Bay Area Wine Lovers – Lets Road Trip to Paso Robles for Hospice du Rhone

What IS Hospice du Rhone?

Do you love Rhone wines like syrah, mourvedre, grenache, viognier? Interested in branching out from just those made in one country? Does the idea of comparing 393 Rhone reds and whites from 130 wine producers, from 6 countries make your skin tingle? Does going through 10,000 Riedel stems a day, make you quiver with anticipation?

My love of the many great Rhone varietals (22 total) has grown exponentially the last few years, and as a result, lasered my attention to the annual event, Hospice du Rhone (HdR), held April 29th – May 1st. This event is reputed by many to be one of the finest in the industry, and people and wineries travel from all over the world to attend.

The agenda is a stunning array of seminars, tastings and pairings over 3 days, set in Paso Robles, itself a mecca for wine (over 180 wineries)  many specializing in Rhone varietals.  I had already planned to attend this event, and marked off vacation time to fully enjoy Paso Robles as well, when I was pleased to learn that Simple Hedonisms was selected as one of the official Wine Blogs to write about the HdR2010.

Road Trip to Paso?

The funny thing about us Californians – we are blessed with so many great wine regions, but rarely check them out, when they are often only 1-4 hours away; yet people journey regularly from all over the country to visit our backyards. With a head of steam, and ahead of traffic, Paso Robles is only ~3 hours for most of us Bay Area residents, yet we rarely, if ever go.

Let’s show Paso Robles, California, and the 1200 attendees from all over the world, that Bay area people are amongst the most sophisticated, adventurous, and appreciative of the gems in our backyard. The HdR website has a great list of travel resources, and I will be writing more later.  The main Paso Robles website is also very well done.

Some people may not be interested in back to back seminars and tasting, or wish to spend $800 for the entire event; the nice thing about the design is you can pick a la carte what you wish to attend. For many wine enthusiasts, the public tastings will be plenty, leaving you time to mix those in with visits to the 180 local wineries, or take a drive to the coast, or other great things to do in the region. Those a bit more wine geeky, can pick up 1-2 seminars. And for those who dream of Rhone grapes dancing in their head at night, you can do the Full Monty. (Bring a spit cup, or a cot. You’ll be tasting through a crazy amount of world class wines.)

Are You Doing that Ticket Giveaway Contest Thingy Again?

Who leaked that? Yes, to assist in building our Road Trip entourage, I have managed to convince the generous HdR2010 team to give away tickets to each of the Fri and Sat tastings ($100 value!).  We will combine this with our usual “Question of the Week” with a Rhone theme. As with similar contests you will post the question on the HdR Facebook Fan site , and a question will be selected for a free ticket, and answered in a blog article.

Additionally, there will be one drawing for all registered email subscribers of Simple Hedonisms.

The schedule will be:

Question of the Day

  • Monday: April 5, 12th, 19th – Question of the Day Post Opens Up
  • Wed: April  7, 14, 21st – Winner Selected, followed by follow-up blog answer

Email Subscriber Drawing

  • Tickets will be given to a randomly drawn subscriber Fri April 16th and 23rd.
  • Tickets will also be a door prize at this month’s Sonoma Facebook Wine Meetup.

Stay tuned for LOTS more great info on Rhone varietals.


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