Through Our Wineglasses

Hidden Gem in Paso Robles


Weekends in January are a great time to go wine tasting with your girlfriends  since it’s likely that your husbands have their interests elsewhere…namely in front of a TV watching football.   Two of my friends took advantage of this and ventured out once again to taste the amazing wines of Paso Robles.   We like to visit our favorite wineries but we also try to visit ones that we haven’t been to yet.

I tasted Volatus wines a few years ago and was really impressed.   Volatus is one of those rare gems in Paso Robles that will make an unforgettable impression on you.   The name Volatus means flight which may make you wonder what it has to do with wine.  Well, Hal Schmitt, the winemaker and owner was a TOPGUN instructor and the Navy’s air-to-air training expert.  Hal is also an expert photographer offering top-notch instruction at workshops and excursions through Light Workshops.

The winemaker and his wife are both wonderful photographers, all around nice people who are passionate about everything they do.  The wine along with everything else is an excellent representation of a dedication to distinction.

Victoria and Hal Schmitt of Volatus Winery

Victoria and Hal Schmitt


This hidden gem isn’t something you will randomly stumble upon while exploring the wineries of Paso Robles.  Volatus doesn’t have a tasting room so in order to experience their wines you will need to make an appointment.   Hal and Victoria are wonderful hosts and very interesting to talk to.  One of my friends said after we left the tasting “Wow, I learned a lot!”

The tasting list is not an extensive one but the quality of the wines makes up for any perceived lack of quantity!  The first wine we tasted was a white,  a 2014 “Inside Passage” which is an incredible blend of 68% Viognier, 17% Marsanne, and 15% Grenache Blanc.   If I didn’t have a wine fridge full of whites that I won’t be touching til the weather warms up I would have bought a bottle or two.

The next wine on the list is a 2007 Volatus Reserve Red, an excellent blend of Malbec and Syrah which is a velvety smooth delight.   This was followed by a 2008 Volatus Reserve Red which is a bold blend of Syrah and Petite Syrah.  These wines are exceptional and your tastebuds are likely to become hooked on such Paso Robles goodness!

Volatus Reserve Red 2007


The final wine we tasted was the 2007 Topgun Cuvee, another big blend of Malbec, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Zinfandel.  This wine is extremely well-balanced and great alone or with just about any food you can think of.

I went home with a 2007 Volatus Red and a 2008 Volatus Red which are both gone in less than a month so I will be needing to revisit these wines soon!

If you venture out to taste these incredible wines be sure to stick around and taste the wines of  Midnight Cellars which Hal has a hand in making their great wines also.

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