The SOMM Journal

April / May 2016

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{ }  105 (SIP) certifications. The SIP-certified desig- nation goes only to producers that actively adhere to a long list of strict sustainability and conservation rules. "No one in Paso wants to just survive the drought. We want our vineyards to thrive and we want to be a part of this community for a long time," Weintraub says. "And we want to make every vintage better than the last one. We're succeeding, and we're doing it with less and less water." Clearly, outflanking the drought has bol - stered Paso's confidence and steely resolve. To wit: several CAB Collective members are actually expanding and ramping up investments in exploratory projects during the crisis. Calcareous recently planted three new acres of Cabernet Sauvignon on an east-southeast–facing slope instead of a traditional south-southwest slope. This suns the grapes in the morning, when the temperature is cooler, and shades them in the hotter afternoon. The exposure curbs water use and lengthens hang time, which can allow more complex flavors to develop. More telling is what Calcareous planted in these three acres. Vineyards usually stick to one clone per block. But Calcareous planted a mix of several different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon creating a sort of field blend block. "The modern trend in grape-growing and winemaking is based on eliminating unknowns to better control outcomes," says Jason Joyce, Calcareous' Winemaker. "By planting a field blend of multiple clones, we turn over a bit of this control to the vineyard itself and provide the opportunity for some - thing unique and unexpected to arise." To put it another way, it's a three-acre experiment. During a five-year drought. Now that's cowboy. Watch for the report on our upcoming Paso Robles SOMM CAMP in the June-July issue. PHOTO COURTESY OF CLOS SOLÈNE PHOTO COURTESY OF CLOS SOLÈNE To battle the drought, Clos Solène owner and Winemaker Guillaume Fabre has shifted his canopy tactics for Cabernet Sauvignon.

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