If you're a Rhone wine fan, sometimes called a Rhone Ranger, you don't have to fly to France's Rhone Valley to get your taste buds tickled. All you have to do is plan on being in Paso Robles, CA for the annual Hospice du Rhone from April 29th to May 1st.
I've been to two or three of these massively successful events in the past, and can attest to how much fun they are. What's more, the knowledge spread between winemakers and consumers, members of the industry and the wine press isn't served up any better any place else. It's a unique way to gain far more insight and understanding about the grapes of the Rhone and how they can be produced into wine all over the world.
It was at my first Hospice du Rhone that I learned of David Corey and his wines under the Core Wine label. Since then, David and his family have become very close friends. It was their that Ethan Lindquist, the son of longtime friend Bob Lindquist (of Qupe fame) debuted his own wines and where I got to enjoy the wines of former Vista, CA restaurant owner Cris Cherry's Villa Creek line of wines that match up so well to his new Paso Robles restaurant by the same name's excellent Early California cooking.
On tip. Buy your tickets early. This event has sold out regularly, and is too much fun to miss.