Happening Season

Old Speedsters and Winery

New looking old cars and new looking new winery

 

Event season is upon us!  Over the course of the next two months multitudinous opportunities to taste, and eat, and all around wine will be presenting themselves.  What follows is an update on various events (Incoming!) and a few details as we break ground on an exciting new project here at the ranch. (more…)


Our Latest Wildlife Photos

The increasing diversity of wildlife caught by cameras strategically placed throughout Halter Ranch Vineyard is absolutely stunning.  Our latest captures are posted below:

 

wildlife - halter ranch vineyard

A Waldo

 

A down on its luck Waldo is captured on film filching a drink from one of the natural springs on the Halter Ranch property.  Has it no shame?!?

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Spring Sprung

Sprung - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Budbreak in Block 4

 

Spring has sprung at Halter Ranch.  A walk through the sunbathed vineyard reveals an ecosystem abuzz with new growth.  The five inches of rain we received weeks ago and the warmth of days since have given the vines and cover crop the boost they needed to blanket the vineyard in bright green.  Weather gurus predict additional rain tomorrow and we welcome it with open arms.  Check out additional observations from the vineyard below:

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Taste

 

Halter Ranch Vineyard

 

One of the most common questions we get when pouring for patrons in the tasting room is:  “So which one is your favorite?” or “What would be your pick from this list?” or any number of variations on the core theme: “What is your personal preference among these wines?”  (more…)


Talking Color Preference and 2013 Rosé

 

2013 Rosé - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Click the bottle above to view the video

 

The 2013 Rosé is now available to taste and purchase in the Halter Ranch tasting room!  In celebration staff members Lindsey Burrell and Mika McGee created the video linked above.  It’s silly.  (more…)


The Cab Collective and Rain

Collective - Halter Ranch Vineyard

 

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, Paso Robles is uniquely suited to growing and ripening Cabernet Sauvignon.  Additionally, while Cabernet is the most planted variety in the Paso Robles AVA, it is currently Paso Rhone varieties (such as Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre) that receive most of the attention in the critical scene and from  periodicals.  In response to this trend a group of Paso wineries who produce quality Cabernet Sauvignon have pooled resources to bring more attention to this noble variety.

The Cab Collective will be holding a Gala event at River Oaks Hot Springs on April 26, 2014.  Check the website here for details.  Additionally, individual wineries will be offering dinners and presentations over the course of the weekend.  Keep an eye on our events page for details about a Cabernet Blending and Barrel Symposium to be hosted by Kevin here in our wine club lounge.

Paso is uniquely suited for late ripening varieties such as Cabernet given its consistently hot and long summer in concert with proximity to the sea and the lateral arrangement of hillsides creating a nightly cooling effect from the coast.  High daily temperature with a 40 degree cooling swing overnight allows us to take Cabernet to a high degree of ripeness while maintaining acidity and tannin that give it stability in the cellar.

In other news, we received just under 6 inches of rain over the past 10 days, bringing us to 8 inches for the year overall.  While this is still far behind the average for this point in the season, we are in a distinctly more comfortable position than we were just two weeks ago.  Keep up those rain dances!  They seem to be helping ‘ )

Next week we will be presenting a fresh new video to celebrate the release of our delicious 2013 Rose.  Keep an eye on our YouTube feed, facebook page, Google+, and Twitter so you don’t miss out and if you enjoy the video, don’t forget to click those like buttons and share it with your friends.  Until next week, happy rainfall and cheers!

 

Collective - Halter Ranch Vineyard

The Pouring Rain


All Bottled Up

 

Bottled - Halter Ranch Vineyard

 

Last week we bottled 3 wines from the 2012 vintage and 2 wines from the 2013 vintage.  As each harvest season passes and we begin to taste whites and rose from the immediately preceding vintage and reds after barrel ageing for 18 months it is amazing and exciting to see the combination of similarity and subtle differences each new vintage lends.  As each season turns, the vines mature a little more, digging their roots in deeper through soil, rock, and the history contained therein.  In subtle ways the wines seem to react to this maturity, gaining depth, brightness, and length with each new year. (more…)


Weather News

Weather - Halter Ranch Vineyard

The Weather Station

 

After much consideration and planning, a shiny new weather station has been installed along the Halter Ranch airstrip by Joe Thorp of Signature Ranch Technologies.  Given distinction between weather here on the ranch and weather nine miles east of us in Paso Robles proper, we’ve been relying on readings from Tablas Creek’s weather station up to this point.  For each mile you move away from the town of Paso Robles toward the coast you may add approximately an inch of rainfall and about half a degree of decreased temperature.  As a result we tend to average 25-30 inches of rainfall, and about 5 degrees fahrenheit less on average over the course of a year than Paso Robles proper and vineyards east of highway 101. (more…)


Prepruning and Sustainability

 

Sustainability - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Cesar in Block 28

 

Each year, in late December or early January we embark on the process of pruning the entire vineyard to prepare for the vines’ awakening in Spring.  The first step in this process is to pre prune the long canes from last year’s growth down close to the primary vine (cordon) so that our vineyard crews can go about more delicate pruning without having to deal with 3-4 feet of stiff, whipcord vine above their heads.  In the past the process of pre pruning took 2 full walking passes and 2 full tractor passes through the entire vineyard to complete.  (more…)


A Walk Through the Caves with our Winemaker

 

Halter Ranch Vineyard

In the Caves

 

It has been an eventful week in westside Paso Robles:

This past Wednesday our accountant Julie Whitmore had the privilege of setting the final stone in the rock facing around our eastern cave entrance.

 

Caves - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Julie places the final stone

 

We achieved a full inch of rain with Superbowl Sunday’s storm and now we only need about 25 more to reach normal rainful.  Keep up those dances and downpour wishes for us!  According to local weather guru John Lindsey, our next opportunity for some serious rainfall is late next week.

Given how busy our schedules are, it is not often that I get to tour the caves and taste through upcoming vintages with Kevin. As such, when the opportunity presents itself I fall deep into ‘sponge-mode,’ absorbing as much information as possible to share in the tasting room and here on the blog.  Much of the discussion on this latest venture into the caves centered around the inherent variability throughout winemaking and the ways we account for that variability from vintage to vintage.  As the process begins in the vineyard each spring, every condition from the angle of sunlight, to the number of leaves on the vine, to the specific conditions of the ecosystem in and among the vines affects the final wine.  The more time I spend in the industry the more I become hyper-conscious of the vast potential for variation wine to wine and vintage to vintage.  Kevin opened by stating that vintage variation in the vineyard, coupled with experimentation in the type of oak and other fermentation vessels we use, accounts for the particular style, or more accurately, styleof wine we produce each year.

 

Caves - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Blurry Thieving

 

As I accompanied Kevin and two industry guests through the caves and listened to him articulate the fact that barrels also have a massive potential to impact the wine and huge variance themselves between forest of origin, cooper (who made them), their size, the thickness of the staves, and their toast level. Potential for variation encourages innovation both with a mind toward keeping a degree of consistency in style from year to year and in making slight changes toward continued honing and improvement of the wine we produce.  I suppose what I’m saying is that the more time I spend in the industry, seeing different choices and the effects of small details in the wine, the more I appreciate a wider variety of wine, and the more I want to share that variety with others.  Kevin states openly that a huge advantage of our operation and the philosophy behind it is the fact that we have the resources and the desire to make and wide variety of wines and to present them to our customers.  I find myself thinking that this honest truth, this innovative mindset, is a major part of what makes Halter Ranch and our wines so exciting.  In that spirit, having tasted a few of our upcoming vintages, I absolutely cannot wait to begin sharing them as it seems that with each year the overall message becomes a little more deliciously clear.

As I was typing this I received a phone call from Lucas out in the vineyard informing me that a pair of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) were gracing the Halter Ranch Pond.  Fifteen minutes after the phone call, I caught these quick shots:

 

Caves - Halter Ranch Vineyard

At a Glance

 

As always, thank you for reading and check back next week for a look at a new and unique piece in the vineyard.  Cheers til then!

 

Halter Ranch Vineyard

Eagle In Flight

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