HdR Fun Facts

HdR Fun Facts

When was Hospice du Rhône established?

Hospice du Rhône began as the Viognier Guild launched by Mat Garretson in 1991 in Atlanta, Georgia where he owned a wine shop. At this first event, just 35 wines were poured for an attendance of 20 people.

It was John Alban of Alban Vineyards and HdR’s founding director who took the event a step further and expanded it to include other Rhône variety wines. In 1992, Alban approached the Viognier Guild and offered to host the event at his Edna Valley winery. The one-day “Raisin’ Rhônes” event gradually grew to a multi-day celebration. In 1999 the event branded itself as Hospice du Rhône and Vicki Carroll was approached by Alban to be its director. It’s a relationship that has lasted 23 years! 

Who and how many attend the Paso Robles wine event?

Every other year over 1,200 Rhône wine lovers converge in Paso Robles, California USA for the Hospice du Rhône Paso Robles wine event. The group is a mix of Rhône producers and importers, wine industry representatives, restaurateurs, Sommeliers and enthusiasts who possess an unwavering passion for the 22 Rhône wine varieties.

Are the attending wineries from throughout the world?

You bet! The Paso Robles wine event hosts upwards of 120 Rhône wine producers and importers from throughout the world at the Opening and Closing events. These worldly Rhône wine producers and importers gather from France, South Africa, Australia, Spain, Chile, New Zealand and the USA. The states represented from the USA are Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.

Do you use sommeliers at the wine event?

Absolutely! At the 2022 event, Hospice du Rhône will untilize 26 sommeliers from around the WORLD. This lively group ensures there was not one corked wine is poured at the seminars and meals.

Do you use volunteers at your event?

We could not host our Paso Robles wine event without the help of over 100 volunteers from within San Luis Obispo County. Our Volunteers help us ensure we produce an amazing experience for all in attendance.

How much glassware does the Paso Robles event utilize?

The Paso Robles wine event utilizes over 10,000 pieces of Riedel stemware for the seminars. There are only 7,000 avaliable to rent in the Riedel Loaner Program, this means that after two seminars are finished on Friday the organization has to send out the 3,000 stems to be washed and buffed for use at the Saturday seminars.

Over 2,200 Riedel stems are provided for the two daily tastings and 1,600+ are utilized for meals and those impromptu after parties.  

This is a lot of glass if you ask us! 

How many tables are needed for the event?

Over 400 banquet tables are used at the Paso Robles event. These tables are used in the seminar rooms, tasting pavilion and the meal pavilion.