A Holiday Hike Up Block 50 Grenache

Trekking upward between Grenache and Mourvèdre


I began my trek up Block 50 Grenache / Mourvèdre around 4:19 pm just over an hour before our staff holiday event in the northeastern most barrel room of the new winery.  The windchill was already up (or down depending on how you define things) and shadows were growing long.  My first impression of this planting took place just after the vines were put in the ground this May past, and my thought at the time was “so steep!”.  This assessment was no less accurate on foot seven months later and I could feel my chest tightening as my lungs filled with chilly air.  The reward upon reaching the top was more than worth the effort and nearly beyond description (though I will still try of course).   (more…)

Tasting through Portugal and Spain: Part Deux

Oscar, Kevin, Darren, Katie, Raquel, and Molly put on serious faces as we embark on a Vinus journey through Spain



For round 2 Orestes provided and helped secure a group of diverse wines from Spain.  While one or two are favorite producers of his, most were selected for their obscurity and interesting character.  We began the tasting with an Albillo discovered at MEZE Wine and Tapas bar in San Luis Obispo.  The wine was bright, with noticeable but not overwhelming weight, and a distinct earthy funk.  Orestes informed us that the region in which it is grown (Ribera del Duero) is very warm, but Albillo is a variety that maintains its acidity despite the heat in its homeland.  (more…)

Weaving Trails and Whispers of Wildlife

Up the Wildlife Corridor


Last Tuesday I had the privilege of joining our viticulturalist, Mr. Lucas Pope, and Dave (who’s Lucas’s dad) on an exploratory and revelatory journey through the adjoining property once owned by Dr. Curran.  If you are familiar with our vineyard (here’s a map if you are not) the old Curran property runs along the northeastern edge of our plantings, just beyond Blocks 22 (Syrah) and 52 (Grenache, Carignan).  It plays home to some incredible vantage points with expansive views west toward the coast range, north toward the pinnacles, southwest over Halter Ranch Vineyard, and east toward Adelaida Cellars and Paso Robles proper.   (more…)

Tasting Through Portugal and Spain: Part Un

The Line Up From Portugal


In the final month of their stay at Halter Ranch we enlisted both Raquel and Orestes in helping us acquire a smattering of wines from their respective homelands.  Within a budget they each provided a list of delightful and/or interesting wines and we sought them out.  The following is an account of the tastings that resulted from these endeavors and some brief thoughts from the staff on the wines.


Raquel pours Vinho Verde


For the tasting from Portugal we began with a Vinho Verde which means ‘Green Wine’.  The title refers both to the region of origin and the fact that the wine is designed to be consumed when it is young. Vinho Verde is typically bright with bracing acidity and often has some slight carbonation.  The Aveleda fit these descriptors well and seemed to desire some light fare or a hot day in which to shine.  We followed our brief sensory tour of Vinho Verde with an Alvarinho (the Dorado pictured above) that showed distinct signs of oxidation, it received mixed reviews from the tasting panel.  Skylar commented that it exhibited some characteristics similar to intentionally oxidized wines produced in the Jura region of France.  When asked if the oxidation was intentional in this case Raquel responded:  “Maybe…but most likely not.”  (more…)

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