Earth Day, Farms, and Forks

 

Green Horizon - Earth Day

The Green Ranch

 

The horizon looks increasingly green as Earth Day 2013 approaches…

Beyond our participation in the main event, Halter Ranch will be hosting the Farm to Fork tour and dining experience on April 19 from 6-9 pm.  Our own Kevin Sass will be leading guests on an educational journey through our sustainable vineyard and winery.  The idea here will be to convey, to the best of our ability, the combination of beauty, terroir, specificity, history, philosophy, and approach that make Halter Ranch Vineyard so special.  The journey will be capped off, or topped off if you like, with a multi-course meal prepared by Tom Fundaro of Villa Creek.  Expect some stellar pairing interactions betwixt HRV wines and chef Tom’s stupendous cuisine.

Why attend this event, or celebrate Earth Day through this festival you might ask?  Beyond the reasons above, what body in physical space could possibly compete with our planet when it comes to order of importance?  The sun and moon might be high on the list given our little Third Rock’s codependent interaction with them, but it would be difficult to argue they deserve more attention.

As we’ve expressed in a few previous posts, wine may be considered the sensory exemplification of our planet’s interaction with the sun and moon, given it is essentially the result of natural process that would not exist without these relational physics and the interactions of starstuff that drive them.  So, with this in mind, how indeed could we not spend at the very least one day a year paying homage to our vibrant host planet and the natural happenings round which we base our lives.  While we’re at it, why not indulge in a delicious glass of wine (perhaps even a few!) and a plate (or three!) of scrumptious locovore-type eats?  Why not indeed.

For tickets click here.

 


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

 

 

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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…)


Portugal and Spain Grace Halter Ranch for Harvest 2012

Raquel of Portugal and Spain ‘s own Orestes smile while sorting fruit

 

 

Each fall at Halter Ranch we bring on a few interns to assist with the process of harvest and to share their knowledge while gleaning what they can by working with us.  This year we are privileged to have the help of two very experienced burgeoning Oenologists from Portugal and Spain respectively.  Raquel and Orestes arrived in mid-August and have helped us through one of our busiest and most compressed harvests yet. (more…)


Ancestor Dinner 2012 – Celebrating the Flagship

 

Follow the tealights…toward Ancestor

 

Each year in October, once the Vin de Paille has been laid out in the old Smith barn, we hold a dinner celebrating the season and the offical release of Ancestor.  Our flagship blend is comprised of the winemaking team’s favorite lots (individual portions of the final blend, fermented separately) from the vintage in which it is produced.  We have produced an Ancestor each year since its first incarnation in 2003.  2008 is the current vintage and it is comprised of 25% Petit Verdot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Syrah, 15% Merlot, and 12% Malbec.  Chef Jeff Scott captained this year’s dinner, consisting of a four course meal paired with Halter Ranch wines, peaking with the 2008 Ancestor.  What follows is a photo journal of the event. We’d suggest pairing the experience of viewing this post with a glass of 2010 Cotes de Paso Rouge, but that’s just us.  It might be equally appropriate to pull the cork on an Ancestor from your cellar for conceptual symmetry. (more…)


Harvest 2012 Round 2

Picpoul Blanc and Roussanne

 

The Winery readies itself for Picpoul Blanc

 

In the Vineyard

Our crews began early this morning, picking Roussanne and Picpoul Blanc.  Space between the start of harvest 2 weeks ago with Sauvignon Blanc and today’s pick is striking but not unusual.  It is typical of Rhone whites and most reds to take a bit longer to ripen than the ever over-achieving (or over-eager, depending on how you see things) Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Crews harvesting in the fog

 

We were surprised upon arrival to find that the vineyard was entirely blanketed in fog.  Though it is common for this physical representative of coastal influence to creep in overnight in the surrounding area, it is fairly unusual (occurring perhaps less than once a month) for there to be fog on Halter Ranch itself simply given the geography of the  small valley in which our vineyard lies.  Few smells are quite as captivating as the multitude of scents woken by the presence of hanging moisture in the vineyard.  Subtle whiffs of wet stone, fine dust, and general abundance permeated the atmosphere and lent additional enthusiasm to an already exciting day.  (more…)


Delicacies with Maegen on the Halter Ranch Bridge

Halter Ranch Covered Bridge Dinner

 

Twilit Bridge

 

Each year, near the start of harvest we hold a special dinner catered by a local chef on our covered bridge.  The bridge was built in 2009 by Western Wood Structures Incorporated of Tualatin, Oregon to meet the fire department’s requirement for access to the new winery across Las Tablas Creek.  As with all structures onsite, the bridge combines clean, beautiful, and rustic aesthetic with function to provide a memorable transition from the tasting room and barnyard to the vineyards and winery.  This past Saturday we felt exceedingly privileged to host local culinary extraordinaire Maegen Loring as the guest chef for this year’s dinner and the setting could not have been more ideal.

(more…)


Crush 2012 Begins – Harvesting Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc with morning light

 

Sugars on our 2012 Sauvignon Blanc came in at 22.6 brix as of yesterday morning and the declaration of harvest’s opening swiftly followed from Kevin and Lucas.  We began picking fruit from the northeast corner of Block 26 Sauvignon Blanc at 6 this morning.  A crew of 15 people and 2 tractors holding 3 half-ton bins apiece worked their way between the rows, gently harvesting ripened clusters of fruit to open harvest 2012 at Halter Ranch.

 

(more…)


Halter Ranch Rocks the 2012 Winemaker’s Cookoff

The Sassage

 

Kevin and Tony’s delectable creation wowed the crowd Saturday at the 2012 Winemaker’s Cookoff.  The Halter Ranch staff has pooled smartphone resources to provide the following photo journal. Thank you to all who took (and were willing to contribute) photos!   (more…)


A few sips of Rosé with HJW and EJ

Five Rosés for comparison

 

This past week we were given the opportunity to taste through a flight of Rosé alongside our Winemaker Kevin Sass, Hansjörg Wyss, and Ed Jaramillo.  It was a great experience both to taste the wines, and to discuss our reactions to them.

The flight was selected based upon price point (over $15 and under $30) and rating (every wine in the tasting–other than ours which has only recently been submitted–received at least a 90 point rating from a well known wine periodical). (more…)

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