No more Hospices du Rhone in Paso Robles . . .
Hmm I am not in the wine industry, so what I say does not carry much weight. But I think it has been very, very smart for vineyards that were promoting Syrah to start promoting Grenache/Syrah blends. While I think Syrah is a hard grape for many, Grenache I've found truly beautiful. And the various Syrah blends I have enjoyed.
Second observation - tt seems the premier producers in Paso Robles are doing fine as they keep raising their prices (Denner, Tablas Creek, L'Aventure, Terry Hoage, Villa Creek, Booker, Epoch etc.)
Totally agree, and sad to see the one event I look forward to each year come to an end. It was the perfect venue to explore and expand appreciation for lesser known varietals and their contributions to some great blends. I would add Edw Sellers, Jacob Toft, and Macprice Meyers to your list.
I've never attended HdR and don't know much about it. This is complete speculation on my part but I noticed in the article that Mat Garretson was the founder of HdR. I know that he closed his winery back in 2009 and more recently completely moved to Minnesota leaving the wine business completely (I think). Maybe the event and organization are just leaderless at present. I don't think that I'd say that Syrahs or Rhone blends are less popular today and as goldangl95 points out PR premier producers are doing well.
I have attended the Rhone Rangers event in San Francisco for the last few years. It is a great event that highlights wineries that feature Rhone varietals from all over California.
I also attended the Lamb Jam event last week that is more about the food but also includes wineries that feature Rhone varietals. They are a good pairing with lamb dishes. Lamb Jam has several events a year in different cities around the US.
So there are still some good opportunities for promoting awareness of this style of wine.