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Monday, November 24, 2014

Lohr of the Rings: Circling 40 Years with J. Lohr



Jerry Lohr, along with Gary Eberle, are the two guys responsible for wine in Paso Robles. It was their foresight and determination back in the 1970s to resurrect this old wine region - grapes have been planted here since the 1880s – and without them you’d be drinking crappy wine, old cider, and maybe would have never heard of Paso Robles to begin with. So there. Jerry Lohr started J. Johr Winery in 1974 and is one of the most dominant players here, not to mention having acreage in Napa and Monterey, and being one of the largest solar powered wineries in the county. “With numerous sunny days, Paso Robles isn’t just ideal for producing rich Bordeaux and Rhône-style wines,” Executive Vice President Steve Lohr, once told me, “It’s perfect for producing clean, renewable energy. We are working to protect the very climate that nurtures our grapes, while contributing to efforts that reduce the need for drilling off our spectacular coast.”

Steve Lohr and me at a panel discussion on Paso Cabernet
You’ve seen J. Lohr wines even if you haven’t had one of their wines – they are ubiquitous. Offering an impressive range of styles, J. Lohr produces multiple wines: J. Lohr Estates, the Vineyard Series, and the Cuvée Series which are their top wines. They also produce three tiers of wines to meet the needs of everyday and entry-level wine peeps including Cypress Vineyards with wines in the $10 range, and Painter Bridge which is dedicated to Zinfandel and Chardonnay at $7, and even a line of non-alcoholic wines called Ariel.

So to celebrate, J. Lohr crafted two anniversary wines, a Pinot Blanc from Arroyo Seco in Monterey County, and a Red Wine comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Merlot and Malbec making it soft and supple, a tinge of acidity and less tannic with fruit coming from Paso Robles. 40 years is a long time for any business, and certainly a family-run business, to keep operating effectively and to keep up consistent quality. So in honor of their 40th, try one of their wines – maybe the anniversary wines, maybe their well known White Riesling, and if you think about it, raise your glass to the likes of Jerry Lohr who helped put Paso Robles on the map. Read my interview for IntoWine.com with Jerry HERE.
Visit their website: JLOHR

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