June 1, 2019
There is something about Paso Robles. Time seems to slow down…the air feels better. Life seems less hectic and business owners in California’s Central Coast are working hard to make their dreams come true. Just a 3-hour drive north from Los Angeles or south from San Francisco, Paso Robles feels worlds away from city life. Easily accessible from Highway 101, daily flights into San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and United are about 30 miles away.
Halter Ranch Vineyard
A good place to start your Paso exploration is the winding roads to Halter Ranch for tasty estate grown Bordeaux-style and Rhone-style wines in their beautiful facility with floor to window ceilings providing panoramic vineyard views. When you enter the ranch spanning over 2000 acres with 281 acres of SIP (Sustainability in Practice) wine grapes, you arrive at a covered bridge with silos to your right, now used for wedding preparation. From 1885-1942 the land was once used as a hog farm where hogs were sold to San Francisco, but after the railroad came, business suffered. Next came a grain ranch and flash forward more years, Ronald Reagan announced his second presidential term here. An airport strip and hanger were built for family and friends, visible now from the tasting room. The 83-year-old Swiss owner developed medical devices for orthopedic surgeons and sold the company in 2013. The property is an ode to his mother, Alice Halter, her maiden name. In keeping with his philosophy, the owner will donate a billion dollars to land conservation in the next few years.
Designed in 2011, the winery took 4-5 years to develop including 15 acres of walnuts and 10 acres of olives. The certified sustainable vineyard sells only 15 % of the grapes today while the rest are used for their 14+ wines. You can get to know Halter Ranch more by signing up for a tour or excursion. Tour their underground wine caves and learn about their sustainable practices. See if you can spot a bat or owl box on the land or the raptor stands that control the rodent population. Experience the vineyard in a Land Rover while sipping wine, circumnavigate the property on a horseback ride, take a guided hike or walk with lunch, or reserve a food and wine pairing in their Ancestor Room. Three times in summer a special dinner with soft acoustic music is offered on their covered bridge with 80 other people and a local chef prepared meal.
Don’t miss the 2016 Ancestor, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.