Enjoy well-crafted Adelaida District wines at Paso Robles winery’s Peachy Canyon tasting room.
Sixmilebridge Vineyards opened its new tasting room in the summer of 2020, between coronavirus lockdowns, which may explain why even many Paso Robles wine lovers haven’t found their way to the Peachy Canyon facility yet. Visitors who have, among them Sara L. Schneider of the luxury-oriented Robb Report, love the place. In a June 2021 write-up, Schneider touted Sixmilebridge’s one-on-one hosted tastings as a must-do experience.
Before proprietor Jim Moroney retired from the parent company of the Dallas Morning News, where he was the publisher and CEO, he and his wife, Barbara, purchased 95 acres in the Paso Robles AVA’s Adelaida District intending to plant grapes and start a winery. The property now contains about 25 acres of grapes; Jim and Barbara’s house, high on a ridge at elevation 1,900 feet; and the tasting room, nestled in the canyon below.
The Moroneys named the winery for Jim’s ancestral hometown in County Clare, where his great-grandfather lived before leaving Ireland for the United States. The red poles in the sign outside the tasting room reference a bullet that passed through the hat of a real-life priest who supported the working class during a deadly 1852 street skirmish between them and soldiers protecting the interests of Sixmilebridge landholders.
The initial Sixmilebridge plantings included five Bordeaux red varietals, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc. The current vineyard manager, Hillary Yount, and her husband, Anthony Yount, who makes the wines (his day job is at highly regarded Denner Vineyards), say they relish the challenge creating wines from the steep limestone-laden slopes here. As seen in the photo below, some of the stone is pink.
I like this quote by Anthony on the Sixmilebridge website about terroir, the French term for the combination of soil, climate, and other factors that influence wines: “We, as winemakers, always talk about terroir…but it really only makes sense to make a wine that is terroir driven if your vineyard has something interesting to say. This site has something interesting to say, and it says it very loudly.” The wines at tastings in 2020 and 2021 spoke loudly as well – I particularly appreciated the scintillating conversation my palate had with the 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon on the first visit and the Malbec-dominant Incantation on the second. I’m not the only one, either. Both wines sold out within months of release.
Impressive 2017 Bordeaux Reds
Bordeaux reds were the focus of an April 2021 tasting of 2017s. Cabernet Sauvignon (with 20% Petit Verdot) led off, followed by the flagship Estate Cuvée of five Bordeaux grapes (53% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc in descending order), and the Malbec-dominant Incantation (the wine label, in the photo below, lists the components). All the wines impressed, but the lush, sexy, and complex Incantation stood out for its ripe-plum and savory early notes that give way to darker fruit and smoky-cocoa hints leading to a magnificent finish. Incantation sold out a few weeks after the tasting; here’s hoping this blend isn’t a one-off.
I learned about Sixmilebridge through the Paso Robles CAB Collective, a good resource for information about Bordeaux-style wines from this area.
Sixmilebridge appears in 12 Foolproof Paso Robles Wine Tasting Experiences.
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This story first appeared online in 2020; it was fact-checked and updated in 2021.