Paso Pinot & Paella History

The inaugural Pinot & Paella event was held at Windward Vineyard in 2004. Owners, Marc Goldberg & Maggie D’Ambrosia were searching to create a wine & food pairing event that was different from the usual winemaker sit-down dinner format. The event needed to be a unique way of showcasing the diversity of Pinot Noir with a wide range of food and flavors….. and most of all, it needed to be fun for all of the participants: the winemakers, the chefs, the guests and benefit a worthy cause. With a little help from Tom Fundaro from Villa Creek and Lynn Diehl of Wine Region News the First Pinot & Paella Event attracted 125 guests at Windward Vineyard with all proceeds benefiting the local Food Bank. Paella was selected since there are virtually 450 different types of Paella: from seafood, to duck, lamb, vegetarian, basically incorporating any locally available ingredient with short grain rice and cooking on an open fire. Paella lends itself to holding up well at room temperature for a few hours. Voila! Sunday afternoon (when most Chefs have available time), outdoors in a beautiful setting with BBQ pits available would be the perfect venue. Following the success of the first event in 2004, Windward Vineyard realized the event was too big for just one winery and thereafter invited all of the Paso Robles Pinot Noir Producers, now formally The Beaune Rangers of Paso Robles, to participate as an opportunity to showcase and feature Paso Robles’ best kept secret: Paso Pinot Noir. The event now features 20 Paso Pinot Noirs, 20 outstanding chefs creating 20 different paellas, live music under the shade of Big Oaks in the beautiful Templeton Park with live music & dancing. Attendance is limited to 500 guests in order to emphasize the quality and not quantity and 100% of the proceeds benefit local youth arts foundations. This is truly a win-win situation for all.