Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fun in Paso: Episode 1 of Dudes Being Dudes in Wine Country

Let me first start by saying this has nothing to do with Texas wine, at least not yet. This shows does allow viewers into the winery and vineyard to learn more about wine, and enjoy it too.

At the beginning of the month, a new wine show premiered online. The owners of Nocking Point Wines, Stephen Amell and Andrew Harding, decided to take their enthusiasm for wine beyond just owning a winery and drinking lots of wine. These days they are also filming Dudes Being Dudes in Wine Country – at least when Stephen’s Arrow and Teenage Mutant Ninja schedules allow. Their debut episode saw the friends in one of the places that sparked their interest in wine, Paso Robles, CA. 

The episode is lots of fun. First, the guys are out for a really good time. They enjoy every glass of wine, every bite of food, and all the interesting people they meet. And they take us along for the ride. The show starts where their wine journey began, Paso Robles. They meet up with their original guide, Tyler Russell (winemaker at Nelle Winery), who takes them on a journey through Central California wine.
Their first stop was Herman Story where they begin to learn about wine from owner and winemaker Russell From. The relaxed atmosphere of the small winery is friendly and fun; it is reminiscent of many boutique wineries in Texas. Here the guys get a good lesson in winemaking and grape growing. In fact, Andrew and Stephen are recruited to do punch downs of some recently harvested Gernache, an experience I have had several times in various locales throughout the Texas Hill Country (It is much more interesting to watch Stephen do this and then me). As a seasoned wine drinker and winery visitor, the education portions provide the most entertainment, but having some wine knowledge made it easy to follow and understand. However, those not familiar may struggle through these parts. There are a few cutaways where Andrew provides lessons to help, but these may not be enough for the uninitiated. 

Me doing punch downs at Wedding Oak Winery, Fall 2014, supervised by winemaker Penny Adams
 From the winery, they head out to Glenrose Vineyards to learn more about growing. The picturesque trellises set the stage for a beautiful sundown. Here Stephen and Andrew find out about vineyard management and caring for the vines, a situation they recently found themselves in when they bought a vineyard in Washington State. In the vineyard, they learn about fermentation as they taste a wine that had just been pressed. Between jokes and shared stories, Tyler presents some great insight garnered from his experiences.

There is also some fun and indulgence. They spend time enjoying great local cuisine, paired with local wines. They even zip-line over vineyards as well. The guys have a great time, and they share that with the viewers. For me, they made me thirsty, very thirsty. I planned to drink one glass of wine during the show, but I fell prey to the constant wine drinking. The enjoyment they are having while drinking is contagious. And the beautiful filming of the wine made me drink a few more before the show was done.

The goal of Dudes Being Dudes in Wine Country is to experience great wine and visit fun places. They want more people to learn about and enjoy wine. To do this, they plan to visit wineries from lesser known wine regions. And if their site is to be trusted, Texas will welcome them to some more great wine. For now, Episode 1: Paso Robles is available through the GooglePlay and YouTube for $1.99-2.99 an episode. Definitely splurge for the $2.99 Hi-Res version for some beautiful shots of wine and wine country.  

For now, check out the trailer here:

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