Prior to the main HdR events of Friday and Saturday, the winemakers and producers conduct a Syrah Shootout, a blind tasting of 45-50 wines to determine by vote the best three Syrahs in the lineup. The prize? How about: bragging rights until next year’s event, plus a pseudo-trophy of a small wooden barrel and plaque, and finally an ever-so-gauche plaid sportcoat – suitably named “the Coat du Rhône.”
Submitted wines (Syrahs/Shiraz), are all bagged and numbered. Winemakers and producers are asked to taste through the wines, pick their top three and turn in their scoring to HdR personnel. This can be an interesting proposition, and the winners are quite often a big surprise to everyone. This year’s winners were: 1st – Four Vines, Santa Barbara County; 2nd- Caliza – Russell, Vnyd, Paso Robles; and 3rd -Graves – Ohana Vnyd, Paso Robles.
Sponsor: Hospice du Rhone: www.hospicedurhone.org