Écluse Blind Dog Red Blend ($17)
Écluse is the French word for the locks on the canals. And, the Écluse name is very fitting for this winery that’s owned by Steve Lock.
During my last visit to Paso Robles I stopped in to visit Écluse and got to meet Steve. Besides making great wines, he’s also a wonderful gentleman.
The Blind Dog wines began in 1996 when their property caretaker, Duane Robinson, lived on the property with Bingo, his longtime, faithful companion who, due to glaucoma, was blind. They were great companions as Bingo would bark to alert Duane, who was very hard of hearing, and Duane would be Bingo's eyes. In 1998 Bingo had aged and Topaz, a spunky little lab/terrier mix came on the scene. Topaz became Toby to Duane and all at the Vineyard. As Toby aged they discovered she was a Diabetic and in the summer of 2008, Toby lost her sight. They then had two blind dogs on the property.
This inspired Écluse to create Blind Dog Midnight Run Cuvee as a Tribute to these special dogs. This red is a terrific blend of some of the best Paso Robles reds. It’s barrel aged from 14 to 30 months and really special.
So, next time you are passing through Paso Robles, take the short drive off Highway 101 and visit Écluse. They make a bunch of really great wines that you’re sure to enjoy. And, if you pick up a bottle of this Blind Dog Red, they’ll donate a percentage of their proceeds to Dogs for Better Lives, formerly known as Dogs for the Deaf, in Central Point, Oregon. It’s a real win-win! Cheers!