Bodega de Edgar is one of the newer wine projects in Paso Robles and has attracted a significant amount of attention for both the quality of the wine and what it means for the wider wine industry.
Owned by winemaker Edgar Torres who is the assistant winemaker at Barrel 27 by day, Bodega de Edgar focuses on three varietal specific wines and 5 blends. Of interest for our wine club members was his Tempranillo offering, which we featured in our Special Selections Wine Club a few month’s back after discovering it at an industry tasting in San Francisco.
Bodega de Edgar, in my estimation is an important project for a couple of reasons. First, he is helping to push the boundaries of the grapes and plantings in and around Paso Robles. One thing that made Paso become the preeminent wine destination that it is today was it’s willingness back in the 1980’s to buck the trend of plantings and focus on the Rhone varietals of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre which are so well suited for the western section of Paso. I’d love to see the region continue experimenting and Tempranillo especially seems like a grape which could achieve a level of consumer success and critical acceptance in the region. Not many well known wineries try to make it though which severely limits it’s plantings and long term prospects. It’s nice to find a startup willing to get behind the grape.
Secondly, you’ve probably noticed the Spanish style winery name (in this case Bodega is being used as the Spainards do, to mean winery and not corner store as we sometimes see in New York City and elsewhere) and wine types being produced, both are a nod to the winemaker’s heritage. Edgar grew up in the coastal town of Cambria and while working as a waiter in Paso Robles, ended up making friends with a winemaker or two (like I said, Paso’s a cool little community of folks) and after some time as a Cellar Rat was promoted to what I consider, one of the best winemaking teams in California at Barrel 27.
That process of interest and then an internship of sorts I believe to be an important one in our industry. Winemaking is certainly as much art as science, feel as it is textbook and I’d hate the industry to go to a model in which a 4 year viticulture degree was the only way to start making wine. Let’s face it, not too many high school senior’s living outside of a few wine capitals, think making wine is a realistic career path. I certainly didn’t. That being said, plenty of people become interested in making wine, or the wine industry at some point of their life, so having a way for them to work professionally in the industry is important. Given some of the conversation and the way that winemakers work together during harvest, I think that learning from an established winemaker makes complete sense.
The focus on newer grapes for the area, an internship route to becoming a winemaker and simply interesting, unique and good wine all make Bodega de Edgar a new Paso Robles wine project that you should check out.
Our wine club members already have.