This is Paso Robles’ first winery to specialize in estate grown, sparkling wines crafted in the méthode champenoise style, and also made in-house. Opened in 2017, Rava Wines + Events is located in the El Pomar American Viticulture Area (inside the bigger, Paso Robles AVA), which is south east of the town of Paso.
Visiting Rava feels a bit like stepping into an oasis, immediately encountering its centerpiece bubbling pond among the Italianate buildings made from creamy, butter-colored natural rock, surrounded by vineyards. And the tasting patio areas are just as elegant and relaxing, offering a flight of bubbles as well as still wines.
First, the bubbles. Of course they make traditional Champagne-style sparkling wine: Brut and Blanc de Blancs from Chardonnay and Blanc de Noir from Pinot Noir. But they also like to experiment with other grapes like Grüner Veltliner and Grenache (making a lovely Sparkling Rosé). All sparkling wine is made in the time-honored technique used in Champagne, France, creating traditional flavors of yeasty brioche and pleasant acidity underneath notes of apple, lime, clean linen, strawberry or flower petals, depending on the variety.
On the tasting flight, Spring 2022:
- Sparkling Solstice – blend of Pinot Noir and Grenache Noir. This is a version of Blanc de Noirs, meaning sparkling wine made from the white juice of red-skinned grapes. Crisp and clean, with rounded body and flavors of brioche.
- Sparkling Brut – 100% Chardonnay. A persistent stream of small bubbles gives way to fresh aromas of white nectarine, Meyer lemon and toast. On the palate, hints of stone fruit, mineral and freshly baked bread are supported by a thread of crisp natural acidity that culminates in a refreshing, toasty finish.
- Sparkling Blanc de Blancs – 100% Chardonnay. This Blanc de Blancs displays a lively bead of refined bubbles and beautiful pale straw color. Exquisite aromas of toasted almond and creamy Anjou pear are accented by aromatic floral notes. On the palate, a velvety effervescence with hints of citrus leads to a long, lingering finish.
- Sparkling Blanc de Noir – 100% Pinot Noir. This Blanc de Noir displays a fine stream of bubbles and a faint touch of color from the Pinot Noir grape skins. Crisp, clean aromas of golden raspberry and kiwi mingle with inviting yeasty notes. On the palate, soft notes of star fruit and honeydew melon are enveloped in a nicely balanced texture with a remarkably creamy finish.
- Sparkling Grenache Rosé – 100% Grenache. This unique Grenache Rosé sparkling wine offers fresh aromas of cherry and strawberry along with floral notes of rose petal. The prolonged skin contact resulted in a vibrant pink color. Its smooth texture is beautifully balanced by crisp natural acidity. This playful wine is rich, savory with a creamy long finish.
The Ravas grow 15 varieties here on the estate, including Grenache, Teroldego, Nebbiolo, Negro Amaro, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Primitivo, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Calabrese, Tannat and Merlot. They also source grapes from vineyards they own in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Range in Monterey County. The Albariño was a favorite of ours—minerally and balanced.
There’s also space for live music, events, weddings, and private parties, as well as space for making bubblies for other wineries and brands, if needed. (Having space and equipment to make Champagne-style Sparkling Wine is expensive, so many wineries send their grapes to other facilities to be made into the lovely liquid).
This winery is 1 of over 75 sparkling wine producers in San Luis Obispo County.