(BPT) - Growing up in the heart of Napa Valley, Laura Orozco is intimately familiar with what makes a great wine. In fact, it's in her blood. "My family is originally from Mexico," said Orozco. "My father came to the U.S. in the early '70s to work in the vineyards and follow the 'golden path' to give us a better future."
Orozco's father broke his back working in the vineyards; however, that didn't stop him from pursuing his dream. His dedication and love for wine is evident in his daughter's work.
Following the golden path
For nine years, Orozco has worked as the assistant winemaker at Chimney Rock Winery, a world-class winery led by Elizabeth Vianna, who took Orozco under her wing. Orozco's reputation and passion for producing high-quality cabernet sauvignon caught the attention of Bill Terlato, President and CEO of Terlato Wine Group, who invited her to lead the winemaking functions for this new brand, Paso D'Oro.
Paso-D'Oro is the Spanish phrase for "way of gold," which pays tribute to Orozco's family journey. The name also evokes the California sunshine that paints the golden hills and valleys of the Paso Robles landscape and represents the people drawn to the Golden State.
This appointment is an honor for any winemaker, but especially a Latina winemaker like Orozco. According to Travel + Leisure Magazine, only 14% of California wineries are led by women, although that number is growing. Although the odds were stacked against her, Orozco followed her father's golden path and created a bold new cabernet sauvignon with grapes grown in Paso Robles, California.
A trendy region for fine wines
Situated between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California's central coast, USA Today named Paso Robles the best U.S. wine region in 2023, and it's not hard to see why. According to Wine Tourism, this trendy wine region is responsible for more than 35% of all wine production in California. It's become a new hub of wine tourism and has drawn many talented winemakers like Orozco.
The region's warm, dry climate and fertile soil allow many grape varietals to thrive, including syrah, zinfandel, chardonnay, pinot noir and - most notably - cabernet sauvignon. Orozco has worked hard to secure fruit from some of the best vineyards in Paso Robles and carefully select plots that consistently grow grapes to produce a luxury cabernet sauvignon.
Orozco said the region's hills and valleys remind her of the ups and downs everyone faces in life. Paso D'Oro's evocative cobalt and gold packaging pays homage to these pastoral hills and includes an artistic topographical rendering of the American Viticultural Area (AVA).
Paso-D'Oro's inaugural vintage is bold, approachable and balanced, with pure layers of red fruit and hints of warm spice. The wine received high praise from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and was highlighted as an Editor's Choice wine in its first year on the market. This cabernet delivers the same luxury as an expensive wine from Napa or Sonoma at an affordable suggested retail price of $29.
Orozco believes this wine is suitable for any occasion. "You can drink it with your friends and family over dinner or serve it at a wedding. No matter when or where you drink it, I hope you find joy."
To learn more about Paso D'Oro cabernet sauvignon and purchase a bottle for your next get-together, visit Uncorked.com.