What’s Happening

Happening - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Fog from Lion’s Crown

 

As usual there is a lot happening at the ranch this week.  What follows is a quick photo journal highlighting a few of our multitudinous activities as we prepare for harvest 2013 and other Fall events.  The photo above was taken during a recent outing with Lucas pope onto the wildlife and oak preserve just north of our vineyard.  This 1300 acres maintains habitat for indigenous wildlife.  Access to this land for deer and other critters is provided via a network of wildlife corridors through the vineyard.  (more…)


Halter Ranch Vineyard – Frequent Questions

 

Thanks Madelyne! - Halter Ranch Vineyard

The Old Victorian Farmhouse from Adelaida Road

 

Every few months we tasting room and tour staff accrue a group of  questions that crop up repeatedly in our interactions at Halter Ranch.  The following post is devoted to answering the top 9 of these questions so that they are accessible in the e-sphere.  For the record, we love being asked and having the opportunity to answer questions about this wonderful place and the philosophy behind it, so please keep asking and we’ll keep doing our best to provide answers! (more…)


The Garden and Vineyard All Abuzz

 

Tempranillo - Halter Ranch Vineyard

2013 Tempranillo

 

Anticipation among the HRV crew and within the vineyard itself is palpable as we near the opening of Harvest 2013. What follow are a few photos in and about the vineyard taken by tasting room superstars Jess Warren, Kim Potvin, and Sam Flynn.  (more…)


Bonding Over Breakfast

 

Breakfast - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Fresh Cherry Tomatoes

Breakfast - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Death Wish Coffee

Breakfast - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Eggs, Happy Acres, Bacon, and White Truffle Oil

 

Breakfast.


Comparing Cabernet Despite the Splinters

 

Cabernet - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Cabernet and Light

 

 

Last week the production crew set aside some time to blind taste through a group of prominent Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet based blends.  Among the eight wines were many famous, critically acclaimed, and highly sought after offerings from Napa Valley.  Our 2010 Ancestor was thrown in the mix for comparison.  The task for each taster was to select her or his favorite wine from the bunch while also noting any wines that seemed to differ significantly from the rest of the group.  The difficulty in tasting Cabernet Sauvignon is that it tends to be noticeably tannic, fairly acidic, and depending on the region, heavily oaked.  The result is a distinctly weighty and mouth stripping experience.  The crew persevered however, and the consensus among the staff was quite interesting.  We found that though Ancestor is from an entirely different region than the rest of the offerings, it was not selected as among the outliers.  Additionally, while it fit well with the rest of the line up in body and flavor profile, it is less than half of the retail cost of most of the other wines tasted.  (more…)


Ian Adamo of Bistro Laurent Drops Knowledge

Knowledge - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Liquid Knowledge

 

Monday evening we were treated to the immeasurable privelege of a wine tasting and education session with the famed (or infamous depending on perspective) Ian Adamo of Bistro Laurent.  Ian has achieved various wine service and education certifications (including WSET and Somm); he is now in the process of studying for and finishing his Master of Wine Certificate (think Jancis Robinson, but a dude, and not British).   Beyond managing the wine list and shop at Bistro, Ian has begun offering his knowledge and experience to assist local wineries in educating their staff and coming up with a comprehensive plan to present the wines and wineries of Paso Robles to consumers in an engaging and memorable way.

The idea behind our tasting was to compare Halter Ranch wines with various offerings from around the globe in a process of reductive reasoning.  By reductive, we mean breaking the wines down by what they are not in terms of variety, place, and quality.  A few pointers we received from Mr. Adamo at the outset:  Your nose and eyes will tell you far more about a wine than your palate will.   The ‘why’ in regard to a wine is far more interesting and engaging than an individual point score, adjective, or even group of adjectives can possibly be.  After visually and aromatically analyzing each offering, we tasted through and broke down quality to price ratio using a system Ian refers to as BLIC (Balance, Length, Intensity, Complexity).  This offers an objective map for determining a wine’s quality outside of personal taste.  For example, I might personally delight in Nebbiolo, and be less interested in Pinotage, but focusing on those four characteristics may create a conceptual map by which to assess a wine without involving personal preference.

My personal favorite among the group of wines we tried (outside the Halter offerings of course ‘ ) is pictured above.  This complex and delicious white is composed of 100% Viognier from Condrieu in the Northern Rhone region of France.  It presented full body and fairly low acid while remaining delicate in comparison to most of the Viognier I’ve tried in the past.  Tasted against the Condrieu, 2012 Cotes de Paso Blanc displayed distinct acidity, bright fruit, and notable length.  Both wines would perform well in the four BLIC categories, but it is interesting to note that the Condrieu goes for about $90 a bottle, while CDPB retails for $28.

Expect coverage of additional tastings as they happen.  Our next article here on the blog will cover new developments in the cellar as we prepare for harvest 2013.  In the meantime cheers and thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

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