Famed Spanish explorer Ponce de León was forced to forgo his quest for the mythical land of wine after an accidental tumble into the Fountain of Youth left him eternally underage. Take up his abandoned journey with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get one Art of Blending Wine workshop from First Crush Winemaking Experience at Silver Horse Winery in San Miguel (up to a $50 value).
First Crush blending workshops teach novice vintners to nimbly mingle flavors from a palette of Paso Robles vino. Two-hour sessions begin with a lesson in evaluating base wines for aromatics, flavor, texture, and moral fiber. Then, workshoppers wield real winemaking tools, including college-graduated cylinders and Erlenmeyer flasks to craft several personalized blends. After class, students can purchase cases of the lead winemaker’s favorite workshop creation. Those who refuse to take home anyone else’s brainchildren can order their own custom-labeled blend in a minimum of four cases (the cost of purchasing wine is not included in this Groupon).
Blenders convene in Silver Horse Winery's tasting room, featuring eye-pleasing vineyard views. Nestled in the rolling hills of San Miguel, the winery grounds offer those recently emboldened by creative juices games of horseshoes, picnicking spots, and bocce ball courts. The online schedule of classes features Art of Blending workshops on Saturday afternoons, with upcoming dates including March 19 and April 16, both at 2 p.m. Reservations are required.
- First Crush provides an unforgettable experience for consumers who simply want to learn more about turning grapes into wine. – Kathy Marcks Hardesty, NewTimes
First Crush Wine Experience
Paso Robles doesn't have one climate. Instead, it encompasses a diverse cluster of microclimates and a correspondingly diverse array of wineries. The grapes that ripen on their vineyards here vary widely in flavor and harvest date, and the resulting wines are predictably eclectic even though they all hail from the same region.
With First Crush Wine Experience, wine enthusiasts can sample the region's bounty—and even stomp on its grapes. Hands-on, multi-day tours let participants follow a bottle of wine from vine to finished product and on some trips, participants get to custom blend their own bottle of wine. The company's seminars, meanwhile, focus on topics such as honing the palate to help wine drinkers better differentiate between wine and wine-flavored Gatorade.