Paso Wine Man – The Return

The latest Paso Wine Man video features many familiar sites and sights.  We were ecstatic to host Juice Media and the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance for the majority of the shoot.  Those of you who have visited the winery, see if you can identify a few of the spots around the vineyard that are featured in the video.


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.


Cabernet Day Reflections – Wine and Music in Concert

2003 Halter Ranch Cab opened in prelude to Cabernet Day


In preparation for Cabernet Day 2012, a friend and I drove via the coast route from Paso Robles to Santa Cruz. Securely stowed in our air conditioned vehicle were a few bottles each of Halter Ranch 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. These two special wines represent the entirety of our first foray into the variety at Halter Ranch.   (more…)

Sunset Inspired Rosé Soirée at Halter Ranch

The Components


Inspired by the recent Sunset magazine “Vacation in a Glass” article by wine editor Sara Schneider, we took it upon ourselves last Wednesday to present 8 Rosés from the article paired with the suggested recipe for Provençal pissaladiére, cheese, fresh fruit, and delicate meat. The event was affectionately, and appropriately, dubbed the Rosé Soirée.  What began as an educational exercise in the spirit of enlightening our palates and gaining perspective on the diversity of Rosé from California, became a model experience for casual evening events to come.

We decided to cook the Onion Tart in the two styles Sunset suggests (Tuna and Anchovie) along with a de-Tunaed vegetarian version.  The key in getting the tarts correct is cooking the onions until they are deep brown and limp without burning them to a crisp.  This task was undertaken by Lindsey B. (who undercooks onions out of burning paranoia) and Sarah Forstner (who kept Lindsey’s paranoia in check long enough to get the onions cooked).  (more…)

I of the Storm – An Argument for Interest in Wine

At a pouring for special guests in our new Winery


Up to this point I have presented all Halter Ranch blog posts from a pleasant distance as the universal ‘we’.  Today rampant opinion has led this particular blogger to forge ahead into unknown territory, presenting his own thoughts on a particular aspect of the wine industry from the excitingly dangerous perspective of ‘I’.

So, I, Lindsey Burrell, today’s composer of the Halter Ranch blog,  have conflict with a certain observed pattern in the presentation, tasting, and understanding of wine.  I will refer to this pattern under the general heading of ‘rampant opinion’ and more particularly as an attitude of yes or no, white or black, up or down, extreme or extreme, in the context of drinking, enjoying, and analyzing wine.   (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…)

Côtes de Paso Blanc and Rosé are Buzzing – Get them while you can!


Two pressing thoughts have come to the minds (or the mind) of the Halter Ranch collective over the past month.

Thought Number 1:  Beyond being stellar overall, our summer line up (ie Rosé and Côtes Blanc) has been performing excellently in both print media and competitions (see below for specifics).

Thought Number 2: Remaining quantities of Côtes de Paso Blanc and Rosé are rapidly depleting.

Conclusion: The time is ripe to secure these wines for your summer table, porch, barbecue, or cellar.    (more…)

“Je me concentre dans le domaine du tourisme du vin”

Eglantine and Fancy Door


It may be evident from previous posts that our tasting room is currently graced with the presence of a miraculous French intern.

Eglantine: A sweet aromatic rose variety native to Europe and West Asia.  Also known as Sweet Briar

Eglantine hails from Bordeaux (yep, the town of Bordeaux, more accurately, from smack in the middle of the town of Bordeaux).  She has approximately two years of University (studying Tourism) remaining at Lycee de Gascogne.  Her intention is to hone her concentration in on Wine Tourism during those final years before transplanting to the United States more permanently as a wine specialist and guide.

The post today is devoted to Eglantine’s favorite Halter Ranch wines and the French style dishes she would pair them with.  We have taken the liberty of scouring the web for recipes, linking them where appropriate.   (more…)

Halter Ranch in New York City

Lindsey B inadvertently posing.


The following is an account from our blog’s editor, Lindsey Burrell, as he explores wine (Halter Ranch and overall) in the big apple.

Over the past week I had the opportunity to visit and explore New York City. While there, my wife and I took the time to seek out a few restaurants in Manhattan that serve Halter Ranch wines while surveilling the state of wine on the island.  Below I recount a few of our experiences along the way:

After perusing the list of restaurants in Manhattan that offer Halter Ranch wine, we arrived in front of the Knickerbocker Bar & Grill at 33 University Place, Greenwich Village The Knickerbocker felt as if it had been lifted directly out of Jazz’s golden era and planted in 2012 New York.  The staff were gussed up in pressed formalwear and the atmosphere in the spacious room gave an impression, figuratively and literally, of warm, sturdy hardwood.  In the evening, we were told, a jazz combo will often materialize to entertain. 


Halter Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon


This outing offered a rare opportunity to reconnect with old friends over Halter Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2,928 miles from home.  After pouring the wine we ordered French Onion Soup, field greens, a mixed green salad with bacon, and the goat-cheese omelet.  Our server was politely taken aback by the decision to embark on Cabernet among a plethora of greens and lighter (beefless) dishes. Acknowledging his concern, we made the decision to forge ahead.  Conventional pairing ‘rules’ notwithstanding the acidity and spiciness of the Halter Ranch Cab complimented the herb qualities of the greens and the oil in the dressing quite well.  


What we thought of the food.


A discovery made while perusing the Knickerbocker wine list with more precision:  they offer a unique opportunity to experience one of our library whites.  The 2009 Cotes de Paso Blanc is on their list at a remarkably reasonable price given the fact it has been sold out at the winery for over a year (to the sorrow of staff, club members, and Halter Blanc fans alike!).  If you’re interested in a treat and have a taste for cellared whites don’t miss out on the opportunity to get your hands on a bottle of this delectable Rhone blend.


Where once there was French Onion Soup


We greatly enjoyed eats, atmosphere, and wine (of course) at the Knickerbocker, it is always amazing to taste a glimpse of home in a faraway place.  If you’re seeking a calming atmosphere after a long loud walk or a bumpy ride on the New York Metro system this is a destination to consider.

A few alternate locations serving Halter Ranch in New York:

Henry’s, Porter House, Nicholas James Bistro

Other notable wine sights not directly related to Halter Ranch we found exciting, inspiring, amazing:

For the enthusiast: Bar Jamon.  This (seriously!) tiny tapas bar is a purveyor of exclusively Spanish wine and cuisine.  Pours are generous, the staff is knowledgeable, and the fare is mindblowingly tasty.

For prestige: Gramercy Tavern.  A James Beard Award winning watering hole with an intimidatingly vast, diverse cellar, and professionalism with a smile.  Wear something nice ‘ )

For the refined:  The Burgundy Wine Co.  To find choice selections from Burgundy, the Rhone Valley, Oregon, small production Champagne, and Rose accept no substitute. Tastings and live music every Wednesday.

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