Paydirt Going For Broke 2017
The Paydirt wines represent the art of discovery, the act of going for broke, and the idea that risking it all brings about the greatest reward.
In terms of actual dirt, Paydirt is all about the chalky, alluvial, limestone-rich soils that pervade the western hillsides of Paso Robles. The west-side vineyards of Paso Robles are home to California’s most dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The warm days partner with very cool nights to create rich, ripe, and flavorful wines balanced by higher natural acidity.
Vineyard sources include Gravity Hills, Dusi Vineyard, Hastings Ranch, Paso Ono Vineyard, Terra Bella, Clevenger Ranch, Shadow Canyon, and Alta Collina.
Patrick McNeil first brought the idea of Paydirt to Paso Robles in 2008. McPrice ‘Mac’ Myers was quickly identified as one of the most progressive winemakers in the area, and his respect for old world practices and new world wines made him the perfect fit for this very-California project.
Patrick has always enjoyed the creative side of the wine business. He is a brand-builder, a concept guy, and a major label geek. Paydirt, and the idea of risking it all for the greatest reward, describes his approach to winemaking, the wine business, and life in general.
Mcprice Myers is the humble, if not shy, winemaker-type whose talents are well documented by the wine cognoscenti-at-large. His wines are rich, focused, and highly expressive of the varietal and vineyard site.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.