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Powerhouse Producer Lineup; Alta Colina, Benom, Tablas Creek and more Paired with a Specialized Menu curated by Chef Santos

Paso Robles, CA – On Jan. 15, 2020 Il Cortile Ristorante – winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for six consecutive years – launched its Paired Chef Tastings and Wine Pairings dinner series, an annual event previously known as the Reverse Wine Dinner series. 
Every Wednesday through Feb. 26, Il Cortile will partner with a different Paso Robles winery who will pour three of their signature wines, paired with a special menu created by Chef Santos MacDonal that will highlight the flavors and textures of the wines. The finale will feature three of Paso Robles’ young and upcoming winemakers in a special collaborative dinner. 
“It’s really Chef Santos’s time to experiment with unique flavors, challenge himself by transforming the traditional pairing experience and look to the up and coming talent in the winemaking community,” said Carole MacDonal, owner of Il Cortile. “Every year, Chef Santos looks forward to the diverse lineup of wines and local seasonal ingredients to create an ever-changing menu that gives guests new reasons to return for an encore.”

Each dinner costs $95 per person plus tax and gratuity. The 2020 schedule for the seven-week dinner series includes:
January 15: Austin Hope, Hope Family Wines  
Family owned and operated, the Hope Family has been farming in Paso Robles for more than 40 years. Starting in the wine industry as grape growers, the family now owns five of their own unique labels: Liberty School, Austin Hope, Treana, Troublemaker, and Quest. The limited-production label, Austin Hope, focuses exclusively on Rhone varietals grown on the family’s vineyard. 

January 22: Alta Colina
Best known for their bold and balanced Syrahs, Rhone blends, and gorgeous whites, Alta Colina produces Rhone wines from its organically farmed estate vineyard in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles. This family owned and operated winery uses minimal intervention in their vineyard and winemaking practices resulting in high quality wines. 
January 29: Benom
Born in the South of France and raised in Bordeaux, Benom has been a longtime dream project between two brothers. Arnaud Fabre, the sales and marketing manager for Law Estate Wines, and Guillaume Fabre, the winemaker/proprietor of Clos Solene, bring an eclectic collection of wines to Paso Robles with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Spanish inspired blends. 

February 5: Tablas Creek
Founded in 1989 by the Perrin family of Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas of Vineyard Brands, Tablas Creek has been a longtime pioneer of California’s Rhone movement. After finding soil and climate similar to that of the Beaucastel’s property in France, the duo settled in Paso Robles and began planting their imported cuttings, which has now been spread to more than 600 U.S. vineyards. 
February 12: Epoch Estate
In 2004 Geologists Liz and Bill Armstrong’s knowledge of soil and climate led them to two vineyards in Paso Robles: the historic Paderewski Vineyard, first planted in the early 1900s by Polish pianist and Prime Minister Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and the Catapult Vineyard. Each with different characteristics, Epoch is able to create delicious and complex, small production wines that are carefully crafted from Rhone, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo varieties.  
February 19Diablo Paso Winery and Hayseed and Housdon
Two winery’s that are at the forefront of Paso Robles’ garagiste winemaking movement will come together for Il Cortile’s Paired dinner series. Diablo Paso is dedicated to limited production Spanish varietal wines including Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, Albariño and Rosé. Hayseed and Housdon produce small lot wines with minimal intervention and a big community focus; when you purchase a bottle of their To Paso Rosé, Pray for Love Pinot Noir, Excuse my Dust Chardonnay, or Warrior Cabernet, 50% of the profit is donated to each wine’s respective non-profit organization. 

February 26: Hubba WinesNelle and Top Winery  
This dinner will highlight three of Paso Robles’ young and upcoming winemakers: Riley Hubbard with Hubbard Wines, Tyler Russell of Nelle and Stanley Barrios from Top Winery. Each winemaker will feature one of their signature wines for one combined tasting experience. 
The Paired Chef Tastings and Wine Pairings dinners sell out quickly and seating is limited, so booking well in advance is recommended. These events are a rare and unique opportunity to experience the Il Cortile team’s passion and pride, which has been an innovative force on the Paso Robles Wine Country culinary scene in recent years. Reservations can be made at 805-226-0300 or online at

About Il Cortile Ristorante 
Il Cortile Ristorante is located in Paso Robles Wine Country, a top destination for exquisite wines, picturesque landscapes and beautiful weather – the perfect pairing for Executive Chef Santos MacDonal’s rustic Italian cuisine. Owned and operated by Chef Santos and his wife Carole, the menus are seasonally inspired and created with the freshest ingredients. Chef Santos makes an array of exceptional homemade pastas, fresh seafood, top quality meats and antipasti. The wine list, inspired by Chef Santos’ food, completes the dining experience. Il Cortile Ristorante won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, in recognition of its robust wine list featuring a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Visit Il Cortile Ristorante in downtown Paso Robles. The restaurant is currently open Wednesday-Sunday, and expanding their hours to Wednesday–Monday starting February 3.