May 29, 2012 11:09 PM by Jeanette Trompeter

No Place Like Home: Pinot and Paella

There are some wonderful wines to be found along the Central Coast. And when they are paired with the perfect food, they are fantastic. Well you'll find a lot of fantastic wines being poured this weekend in Templeton, because a couple dozen chefs have been working on recipes that will compliment them perfectly. At the Pinot and Paella Festival, you'll find all kinds of proof, There's No Place Like Home.

When it comes to wine, Marc Goldberg and Maggi DiAmbrosia are kind of focused....at least on what they produce. "Well it took twenty years of hard work and never taking our eyes off of our goal." says Goldberg. "Our mission was to make just one wine, a great Burgundian-style American Pinot Noir."

And that's what they've done. Windward Vineyard produces ONLY pinot Noir....not a lot of it, but good enough to win them awards all over the world. And their goal wasn't always embraced by fellow winemakers. "You know people thought we were crazy." says DiAmbrosia. "And other people would come and they would say build bigger, do more and we just said 'No we're gonna do this and do it correctly.' and we just hung with it and stuck with it."

Their perseverance earned them one of the most humbling awards there is for Central Coast vintners...to be honored as Winemakers of the Year by their peers. Even Goldberg was speechless. I was so shocked that I was almost stunned into silence which is very unusual for me, as you well know."

Right now, Mark and Maggie's focus is an annual event they started 9 years ago that combines their love of good wine paired with good food for a good cause. Pinot and Paella happens this Sunday in Templeton and raises money for the youth arts foundation. "We've been doing that every year now for nine years so accumulatively I mean it's been well over 100 thousand dollars." says DiAmbrosia. "because we don't keep any of the money at all."

There will be twenty different versions of Paella this weekend, created by twenty different chefs and twenty different vintners pouring. "The first one we only poured Winward Pinot Noir and then all the eight years following we invited all of our friends who make Paso Robles Pinot Noir to be part of it."

And for Marc and Maggie, surrounded by their friends, listening to Spanish music, pouring some amazing wine and tasting gourmet paella, the afternoon in Templeton Community Park is a celebration of the path they've paved for Pinot Noir. "Uou know we're here to plant the flag and say 'You know this soil on the west side of Paso Robles is beautiful for Pinot Noirs, all you have to do is taste them and you'll figure it out." And find more proof there's No Place Like Home.

Pinot and Paella is this Sunday from 2-5pm in the Templeton Community Park. Tickets are $65 and do sell out, so get them now if you want to go. For tickets or more informaton, click here.



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