Hospice du Rhône Showcases Delicious Rhone Wines in Paso Robles

Hospice du Rhône Paso Robles 2018 has come and gone and the only thing remaining is the afterglow of wine friends, Paso charm and the beautiful Rhône varietals grown all over the world. Read on to understand what the Rhône varietals are and where they thrive.


Sondra Bernstein and Jérémie Castor enjoying the Rosé Lunch happy hour! (L.Compisi)

Rhône varietals include 22 different grapes. Some are very well known, some not so much.  In the white varieties Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Muscat-Blanc are most well-known. For the reds Syrah, Grenache, Mataro (Mourvedre), Cinsault and Muscardin top the lists. Côte du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are probably the most well know of the Rhône wines.

Two of the beautiful Rhone wines served over the weekend. (L.Compisi)

Hospice du Rhône (HdR) was established in 1991. It is an international advocacy group for all growers, producers and advocates of Rhone varietals. HdR conducts events at Blackberry Farm Resort in Walland, Tennessee; the Rhône Valley and of course in Paso Robles, to welcome multiple Rhône winemakers and chefs from around the world. Organizers John Alban (the Founder of Hospice du Rhône), Vicki Carroll and Faith Wells continue doing a phenomenal job of bringing in top flights Rhône producers from France, California and around the world.

(l-r) Founder John Alban with organizers Vicki Carroll and Faith Wells (L.Compisi)

(l-r) Alban and presenters Morgan Twain-Peterson – Tegan Passalaqua and Carroll (L.Compisi)


Philippe Guigal (l) of ‘E.Guigal’ with moderator Patrick Will of Vintus. (L.Compisi)


Wine writer Jeb Dunnuck (c) being honored as HdR ‘Person of the Year’! (L.Compisi)


The event weekend consists of a variety of delicious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, tastings and four exceptional educational seminars. Well over 1200 people attend the various events.  The educational seminars this year included: Seminar One: South Africa’s Cinsault Renaissance – Lauren Buzzeo, Wine Enthusiast, moderated a group of South African winemakers;  Seminar Two: A 6th Generation Crusade in the Barossa Valley – Moderator Chuck Hayward of Vinroads engaged five spirited winemakers from Australia; Seminar Three: Lost and Found: Old Vine Rhônes Across California – was moderated by Alban Vineyards and presented by a new generation of California winemakers Morgan Twain-Peterson (Bedrock Wine Company) and Tegan Passalaqua (Turley Wine Cellars) and finally; Seminar Four: The Majesty of Guigal – Philippe Guigal presented the fascinating story of E. Guigal (founded by Philippe’s grandfather) moderated by Patrick Wills of Vintus. Of course, all four seminars allowed for questions and answers from the attendees and included about ten wines for each seminar for tasting and learning. Favorites from the grand tastings are highlighted in the photos included in this report.

Amazing wines tasted while being described by the outstanding presenters (L.Compisi)

A few favorites from the large Opening and Closing tastings (L.Compisi)

IMG_4416 Francois Villiard

A smilingFrançois Villard of Domaine François Villard says, ‘pour ta santé’ (L.Compisi)


Jérémie Castor of Vignobles Saint Nabor is enjoying the opening tasting! (L.Compisi)

Two very special events are the Rosé Lunch on Friday and the Live Auction on Saturday.  Hundreds of Rosés from all over the world are on hand for open tasting during the Rosé Lunch including favorite bottles provided by attending winemakers from all over the globe. The exciting high-stakes auction provided the opportunity to bid on truly amazing auction lots of wine, travel and unique experiences such as “the girl & the fig” Cooking and Dinner Extravaganza with Sondra Bernstein and Chef John Toulze. The first lot auctioned was designated to raise relief funds for the victims of last October’s California wildfires! All breakfasts and lunches are included in the weekend pass.  A truly great deal.

Montage of beautiful foods and wines at Rosé Lunch! (L.Compisi)

Where to Stay: There are many clean, modern, nicely appointed hotels within walking distance of the Paso Robles Event Center. We have stayed at several but this year chose to enjoy the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Paso Robles which is perhaps the closest of all. The hotel offers a full complementary buffet style breakfast, very clean and recently remodeled rooms and reasonably affordable prices.  The staff were very friendly and helpful.  We would be pleased to stay there whenever we are in Paso Robles which is typically at least once a year.

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites is within walking distance of the event. (L.Compisi

Wherever you are able to attend Hospice du Rhône (Paso Robles, Tennessee or the Rhône Valley), make it happen.  So if you need a long planning window, mark your calendars for April 23-25 2020 for Hospice du Rhône Paso Robles.  Prepare to be delighted, you won’t be disappointed.



About John Compisi

John and Linda Compisi are a freelance travel, adventure and lifestyle writer/Photography team focusing on California, Italy, France or where ever life takes them. John is a credentialed member of the SF Bay Area Travel Writers and the Redwood Writers Club. John and Linda, reside in Sonoma County and love nothing more than getting out there and experiencing the world, no matter if it’s a destination close to home, a road trip, or a journey to a romantic international destinations.
This entry was posted in Central Coast, France, French Wines, Road Trip, Travel, Wine Country, Wine Events, Wineries and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.