Paso Robles

2018-10-15 – Day 58 – Home!

We spent the night in Palm Desert in the Villa in the parking lot at the golf clubhouse…  We were on the road at 7:00 am, and at Mentone Beach by 8:00 am.


We spent about an hour unpacking and cleaning, then we were home in Redlands…

Our next trip out is November 1 – the Airstream Club weekend rally in Palm Desert, at Emerald Desert RV Resort, then off to Paso Robles for some wining and a “Friendsgiving” at the Record Family Vineyards…

And, as is our custom…

The McAnoy family takes a walk…


And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-07-07 – WBCCI 2018 Wine Tasting Caravan – Day 6 – Paso Robles

We have two special appointments today… we even managed to shoehorn in a 3rd stop…

Our first is an excursion through the vineyards of Halter Ranch Winery, with wine tastings amongst the oak trees and vineyards… Our vehicle was a 1984 Land Cruiser, imported from South Africa, and converted to left hand drive…

We set out from their beautiful tasting room, heading down to their events center.  They hold wedding, parties, and corporate events of all types and sizes.  These may look look simple farm buildings, but they all have been rebuilt using steel structures and restored siding, windows, and fixtures…


Then we headed deep into their property, winding through their vineyards and climbing the hills.  We were given tastings of their wines at various points along the way…


We moved on to another picturesque spot, and we tasted more wine:


And again, each time with different vistas and different wines… our last stop was the Ancestor tree – a 500 year old oak tree, with a trunk about 15′ in diameter…


We returned to the tasting room and finished our visit by buying wine and signing up for their wine club…

We had a little time before our next appointment, so we drove to the top of the mountain and did a food and wine pairing at Calcareous Winery, with food by Thomas Hill Organics:


Our final visit today is at Jack Creek Cellars.  They are not open to the public; they are only open to Wine Club members on the 2nd Saturday of each month… It’s always fun to find a sign like this, push the button, and see the gates open:


This is a huge piece of property, with only a small portion used to grow grapes and make wine.  We have just learned that the Kruse family has sold the property to close friends in the dairy industry from the Central Valley, but that the Kruses will stay on as vineyard managers and wine makers…


We had another great time tasting these great wines.

This evening we went out to dinner in Downtown Paso Robles at Thomas Hill Organics.  It was a little warm in their courtyard, but the food was very interesting and unique…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…




























2018-07-06 – WBCCI 2018 Wine Tasting Caravan – Day 5 – Paso Robles

Today was a relatively free day.  We moved the Airstreams from the Record Family Vineyards to Wine Country RV Resort.

Then we had the day free to do sight seeing, wine tasting, or nothing…

Some of us hit the pool.  Others went to tasting rooms that friends had recommended.  We set out first to Kro-Bar and Barton’s Kitchen Window…



We had a few quick bites for lunch, enjoying the views:


Next, we visited Kro-Bar, a distillery.  They make small batch, artisanal whiskeys, including a very nice Bourbon.  One bottle found its way home with us…

Then we headed out to Turley;  Turley makes some of the finest Zinfandels around.  All their wines are made from old vines, which yield a small, but intense, crop of grapes.  The wines are fabulous.


Very old vines.  Very intense grapes.  Very good wine…

We returned to the RV Park and popped into the pool.  As the temperatures again cooled off, we relaxed in our Happy Hours together, discussing tomorrow’s planned activities…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…









2018-07-05 – WBCCI 2018 Wine Tasting Caravan – Day 4 – Sebastopol and Paso Robles

Thursday morning we had to pack up, hitch up, and be ready to roll quite early… about 9:00 am.  We pulled the Airstreams south about 15 miles to the little city of Sebastopol.  We had an appointment at Kosta Browne Winery:


As mentioned earlier, we all found parking spaces for our Airstreams.  We gathered in front of closed gates – Kosta Browne is not open to the public.  We pushed the “call” button, and announced ourselves; the gates opened and we entered into the courtyard between the winery’s three buildings:


We entered the first warehouse-looking building and found ourselves in what appeared to be a beautiful contemporary house – Entry with steel stair, Living Room with fireplace. Dining Room across the entry, with matching fireplace, and kitchen/tasting room.


We began by tasting a fabulous Chardonnay, as we heard the story of Kosta-Browne.  It all began with two friends, Dan Kosta and Michael Browne.  The year was 1997 and the buddies both were working at John Ash & Co., a popular restaurant in Santa Rosa, California.  Dan was the general manager; Michael was the sommelier.  But their real passion was something bigger, bolder, and more brazen than anything either ever had done: They wanted to create Pinot Noir.  The catch: Neither gentleman had experience making wine.  What ensued was a tale of perseverance, dedication, and hard work.

Dan and Michael managed to scrape together $1,400; they bought a half-ton of pinot noir grapes from Everett Ridge, in the Russian River appellation.  They estimate they spent about $400 of their cash on equipment and about $1,000 on grapes. Once the wine was in the barrel, they made enough labels for 24 cases.

Dan and Michael poured most of that first barrel for VIP customers at the restaurant.  The following year—2000 — Dan and Michael set out to make more pinot noir.  After weeks of networking, Michael convinced John Ferrington, the former assistant winemaker at Williams Selyem, to connect him with the owners at Cohn Vineyard, a source for one of Williams Selyem’s single-vineyard designate wines.  Always the charmer, Michael convinced the Cohns to sell him grapes.  They also convinced some customers and friends to invest in their new company.

In 2005, Wine Spectator Magazine gave their 2003 wines 95 point scores. They were unprecedented scores for a winery as small and as new as Kosta Browne. The scores changed everything.  From there, the name of the game at Kosta Browne was growth. With growing numbers of collectors and connoisseurs becoming interested in Kosta Browne, demand skyrocketed, and the brand set off on the path toward becoming the fan-favorite it is today. Vintages sold out.  The list to be on the list grew.  Michael and Dan found themselves in the difficult-but-not-shabby position of telling friends and customers that they’d have to wait for the opportunity to purchase wine.  It all added to the mystique. They were able to move into their own dedicated winery facility.  Almost overnight, Kosta Browne became a cult sensation.  It was an overnight success that took eight years to happen. The rest, as they say, is history.

I was part of that early fan base. Although it took me 4 years to be allowed to buy wine, it was well worth the wait.  Today was my first visit to the winery!

After a little tasting we toured more of the facility:


After the tour we returned to the tasting room for more samples.  Since they have no wine to see, we bid a fond farewell to Kosta Browne.


We pointed the Airstreams south.  Destination:  Paso Robles… We arrived in north-east Paso Robles at about 5:00 pm.  It was hot.  Very hot.  But a cloud cover was starting to form.  We pulled into the vineyards of Record Family Wines.  We parked the Airstreams next to some oak trees and tried to find some shade.


At about 6:00, Randy and Anne Record, the vineyard owners, met us under the oak trees; they were shortly joined by their daughter, Mindy.  Mindy is the vineyard manager.  Record Family Wines sells about 90% of their grapes, leaving about 10% to make wine.  Randy lined up the bottles on the bed of a flat bed truck, and we began to taste as the sun dropped low into the western sky.


About 10:00 we finally turned in.  The temperatures had dropped and we had a lovely night’s sleep.  And an enjoyable time was had by all…





























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