Show 572, April 6, 2024: Gary Eberle, Patriarch of Eberle Winery, Paso Robles Part One

Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery

“Affectionately known as the “Godfather” of the Paso Robles wine region, Gary Eberle’s contributions to the California and U.S. wine trade are significant. Eberle was the first to place the Paso Robles AVA designation on the Eberle Winery Cabernet Sauvignon label and he subsequently co-founded the distinctive Paso Robles terroir as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 1983. With a staunch commitment to the possibility of age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Eberle was also the first to plant Syrah on the Central Coast and make a 100 percent Syrah varietal wine in the United States. As chief promoter for his brand, Eberle has worked relentlessly for almost 50 years building awareness of the Paso Robles and California wines through his passionate promotion to consumers, media and trade across the country. These milestones have proven to be significant as Paso Robles has become a respected force in the wine industry.” Gary Eberle joins us to uncork all that is Eberle Winery.

“Eberle began his academic studies at Penn State University where he played football and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He then attended Louisiana State University before heading west to California where he completed his coursework for a PhD in enology and viticulture from U.C. Davis in 1973. “I chose Paso Robles based on Dr. Olmo’s recommendation that Paso Robles was the place to grow world-class Cabernet Sauvignon,” said Eberle. “I think we’ve achieved that,” he added.””

“Once in Paso Robles, Eberle launched his career as partner and winemaker with Estrella River Winery & Vineyards. In the late 70s, he decided to pursue his own project and acquired nearly 64 acres just down the road from Estrella River Winery. Shortly thereafter, Gary released his first Eberle wine, the 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon and opened the winery and tasting room in 1983.”

“Eberle Winery has showcased the history and diversity of the Paso Robles Appellation since 1979. Eberle Winery continues to be family owned and operated.  With an annual case production of 26,000, Eberle wines are distributed in 34 states and six countries. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with wine tasting and cave tours. 805-238-9607.”

Another attribute of Gary Eberle over his long tenure in Paso Robles is that his mission was to promote Paso Robles as a destination region for producing premium wines. Promoting the Eberle Winery was always secondary. Gary attributes this to another lesson learned from pioneering California winemaker Robert Mondavi. “Mr. Mondavi” (as Gary always deferentially refers to the late Robert Mondavi as) in his travels always promoted Napa Valley first as the locale for premium wines before pitching the Robert Mondavi Winery itself.

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