Terroir, Climats, and Wine Culture

Wine Culture

A new owl box in Block 50


In the most recent issue of Wine Spectator a particular short article stuck out.  A single page interview (March 2013 Wine Spectator p. 21) with Aubert de Villaine, co-director and co-owner of the famed Domaine de la Romanee Conti in Burgundy.  The discussion centered around an effort to designate the region (of Burgundy) a world heritage site, and more particularly around the term Climat.  As it is used in Burgundy Climat (which translates literally to ‘climate’) encompasses Terroir along with the social, anthropological, and technological history of a site.  Due in part to the way land passes between family members in Burgundy along with the cultural heritage and the subsequent wine culture of the region there are some 1248 individual Climats or ‘unique’ vineyard sites that may be designated on a bottle of wine.  (more…)

Native Plant Discoveries – HRV Vineyard Hike Round Two

Underway - Native

The (big!) tour group makes its way across our covered bridge.

Congregation at Club Mitch

Mitch performs a mini quiz session at the main irrigation pond.


This Saturday past we embarked on the second vineyard hike of 2013.  This time, Leslie and Mitch led us up the airstrip, around the pond, through the new plantings, and back in a mock figure eight pattern to arrive at the tasting room.  Along the way we were treated to an abundance of wildlife and absolutely gorgeous warm weather.  (more…)

Industry Party 2013 – Big Time!

The Clean Slate - Industry Party

Ready for the crowd…


Last night we held Industry Party 2013 showcasing our 20,000 square feet of caves and a very special pre-release taste of 2012 Rosé.  As always we were eager to present these exciting new developments and to show our appreciation for all the neighborly love in Paso Robles.


The Room Beginning to Fill - Industry Party

At 7 pm


The main room filled rapidly as groups from every aspect of the food and wine industries arrived to partake in fresh cooked food and Halter Ranch wines.


Tacos Al Pastor - Industry Party

Los Robles Tacos. Incredible.


Los Robles was back in force with their incredible portable taco line.  Always a hit with Côtes de Paso Blanc and Rouge (really any of the wines could pair with one or another of the various taco combos).


The Los Robles Crew Poses Post Party

The Los Robles Crew Poses Post Party


We were also privileged to have Artie and the Gypsy Flame crew slinging barbecued pizza throughout the evening (apologies for the lack of photo, the ‘zas never seemed to hang round long enough for a shot).


Artie and a Gypsy Flame Compatriot Pose by Their Magic Barbecue

Gypsy Flame rocked the house!


The evening began with a walk through the cave system from the eastern outer door through the caves to the main barrel working room with tastes of 2o11 Côtes de Paso Blanc and 2012 Rosé en route.  Michelle and Katie were on greeting and glass duty at the (chilly) front door.


The Katie and Michelle Dance

Katie and Michelle doing the greeting dance


720 glasses were washed and polished in preparation for the event.  600 ended up being put to use which meant lots of boxing and unboxing!


No Glasses Were Harmed in the Shooting of this Photograph

No Glasses Were Harmed in the Shooting of this Photograph (those boxes are empty)


Kevin offered insight into the new 2012 Rosé which contains the largest percentage of Picpoul Blanc (in a Halter Ranch Rosé) and the lowest alcohol in an HRV wine  to date.  The Picpoul contributes a delicious lip smacking acidity while lower alcohol makes the wine even more food (and porch!) friendly.  We cannot express enough how excited we are about this wine.  Expect an official release date sometime next month.


Kevin and Darren Catch a Sip in the Aftermath

Kevin and Darren Catch a Sip in the Aftermath


This was Kendall’s inaugural event at HRV; very exciting and what a success!


Awesome Inaugural Event Kendall!

Awesome Inaugural Event Kendall!


If you didn’t manage to make it out this time don’t hesitate to plan a visit the next weekend (tours take place at 11 and 1) you have free or during the week by appointment.  A massive thank you to all and cheers!


2013 Rose

Our special pour, in keeping with the pre V-Day Spirit





Kubota and Clemens – Activity in the Vineyard

Green From 52 - Kubota

Vineyard activity from the pinnacle of Block 52


Wednesday morning we took an opportunity to get out into the vineyard with Lucas and see how work among the vines is progressing.  The cover crop creates a striking canvas of underlying green throughout the vineyard in distinct contrasted to the various shades when the vines are active and despite chill season, the hearty aroma of fresh growth fills the air.  We are currently in the process of pruning and performing weed mitigation throughout our plantings.  At the moment 70% of the vineyard is composed of mature, fruit producing vines, the other 30% is still making its way toward the point where usable fruit will be produced (we begin harvesting fruit once a vine has reached its 3rd leafing).   (more…)

Introducing Kendall Carson


Kendall Being Awesome



Kendall joins the Halter Ranch team after spending the past 7 years at Edward Sellers.  She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and customer service experience from her diverse career as a membership coordinator and promoter in both the wine and golf industries.  Kendall will be succeeding Tony Quealy as our wine club and event manager given Tony’s move to grace the tasting room with his managerial skills.  She has worked previously for Mission Hills Country Club, Kraft Nabisco, Edward Sellers, and as a consultant at courses in Southern California and Phoenix.  Her husband John manages both Hunter Ranch and La Purisima.

When asked about her interest in wine prior to working in the industry, she gets all dreamy eyed and relates a story about the first variety that provided an absolutely sublime experience, a Barbera from Inglenook.  She began in the industry by working with Diane in the tasting room at J. Lohr where she acquired the knowledge and experience to get the Ed Seller’s tasting room off the ground for their initial release.  While at Edward Sellers she did a bit of everything including but not exclusive to: becoming certified and driving a forklift, punching down and pumping over tanks, organizing events, running the tasting room, and managing the wine club.

Kendall first experienced Halter Ranch and our wine back in 2005 and 2006 when Mitch, Leslie, and Kolynn were pouring the first few vintages of HRV wine (2002 Syrah, 2002 Ranch Red, 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon) on the newly remodeled Victorian porch. While a fan of Halter Wines overall, she is particularly excited about the Cotes de Paso program (both Rouge and Blanc) and the 2010 Syrah (Viognier coferment!).

Kendall is eager to contribute her expertise and creativity as Halter Ranch continues to grow and we are absolutely ecstatic to have her on board.  If you have not checked out the events schedule for the year, take a peek here, the line up is already (perhaps not surprisingly) looking stellar.


Barrel Tastes – Spelunking of a Sort


Barrel Experiment Alcove - Barrel

Barrel Experiment and Special Cabernet Alcove


Each year Kevin and the winemaking team compile a barrel experiment to assist in the ongoing effort toward improving our wines while being fair and balanced with regard to the various cooperages courting us yearly to purchase their barrels.  You may recall a previous post about the initial tasting for the 2011 Barrel Experiment.  This week Kevin took a few of us into the caves to revisit a select group of wines that may be included if we begin offering barrel tastings as part of the cave tour program in the future.  (more…)

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