible air quality as a result of the devastating wildfire season in California. This brings up significant concerns related to "smoke taint," a term that describes smoky flavor permeating grape skins and making itself perceptible in the resulting wine. In Paso, we have to count our blessings being situated where we are. Though some wildfires raged within 100 miles of us, the level of devastation experienced in Napa, Sonoma and Santa Cruz counties is near incomprehensible to us who stayed relatively out of harm's way. Smoke taint seems unlikely for Caliza, although there is no way to know until the wines have spent some time in the barrel. Regardless, I remind myself constantly to be thankful that the things endured up North were not thrown upon us as well.
As for how things played out in the cellar-- and this is where it gets good-- I have to say 2020 Harvest was markedly different from past ones for a few reasons.
First and foremost, at Caliza our winemaking team has consisted of myself, Carl, and Andy for four years in a row. The benefits of working with the same team year after year are self-evident, and there is an undeniable "flow" that emerges as multiple seasons are spent together. Aside from familiarity, we also have had the luxury of being the sole occupants of our current winemaking facility for the second year in a row. For this reason, we made significant improvements within the winery over the summer in order to maximize efficiency during the busy months. One such improvement was an increased number of tanks. This allowed us to ferment bigger lots together as well as give us more control over the fermentation process itself. Another improvement was utilizing an outdoor crush pad for all destemming and processing. This helped maximize indoor space, therefore cutting back on multiple hours per day that in previous vintages were spent shuffling around fermenters and equipment. On top of all these improvements, we had slightly lower yields than in past vintages, which made the bulk of the work a little more manageable.
When you put together all these changes, the result is a significant reduction in what I like to call "frantic moments." Anybody who has worked a Harvest knows what I'm talking about. At some point during our busy season there are bound to be times when one or all of us loses our wits and makes poor decisions, becomes overwhelmed by the number of tasks to be done, or simply succumbs to sleep deprivation. In my short tenure in this profession, I have realized that a big part of doing a good job is staying in control and avoiding mistakes.
For me, 2020 was a vintage marked by many challenges all being met with precision and tact. Throughout Harvest, the cellar was a relatively calm and organized environment where all of us were able to act rationally instead of rashly. For this reason, I think as a team we have come closer to achieving what we hope to achieve than ever before. Early on, the wines from this year are showing a lot of promise. As mentioned before, I am especially excited to see what happens with our Syrah, and I feel confident that there will be another Reserve in 2020. Also, I think our team will be pleased with the amount of variety and breadth of spectrum to choose from during the blending process. All in all, I think that 2020 will have some redemption for us in three years when the wines are ready to drink. Cheers!
We are excited to present to you a short film that features the Caliza team discussing the Fall 2020 releases. The film also contains a small glimpse into our daily life here in Paso Robles during Harvest time. Please, crack open your favorite Caliza wine, pour a glass, and enjoy this video we have created with the help of two Atascadero High alums.
The Caliza Team
Is it possible to have back to back stellar vintages? Well…for us we think we really did! Now it is up to us to make sure that 2019 knocks it out of the park just as much as we believe 2018 did. Y’all haven’t had a chance to taste any of these just yet but be ready to have your socks knocked off!
One would think that when we sit down to taste and blend wines it would be a dream, well, it is! Haha! Except that it can also be stressful at the same time. By this time, we are deciding how to really nail the finished wines and what combination of barrels and varieties to use to make that final wine truly sing. In the end, it is not only about what we think the best and most delicious wine is but also if it is a wine that represents what we do at Caliza and one that our loyal members, supporters, and future consumers will enjoy. The anxiety is driven by not knowing how the wine will be perceived by others…we know we love the wine, but will you?
Yes, getting to taste through, give or take, 100 different barrels and aging vessels is a lot of fun and truly very interesting. We age wines in many different types of barrels: new, neutral, 225L all the way up to 500L barrels, and concrete (we also use stainless steel barrels, but those are for white and rose wines). It is amazing how the same lot of wine that was fermented and pressed off into the same tank can taste so drastically different once barreled down, even when put into the exact same barrel from the same cooper with the same toast level and age of the barrel. The culmination of all these unique intricacies is what allows us to deliver unique and fascinating wines with great complexity and character.
We blend in two steps: 1) the initial blend of the core components of the wine and 2) final blending just before bottling with minor tweaks/additions here or there. The initial blend is done in the early Spring of the subsequent year that the wine was made (2018 red wines are initially blended in March-April of 2019). Blends are finalized approximately 12 months later (so 2018 reds in the Spring of 2020) and then bottled shortly thereafter. This dual process allows the wine to show us where it wants to go; it is our job to guide it to the finish line. Sometimes the initial blend is what we end up bottling, it matures so gracefully that as we revisit it over time it just comes together perfectly. Truly wonderful. Sometimes we go through 5, 10, 15 or more final trial blends before we are satisfied with the results. Every year is different, every year is unique.
Now for the process:
2019, much like 2018, gave us another vintage of power and finesse reminiscent to couples dancing an intense contemporary routine. On one side you have the male component: potent fruit flavors, muscular tannins, richness, and density. Then the other side you have the female: intoxicating floral notes, exotic mouthwatering acidity, and layers upon layers of complexity. Blending in years like this is only difficult because you can only use each wine once. After we rack and blend the wines in a tank (rack is defined as moving wine from one vessel to another) we rack them back into the same barrels they came out of for additional aging. At this point we like to come back to them in two weeks just to see how they are integrating at this early stage. We did that just the other day and man…I have to say that you have a lot to look forward to when these beauties get released as they are just phenomenal now! Really looking forward to what is to come with these gems and the back to back Reserve Syrah vintages will be something for the ages for Caliza! Cheers Y’all!!!
Hello all, for those of you who haven't met me, I am Tyler and I have been a member of the team at Caliza since August of 2017. I have been working full time here since January of 2019, and you may have run into me in the tasting room or at one of our events over the last couple of years. You also may have run into me at Il Cortile, which up until the middle of March, was my second job.
When crisis strikes, no amount of worrying will make our problems wash away. The world continues to spin, indifferently. COVID-19 has come in like a hard frost and taken with it all sense of stability and certainty that we once shared. Out of necessity, it has been my crusade to look at the silver linings in this whole situation. In my search, I have found a few that I would like to share with you.
As inviting as it sounds to continue working two jobs forever, it is my intention, rather, to build a career solely out of winemaking. This is why I am living on the Central Coast. One area in which COVID-19 has benefitted me is the luxury of having only one job, and lucky for me, it is the one that entertains my future. There is a lot of well documented evidence (and overall common sense) that dictates when you spread yourself too thin, you are not as effective in any given area. Just like a vine that is pumping out too many clusters of flavorless fruit, people cannot effectively handle too many things at once. I have been this vine, recently, and whomever is tending to the universal vineyard has come and snipped off my extra clusters, thinned my extra shoots. The fruit of my labor is now that dark, concentrated Willow Creek delight. In the past month, I have been able to better focus on my work at Caliza, including the mind-numbing tast of bottling and waxing most of the 2018 vintage wines. Regardless of the task, I have enjoyed my work thoroughly. I have taken my boots off at home instead of in my car. I have cooked many meals. I am growing tomatoes at home.
As mentioned before, no matter what happens to the human condition in the coming months, our ecosystem will continue to operate as an independent entity. In Nature, we can find solace. As farmers first, our team is constantly looking to Mother Nature for provisions. Another positive in our current climate is that we have started the growing season in good stride. Right now, Paso Robles is abound with Spring Beauty. I am writing this from our tasting room and there is a wash of green morning light pouring in through the doors. Miracle rains in March (and the first half of April) left us with some much needed moisture and postponed what likely would have been an early budbreak following the warm start to 2020. Despite crisis, we finished pruning and mowing throughout the estate. Also, after many frigid Fall and Winter mornings, we haven't seen any worrisome sub-freezing temperatures since budbreak. Although you never know how the season will unfold, as of now, it looks sublime.
It is an old cliche that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. It has certainly felt like that here at Caliza. In the last month and a half, our small team has rallied to think of new and innovating ways to keep the ball rolling. My last bit of optimism surrounding COVID-19 is that humanity always pulls through. For all of you out there reading this, above all, stay safe. When the chaos of crisis dissipates, rest assured we will once again meet face to face and raise a glass!
Getting stir crazy during this pandemic? Looking for a precipitous evening filled with thrills and chills as well as good wine and food? In an effort to engage our loyal customers and continue to sell wine, we are offering an exciting dine-in experience by pairing a movie, a Caliza wine and a dish crafted by our very own Winemaking Team Associate, Tyler. This week we are Pairing the smoky, meaty, savory 2016 Caliza Syrah with some grilled lamb lollipops, leeks, and a fava puree. The movie to go with it is... you guessed it! Silence of the Lambs.
Make sure to post pictures to Instagram and tag #calizawinery.
The Wine: 2016 Syrah
Glass-coating layers of brilliant magenta and sexy violet segue to an explosion of dried blueberries, freshly baked berry cobbler, grilled meats and bouquet of dried herbs jump from the glass. This is another rich and powerful Caliza Syrah for sure with firm yet approachable tannins and long lingering presence on the palate. In Carl's optinion, the 2016 is a "homerun" that can be enjoyed now or cellared for over a decade.
*Doce members receive complimentary shipping on any order 6+ bottles
*promo available on new orders of any 750mL bottle and valid until April 30th, 2020
The Movie: Silence Of The Lambs
Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.
*movie not suitable for children, make this an adult only movie night!
Rent this movie on Amazon Prime here: The Silence Of The Lambs
The Dinner: Grilled Rack of Lamb with Spring Garlic and Fava Bean Puree
Recipe feeds 2-3 people
1 full Rack of Lamb
4 Medium-Sized leeks
1 cup Fava Beans Shelled
1 tablespoon Fresh Chopped Chives
Two Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
One Knob Unsalted Butter
1) Heat grill to 400
2) Separate each lamb lollipop with a knife. Lightly brush both sides with olive oil and add salt, pepper, and thyme. Set aside.
3) Cut green tops off of leeks, rinse and brush with olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil to make a “pocket”. Place in a covered grill for 25 minutes on the upper rack.
4) Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil. Once boiling, quickly blanch favas for 1-2 minutes. Drain and puree. Add a little bit of water until the consistency is smooth but not runny. Add a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste.
5) As leeks near completion, check to make sure it is tender and can be punctured easily with a fork. If not, cover the grill and continue cooking until soft. Once done, melt a knob of butter over the leeks, add a dash of salt and pepper.
6) Place lamb on the grill uncovered. Cook on each side for about two minutes or until desired doneness is achieved.
7) Using a spoon, spread fava puree on the bottom of the plate in an artistic fashion. Place down 1-2 leeks per plate and 3-4 lamb lollipops on top. Add a squeeze of lemon and garnish with fresh chives.
Note: This is a very seasonally inspired dish. If possible, visit your local farmers market for f f f f favas and leeks.
The Caliza Team
Paso Robles is a fusion of culture, food, wine and outdoor discoveries. Vineyards, resorts with style, healthy and delicious eats and the best wine and hospitality around. As a fan of Caliza Winery we want you to have information (and an opportunity for exclusive benefits we have arranged for our club members) to be able to plan the ultimate wine weekend getaway, whether you are local and want a staycation or you live out of the area and want to plan the ultimate trip. Check out our recommendations for the best spots to stay, eat and drink at around Paso Robles.
Thinking about joining our wine club to take advantage of the exclusive benefits and access to Caliza club only wines? This is the month to do it, we have partnered with an amazing resort, restaurant and winery to bring our wine club members exclusive discounts only for Caliza wine club members. Ask about our wine club membership by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or click below to find out more and sign up.
We love Allegretto Vineyard Resort and their first-class hospitality. A Mediterranean-inspired retreat poised along the idyllic east side of Paso Robles, Allegretto Vineyard Resort is bathed in acres of sprawling vineyards and orchards and blends the region’s best food and wine experiences with European-style hospitality that invokes joy and harmony. Here, discoveries never end, with spaces opening to lush gardens, soothing spa treatments, and finely-crafted cuisine cultivated from local farms and purveyors. Explore wine country while you sip, savor and swirl some of the finest regional wines, including Allegretto’s own private label, or lounge poolside in a private cabana while prepping for the next day’s adventures.
As a benefit to Caliza wine club members, we have secured a preferred rate for the remainder of 2019!
Join our wine club to get preferred rate at the Allegretto Vineyard Resort!
Allegretto Vineyard Resort
2700 Buena Vista Dr.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Deemed one of the best restaurants in Paso Robles, Thomas Hill Organics is a farm-to-table restaurant dedicated to serving creative, organic cuisine. This celebrated restaurant is in the heart of downtown Paso Robles, where cowboy-country meets world class wine-region. Check out Thomas Hill Organics new chef and brand-new menu that is sure to please.
For our wine club members, we have secured an exclusive discount during the month of September, join the wine club to get this discount!
Thomas Hill Organics
1313 Park Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Here at Caliza Winery, we want to provide the yummiest experience possible by pairing our current lineup with fresh and local food to elevate your tasting. We have recently sat down with Thomas Hill Organics new chef, Libry Darusman and collaborated on a food and wine pairing that will take your Caliza wine tasting experience to the next level.
Member Food & Wine Pairing $50
Non-Member Food & Wine Pairing $60
Inquire by emailing email@example.com or call 805-237-1480
Please reserve a table at least one week ahead of time for this amazing pairing.
September is a special time in California, as wineries and regions throughout the state join together to celebrate California Wine Month! Caliza is teaming up with Alta Colina to provide our members a reciprocal benefit during the month of September! Join our wine club to get this dual member benefit! If you are a member you would receive 4 complimentary tastings and 15% off your wine purchases when you visit Alta Colina during September.
There are so many amazing things about Alta Colina Winery, first being their wine! Alta Colina specializes in estate grown Rhône-style wine like Caliza. They are a true family winery, Bob and Lynn Tillman, along with daughter Maggie, are forging a legacy of quality and sustainability. They also have some unique experiences including vineyard and cellar tastings and a trailer pond to “camp” in style!
Alta Colina Winery
2825 Adelaida Rd.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
We hope you enjoy planning your fall wine weekend getaway with these tips and exclusive Caliza wine club member discounts. Please let us know if you need more recommendations for some of our favorite stops while you are in beautiful Paso Robles. Of course, we would love to see you when you visit. With your future Caliza wine club membership you would receive 4 complimentary tastings, discounts on wine and advanced access to Caliza new release wines! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
This coming (Easter) Sunday marks the opening day of ‘brunch season’. We all love brunch season, because—let’s face it—we all like a good mid-morning libation. For those of you looking for a departure from bubbles, we have just the ticket! Read on for your new go-to brunch beverage, sure to impress on Easter, Mother’s Day, and your bestie’s birthday.
Recipe compliments of Andy Neja, Assistant Winemaker
1 750ml bottle of Caliza Pink (cold)
1 pink grapefruit - juiced (sub 1 cup Wine Shine orange brandy or hibiscus lemon brandy)
1 small watermelon
1 pound strawberries
One bunch of mint with stems for garnish
Simple syrup or honey (optional)
1L bottle club soda (optional)
-Cut watermelon into small 1x1 size cubes or use a watermelon scooper.
-Slice lemons into round wheels.
-Add wine, grapefruit juice (sub 1 cup Wine Shine Orange or Hibiscus Lemon Brandy for a boozier cocktail), approx. ¾ of the watermelon cubes/balls, approx. ¾ of the sliced strawberries, approx. ¾ of the raspberries, and one lemon wheels worth of lemons in a large pitcher (add simple syrup or honey to taste if you want a sweeter sangria).
-Refrigerate for up to 24 hours (the longer the better for more extraction) *if you can’t wait that long just refrigerate until chilled, approximately 30-45min.
-Strain sangria and discard excess fruit and any seeds (fruit can become mushy when chilling for many hours).
Serve ice cold neat or over ice. Use leftover fresh sliced fruits (watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, and lemons) and mint for garnish. Top with club soda for a nice spritz to get that party started in your mouth!
10 Years of Gratitude: A Thank You from Carl
Greetings from beautiful Paso Robles! As we approach the end of 2018 and the conclusion of our year-long 10th anniversary celebration, Pam and I want to express our sincere appreciation for each and every one of you. It is because of you that our dream for an extraordinary winery and tasting room has come true.
Today, as it was when we first opened the Caliza tasting room, we are dedicated to crafting exceptional wines that showcase the personality and character of Paso Robles and our estate vineyard, all while sharing this fantastic journey with each of you. These past ten years have certainly had their share of ups and downs, but all-in-all every day and each year that passes has been special, and we’ve cherished every moment. We now look forward to the next ten years and beyond!
We will continue striving to be the very best we can be by regularly raising the bar through our wines and related experiences. Our goal moving forward is to foster enhanced connections with everyone that enjoys a bottle of Caliza wine. We love learning and improving and will continue to share our journey and exploration through our wines.
The next few years hold some exciting new directions for Caliza. In 2019 we will be rolling out opportunities to further explore Caliza and our wines through enhanced tastings, vineyard tours and on-site experiences.
Along with additional tasting room and vineyard offerings for our guests, we look forward to significant new vine plantings on our estate properties as well as the construction of a new winery facility on our Anderson Road site. Having an on-site winery and production facility, along with additional vineyard blocks and varieties will further enhance our wines as well as provide a higher level of visitor experiences.
My best wishes for a fantastic holiday season and Happy New Year!
Owner & Winemaker
Looking for the perfect gift for the wine lover in your life? Look no further than Caliza and our Holiday Gift Guide! Compiled by our team of wine enthusiasts, this list will help take the guesswork out of gifting.
With that— pour a big glass of Caliza wine, turn on some festive tunes, and prepare to check off your list (click the links below to purchase)…
Show the (wo)man keeping you employed some love this holiday season with a magnum of our SOLD OUT 2015 Syrah. Not only do magnums pack the “wow factor” that makes for a great gift, they are the best format for cellaring your wine and make the perfect addition to any holiday table.
Also available in magnum format are the 2015 Azimuth, 2014 Companion and 2014 Cohort.
What better way to congratulate the start of a new chapter than a wine club membership? The happy couple can toast the first year milestones with a glass of Caliza wine, delivered right to their door (a minimum of) two times per year. A thoughtful gift that keeps on giving!
Also works for The New Homeowners, The Recent Graduate or The New Business Owner.
Always the hardest to buy for, The Connoisseur is savvy, sophisticated and not impressed by just any wine. For this reason, we have pulled a few special bottles out of our cellar to create the ultimate trio- (1) 2012 Reserve Syrah, (1) 2012 Azimuth and (1) 2011 Cohort. Library and reserve bottles, ready to drink now.
Order this three pack in multiples to build a case and really up the ante.
Who doesn’t love candles?! Especially when they are soy and smell like Spiced Cranberry, Cedarwood & Amber, French Lavender or Lemongrass Kiwi Cassis. These are bestsellers in our tasting room and they are sure to bring joy to any recipient. Plus, they come in Caliza wine bottles so they look fab on display!
Also works for The Dog Sitter, Your Sister or Your Best Friend.
Because really, you deserve it! Treat yourself to the brand new, uber limited release of our 2015 Sympatico, comprised of 100% Tempranillo (for the first time ever). This wine is rich, smooth and sure to help you make it through the holidays with most of your sanity intact. Only 40 cases produced so this wine will not be included in a wine club release. Get it before it is gone!
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