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California Wines on the Central Coast: Onx Wines

Don’t have a chateau to show off your estate bottle of wine? Cluster your tasting rooms in a spiffed up industrial parks where wine fans can sample multiple California wines without having to careen throughout the countryside in their E-jalopies. The movement of wine makers clustering themselves in industrial buildings sometimes called ‘ghettos’ to ‘tin sheds’ is a new trend in marketing smaller volume California wine.

In California’s City of Lompoc, it’s called ‘The Ghetto’ and in Paso Robles it’s ‘Tin City.’

Onx Estate in the Templeton Gap.

Onx Winery hosts their tasting room in the Tin City but you wouldn’t call them new wine makers. Their oldest grape vine is 16 years old. Co-owner Steve Olsen has hired a team creating blends of tasty California wine.

If you enjoy Rhone style (Grenache, Syrah & Mourvedre) you’ll enjoy their SVG (Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier & Grenache Blanc) or their MSGP (Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache & Petite Sirah.)

We could drone on with more lettered wines but you get the idea. Onx’s winemaker is a blending machine already while looking to add Italian varietals like Cinsault, Tanat etc. Lord only knows how they’ll end up blending these.

We tasted six of their blends over two days in their tasting room and on a tour of the vineyards in the Atascadero Gap AVA.

It’s not often we enjoy every sample in a flight because as we say, you’ve got to kiss a lot of ugly frogs before you find your beautiful prince/princess wine. Winemakers make good, better and best at different price points just like all retailers. But we must say, we enjoyed every sip of their wine flights from top to bottom.

In the tasting room Karen gave us a new adjective for the type of California wine we were sampling. Zippy. Out at the vineyard Christopher led us through the vineyard showing us all four types of pruning styles before showing us to our private picnic area and two bottles of wine.

How could we not enjoy this wine with taste, grace & panache.

So, what did we taste? Here goes:

Field Day 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier & Grenache Blanc $28 ✰+

Indie Rose 2019 Tempranillo $22 ✰

Mad Crush 2017 Grenache, Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Zinfandel & Petite Sirah $48 ✰++

Crux 2017 Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache & Petite $54 Sirah ✰++

Praetorian 2017 Tempranillo, Malbec & Grenache $48 ✰+

Reckoning 2017 Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranilo, Grenache & Zinfandel $58 ✰+

Noble Intrigue 2017 Syrah $70 ✰+

As you can see we enjoyed every one (ok, ok, the Tempranillo Rose received just one star.) We purchased Mad Crush & Crux for our collection.

It’s best during Covid 19’s pandemic to make a reservation (this is true at most wineries in Paso) at (805) 434-5607. Their Tin City tasting room is located at 2910 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

Some notes on our wine ranking system.

Bill & Erin Hodge write about California Wine, the estates & winemakers producing them and educational information about Vino. Living in California Wine Country provides a front row seat to the places you want to visit the most here in the Golden State.

– -✰  means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰  means -Not liking it too much
✰ means  -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+  with a slash, it means we disagree.