Paso Vino is the true marriage of wine and cheese - literally! This delicious Spanish-style cow's milk cheese is our smallest format hard cheese. It is soaked in a bath of a local, aromatic Syrah after pressing and before aging. We've partnered with local winery, Hope Family Wines, to create a full-bodied, inky wine specifically crafted for cheese making.
What makes this collaboration even more special is that our head cheesemaker, Robin, is married to Hope Family Wine's assistant winemaker, Samantha. The two were able to collaborate and bring Paso Vino to life - showcasing locally-sourced ingredients from California's Central Coast.
"When asked to provide a wine, I was given the parameters that Robin and the Stepladder team wanted something dark and inky," said Samantha. "While we predominantly make Cabernet Sauvignon, I also make a Syrah based blend that has Petite Sirah in it. Petite Sirah is the ultimate blender for dark color and I knew that particular wine would be a great match.
I hope we can continue this collaboration and possibly others for many years to come."
"I really enjoy the nutty, caramel notes in the paste of Paso Vino, that pair well with peppery tannin flavors developed in the rind from the Syrah wine soak," said Robin. "I like the fact that we are able to use a locally grown and produced wine. And the fact that I know my wife had a hand in its production is even better. It also allows us to have insight into all aspects of the cheese and helps us bring out the best in cheese’s flavors from beginning to end."
Looking for more Hope Family wine and Stepladder cheese pairings?
"Robin just helped me with a pairing for a VIP group at our tasting room, added Samantha. "I think Cabrillo with Austin Hope Grenache or Rocky Butte with Austin Hope Cabernet were huge standouts for me. The texture and creaminess of the cheeses complimented the wines exceptionally well."
View of the vineyards part of Hope Family Wines.
More About Samantha:
Samantha C. Taylor is assistant winemaker for Hope Family Wines in Paso Robles the producers of Austin Hope, Treana, Liberty School, Quest & Troublemaker wines.
A native of the Lodi wine country, who also grew up in her family's Italian restaurant, Taylor is a Wine Business graduate of Cal Poly's Wine & Viticulture program, whose winemaking career began the day she received her rejection letter to an MBA program. Impassioned to not move back home with Mom and Dad, she chose instead to drag hoses and shovel tanks nearly 13 vintages ago.
Now an integral part of the winemaking team along with winemakers Austin Hope and JC Diefenderfer, Samantha oversees the daily operations of winemaking and has developed a dynamic and efficient winemaking team that produces award winning wines that truly set the standard for luxury Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. When Samantha isn’t at the winery, she is often knee deep in a DIY home renovation projects with her husband. She also enjoys traveling the world exploring the latest culinary offerings and exploring her never ending quest to find the best local bars and restaurants in any given location. She is also an
architecture and design enthusiast that loves to tour historical homes.