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!

1. Where are your wines (or the grapes they come from) grown? All the different grape varieties we make our wine from are grown right here on site. Our vineyard is 281 acres, planted to 17 different varieties, and the property itself is 1600 acres. The unplanted 1319 acres are a wildlife preserve that will remain predominantly untouched.

2. Do you have a bed and breakfast here? We do not have a bed and breakfast here, but we do occasionally host friends, family, or business partners of our owner in the old victorian farmhouse.  If you’re interested in seeing the house from the inside, you might consider joining our wine club (we host an annual open house in December), or calling ahead (usually 48 hours in advance is enough) to request a tour. Please note that if the house is currently occupied by guests, tours of the interior will be unavailable.

Subquestion:  Do you do weddings here? We do not currently rent out the property for weddings or private events. We do hold our own events regularly and events through the local community occasionally. For details on up and coming activities check www.halterranch.com.

Further subquestion:  Does the owner live here? Our owner does not live on site, but he does visit regularly throughout the year.

3. Where else should we go? Please note that the list here reflects what we could type immediately from our brain pan, no bias or offense due to ommision is intended.  Paso Robles is just brimming with excellent wine, food, and accomodations.  Off the top of our heads for wine, in no particular order, and appealing to the infinite variation between palates:  Paso Underground, Thacher, Tablas Creek, Lone Madrone, Justin, Dubost, Kiamie, Tolo, Starr Ranch, Oso Libre, Poallilo, Herman Story, Booker, Denner, Anglim, Villicana, Alta Colina, Daou, Vines on the Marycrest, Red Soles, Barrel 27/McPrice Myers, Whalebone, Terry Hoage, EpochJada, Kukkula, Summerwood, Turley, Cass, Adelaida, Le Cuvier, Derby and literally hundreds of others are great options.  A few other labels to check out: Ranchero Cellars, Thomas Alexander, Kinero Cellars, Percazo Cellars, One Time Spaceman, and Paix Su Terre. For restaurants, profound experiences can be found at Thomas Hill Organics, Artisan, Il Cortile, Villa Creek, Basil, Bistro Laurent, La Cosecha and more.  For accomodations check out Orchard Hill, La Bella Serra, The Adelaide Inn, The Paso Robles Inn, Seven Quails, Marriot Courtyard Paso Robles, Holiday Inn Paso Robles, Wild Coyote, Percazo, Inn Paradiso, and Emily’s House. The Paso General Store is also up and coming and awesome.

4. What is Picpoul Blanc? Picpoul blanc is a white Rhone variety often found in Chateuneuf du Pape as a blending component.  It is highly acidic and has a distinct pear flavor.  A few varietal offerings are available locally from Tablas Creek, Terry Hoage, and Lone Madrone.  We use it as a blending component in Cotes de Paso Blanc and Rose.

Subquestion: What is Tannat? Tannat is an inky and generally tannic red variety hailing from the Basque region of Spain.  Varietal offerings can be found from Tablas Creek, Uruguay, and the Madiran region of France.  We use it as a blending component in Cotes de Paso for a little extra delicious fruity kick, color, and structure.

5. When will you be moving into the new building? If you mean the new winery we have been moved in since the 2011 vintage.  If you are asking about a potential new tasting room near the winery, it’s still a few years away.  That said, a wine club tasting room will be opening in the winery on weekends starting within the next month or two.

Subquestion:  What’s that big house up the hill? Our winery.  It’s amazing and cutting edge.  Tours are available during the week by appointment and at 11am, 12pm, and 1pm Saturday and Sunday.

6. Where does the name Halter come from? Halter is our owner’s mother’s family name.

Subquestion:  Are there horses here? There are not currently horses living on the property but there may be sometime in the future.

7. What do you do with those chickens? Initially the chickens were one aspect of our insect mitigation regime.  We stopped taking them too far out in the vineyard when we discovered a pair of golden eagles on the eastern portion of our property that liked to eat chicken for every meal.  The flock now provides eggs and entertainment for our guests.

8. What does SIP Certified mean? SIP stands for Sustainability In Practice and it is a certification program authored by the Central Coast Vineyard Team.  It is similar to Biodynamic and Organic certification in that it involves a regular audit performed by a third party, but distinct in that it encompasses vineyard practices, continuing education, business plan, and employee treatment.

Subquestion:  Are you guys organic? Beyond the obvious answer that yes, we as human beings are composed of organic matter, we have not yet chosen to participate in organic certification, but it is a possibility down the road.

9. Do you make a Pinot? We do not make or grow Pinot Noir but we do grow 17 different grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Carignan, Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Tannat, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Tempranillo. We choose not to grow and or make Pinot for a variety of reasons some of which include: how flooded the wine market is with it, the warmth and exposure of our vineyard, the belief that the varieties we already have planted are more than adequate–and likely better suited than Pinot Noir–to the task of expressing the uniqueness of our beautiful site in terms of terroir.

 



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