Contents: Lockdown Wine Specials, Tasting Room Update, Rental Cottage Offers
Lockdown Wine Specials
Well it's a New Year but it looks like same ol', same ol" here in Cali as we enter the tenth month of gruesome (rhymes with?) controls over our civil liberties and commercial freedoms. We are also facing a very droughty start to our annual rainy season. We've had only 1.5 inches of rain so far. No green grass has started on our beautiful hills and there is no precip in the forecast. So we are feeding our cattle hay, thinking about winter vineyard irrigation and hoping for wet weather. Tough times at Calamity Ranch. I was going to buy a helicopter to keep up with Kevin Costner in Yellowstone, but I guess that will have to wait! Thing is, we still have our sense of humor, and a cellar full of wine to send to you, so check out these specials.
To stoke the lagging fires of Rangeland commerce during a slow time and, most importantly, to brighten your table and outlook, we are offering our most flexible wine special ever:
Order any 3 bottles of Rangeland's current selection for $99, just $33 per bottle before your club discount with $1 shipping. Order by email so we can put your special order together with correct pricing.
Order any 6 bottles of Rangeland's current selection for $180, just $30 per bottle before your club discount with $1 shipping. Order by email so we can put your special order together with correct pricing.
Order any 12 bottles of Rangeland's current selection for $300, just $25 per bottle before your club discount with $1 shipping. Order by email so we can put your special order together with correct pricing.
Tasting Room Update: Pick Ups Only for Now
Currently we are open for wine pick ups only, Thursday to Monday, 11-5. Make an appointment here. We hope to have more news for you soon about retarting on-site wine consumption and food service.
Vineyard View Cottage Offers
Our beautiful and secluded Vineyard View Cottage (sleeps 6) has many open dates in the next couple of months, so break away from the grind and enjoy the quiet. Stay at our home away from home. Good wifi service makes remote work possible. For booking dates through the end of February, we are offering:
- 3 nights for the price of two; $400 weekend nights/$350 week nights, before club discount.
- One week (7 nights) for the price of 4 nights.
Check out availabilty and see more details here.
In this issue: Wine Specials, Beef Specials, Holiday Hours, Ode to Harvest
What a year. What a world! Now the holidays are upon us. Time to savor the good things, celebrate our health, connect with loved ones, mourn our losses and give thanks. See the end of this letter for my musings on another completed harvest.
2017 MISTLETOE CASE SALE--THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT
Admit it, you've been good this year. So take advantage of this deal and give yourself a case of 2017 Mistletoe, our delicious Cab/Syrah blend. At just $300/case (that's before your club discount), you can also take care of everyone on your Christmas list. $1 shipping (use coupon code $1ship). Order here.
THREE 2016 CABS
Cabernet pairs so beautifully with the rich hearty meals of winter. We're offering a special on our 2016 Cabernet: 3 bottles for $99. Save $20 before club discounts and just $1 shipping (use coupon code $1ship). Order here.
RED AND WHITE GIFT SPECIAL
For loved ones who are "Rangeland worthy", how about two bottles of fine wine: one 2017 Mistletoe and one 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, for $50 before club discounts and just $1 shipping (use coupon code $1ship). Order here.
BEEF SPECIAL: $1 SHIPPING
Hard-to-shop-for, but important people on your holiday gift list? How about a 10 pound box of grass-fed ground beef ($110) or 20 pounds ($190). Or go all-in for a 25 lb. beef club box of mixed cuts (steaks, roasts, ground and extras, $300). You're giving the gift of health--delicious, nutrient-rich grass-fed beef--and a gift that will be enjoyed well into next year. Club discounts apply. $1 shipping (use coupon code $1ship). We will ship all meat orders in January, after the holiday package rush, but we can send a gift card for you in December. Place your order here.
We are closed Thanksgiving Day, November 26. We'll be open Friday Novebmer 27 through Monday November 30, 11 to 5, as usual. Our grass-fed hamburger service will shift to Friday November 27 and Saturday the 28th, from 11 to 4, just for the holday weekend. After Thanksgiving, normal Saturday and Sunday burger service will continue through the year end, weather permitting. We are limited to outdoor tasting, by appointment.
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY HOURS
We are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We'll be open for business the rest of the holiday, our regular hours, 11-5 Thursday - Monday. Please make a reservation.
ODE TO HARVEST
At grape harvest time, my wife Lisa works a couple of days a week helping winemaker Paul and intern Luke sort fruit and clean the winery equipment. The boys work intermittently in great bursts, ebbing and flowing with the ripening waves of fruit. Starting in the pre-dawn and sometimes lasting into the night: they are sampling, picking, trucking, processing, punching down, pressing and barreling down. Lisa also does "the usual": bookkeeping, wine deliveries and cleaning of the greathouse, cleaning my clothes and soothing my ego. She does all that when she is not cooking meals for the crew in the winery or for friends in need or for her husband. This is not an elegy. It's a fond observation.
I am too caught up in the business of "digital ranching" to really engage with the dusty boot work of harvest, the greasy tractors and endless tons of sticky fruit. After years of hands-on farming, now I just drop in and kibbitz the operation. I may pull an all-nighter when the hand-picked bins are stacked 25 deep, 1000 pounds at a time and the LED lights flare out over the hilly oak woodland, but that is a rare occurrence anymore. As Head Coach, I mostly try to keep our little team on track with sage advice and the occasional rebuke--while I try to keep my own shit together.
Agriculture is like any other business, but when you are caught up in it, it seems deeper. Even winegrowing (essential work?) carries this aura, this burden, this gift. The life and deathiness of agriculture is inescapable. Of course with livestock, but also with wine. The annual march of vintages. The deep rooted perennial plants. Maybe farming is more nourishing, intoxicating and more punishing than other kinds of work, although I'm sure many soldiers, nurses and others would disagree. Like all forms of devotion, we make it work and make it hurt. We cannot avoid overdoing it. The season requires it. So does our driven nature. Good abuse like this, so meaningful and earth-bound, is truly hard to find.
Harvest is a time of natural culmination and profound gathering. At harvest time I think about my fellow farmers and all their struggles, their mortgages, their children, their heads-in-hands moments and their quiet sunrises. I smile about their fat year surplus. When the fires sweep over the hills, I am singed by their losses. Involuntarily, I brace for my own fiery reckoning. At harvest time, I taste my accumulating years like bones in the savory broth of time.
Contents: Fall Wine Club, Doppel Club offer, Lamb Club, Free Lunch "Party", Harvest Fest, Toots-a-Loo!
Wine Club + Doppel Offer
Harvest is in full swing under hot, smoky conditions. Winemaker Paul, harvest intern Luke and vineyard manager Eusebio are hard at it, while I kibbitz the operation. With 25 tons of grapes fermenting in the winery and more picked every day, we are almost over the harvest hump.
So it must be time to announce our fall Wine Club selection, detailed below. If you are a six bottle or more club member, we are offering an additional 10% off with $1 shipping if you double your order. For example, a 6-bottle, 20% off Estate Club member would get a full case at 30% off, a discount of about $40 on that case of wine, plus shipping savings. If you would like to take advantage of this offer to stockpile a little wine for the holidays, please email us.
We will start billling the wine club October 22, but they are available for pickup now. We will ship wine clubs starting November 2. Here is the fall selection:
- 2019 Sauvignon Blanc* - new release!
- (or 2016 Ultramafic for reds only members)
- 2016 Cabernet*
- 2017 Mistletoe
- 2017 Petite Sirah*
- 2016 The Shepherd - new!, 96 points, double gold from Sunset Magazine
- 2016 Watershed*
*denotes 4-bottle intro club selection
Please let us know by email if you'd like to customize your fall shipment. All the available wines are listed here. Please update your credit card and shipping information, if necessary, at www.RangelandWines.com. You can use your email address to retrieve your password to login.
Our fall Lamb Club is harvested and packed. We'll be billing Lamb Club on October 15. You can pick up your shipment beginning Monday, October 19 at J&R in Paso and we'll be shipping that same day. Shipping orders will get an email notice beforehand. Please make an appointment if you'd like to pick up your lamb at the tasting room. Update your info online, clear out your freezer and get ready for this savory, sustainably raised lamb.
Club Member Appreciation Pickup "Party":
The Free Lunch!
Since we are unable to hold our traditional pick up party, we are inviting all of our club members (wine, beef and lamb) to a enjoy a truly free lunch on Sundays only: October 25, November 1, 8 and 15. Each Intro (4 bottle) or Estate (6 bottle), Beef or Lamb Club membership will entitle you to one free grass-fed burger or bowl of chili, a side dish and a “Lisa cookie” on these dates. Case Club (12 bottle) members and "Doppel" fall wine club orders can receive two free lunches. Reservations are required.
Paso Robles Harvest Festival is October 16-18, and we will be open and serving our grass-fed burgers as usual, Saturdays and Sundays only, from 11-4. There may even be a lamb burger on the menu! We expect to still be serving outside only, with social distancing measures in place. Please make an appointment here. You may even get a peak at the 2020 wines being processed in the winery-- a bright spot in this crazy year. We look forward to seeing you!
The Legend of "Toots-a-Loo!"
As many of our longtime customers know, I like to inject a little revealing humor into our newsletter. Well, this little ditty is on the top of my stack lately.
Some of my kids were visiting recently. We were all sitting around the dinner table after a little bit of wine and the conversation took a dark turn about aging and vulnerabililty. Have you noticed how often that happens since the VIRUS has been with us? Anyway, somehow the conversation focused on me, Daddy, and the kids started talking gleefully about what a hideous curr I will become if incapacitated in my (current) old age.
I did not deny this. My record as an occasional patient is a stark monument to profanity, non-cooperation and narcissitc self-absorption bordering on hypochondriacal hysteria. Nevertheless, even Trump deserves a little empathy for his mania and current illness. So I was looking desperately around the table for a little mock sympatico. My eyes settled on my wife Lisa, who was positively bubbling with good humor.
Lisa is widely known for her nurturing and compassionate behavior. She donates children's books to libraries. She helps the developmentally disabled. Except for me. She is constantly cooking meals for the sick and bereft. Her plates of cookies flow like a beneficent Niagara of sweet flavors and tidings. She is a substantional source of sunshine and good cheer to all who know her. Well, almost all. She is my rock and my muse. So I was expecting her to come to my defense at any moment against the Spawn, when she volunteered the following observation: "Well, if it comes down to having to change dad's diapers, it's toots-a-loo for me, kids!"
While my mouth hung open in gap-toothed amazement, the rest of the family was pounding the table and laughing like a bunch of berserk chimpanzees. To amplify this insulting and profoundly hurtful interlude, my eldest son began to explain how "Although Dad is pretty funny sometimes, he tries way too hard. But Mom hangs back and then hits you with a humor bomb like "Toots-a-loo!" She's the really funny one."
Now I hear "toots-a-loo" all the time from my loved ones. Over and over again. So I admit it. I'm a bad patient. I'm cantankerous. I'm destined to be abandoned in my dotage by my laughing wife and kids. I'll be left to die at the hands of a busty Nurse Rachet (it's my dark fantasy!) in the wild Adelaida hills. My grave will be trampled by the very livestock I bred. No, I mean husbanded. I mean.... Oh you know what I mean! I'll be dug up by wild animals. My rotting carcass will be torn limb from limb by a pack coyotes competing to digest my withered remains. Clearly, I try way too hard. And I'm not even very funny.
Contents: GSM Accolades, Wine Specials, Beef, Contentment?
The Shepherd GSM Goes Double Gold
Imagine a mostly humble shepherd with a long crook and a dark wooly beard. He has a big smile on his face and two shiny gold medals hanging around his neck, glinting in the sun. That would be our winemaker Paul Hinschberger after learning that our 2017 The Shepherd, Rangeland's first true GSM since 2013, had been awarded 96 points and a double gold medal in the Sunset International Wine Competition.
Our 2017 The Shepherd ($40 list price) is dark, aromatic, fruity and complex. It compares favorably with many presitigous central coast Rhone blends that can cost twice as much. We are pouring this wine now in the tasting room. Outdoor service only. Just 195 cases made. Order here.
Wine Specials: 2017 Mistletoe and 2016 Cabernet
The 2017 Mistletoe may be the best rendition yet of our Cab/Syrah blend, showing a beautiful balance between new-world fruit and old-world minerality. We are offering this outstanding wine at $300 a case ($25 per bottle) before club discount with $1 shipping. An Estate wine or beef club member price, including the 20% discount, would be $20 per bottle. Case quantities only. Order here.
Rangeland 2016 Cabernet has been a favorite in the tasting room all summer. It is a fun, suave and fruity Cab, owing to a 10% share of Merlot and an opulently ripe 2016 vintage. But this is also a dark, complex and age worthly Cabernet Sauvignon. We are offering 3 bottles of this outstanding wine at $99, before club discounts, with $1 shipping. Order here.
Grassfed Beef and Burgers
We still have some delicious, nutritious grassfed beef available in 25 lb. boxes of mixed cuts, as well as 10 lb and 20 lb boxes of ground beef. Order here.
We are serving hamburgers with our Rangeland estate grassfed beef every Saturday and Sunday at the tasting room, 11 to 4. Outdoor seating only due to Covid restrictions. Make an appointment to join us.
The Summer of our Discontent, Or?
Harvest is upon us and we are bringing some white and rosé fruit into the winery this week. Despite a recent heat spike, growing conditions have been good this year and we look forward to a fine vintage. At this tipping point of a difficult year, I am encouraged to both reminisce and look ahead. Despite inglorious lightning fires, smoky air, the Covid, shifting government regulation, sleepy and crazy presidential candidates, as well as unjust and riotous behavior all around, I think it's been a pretty good summer. Don't you? There is a lot that we don't control but life goes on. We count our blessings and appreciate our good health when we have it. We do our work. We take care of our families. We contribute. We try to eat better food and enjoy our wine. Society has many ties (governments, businesses, churches and clubs) but it boils down to the individual to move it forward. By personal example, we can keep society more pleasant, safe and productive. "Every heart vibrates to that iron string." When I see you with a smile, a few friends, a grassfed hamburger and a bottle of Rangeland, it encourages me that we are doing something simple but worthwhile. Your good humor in the face of uncertainty demonstrates the strength of our society and values. Rally forward. Look to a healthy, robust and more just future. Cheers!
Your Favorite Wine: Window is Closing Soon
Our 2-fer-1 case special lasts only through July 31. It has been gratifying to see so many customers drink more Rangeland wine--a fine curative for difficult times. Several wines have sold out during the sale, so we are releasing our 2017 Mistletoe ($29 before discounts) during this sale. Mistletoe is a Cabernet/Syrah blend, always a customer favorite and the 2017 is rockin' right now with bright fruit, rich complexity and silky, lasting tannins. See our complete selection of currently available Rangeland wines here. Order 24 bottles for the price of 12. Your club discount applies. No mixed cases--you have to pick a favorite! You can, however, have more than one favorite. Order two cases of your favorite wine(s) by email here.
Our Vineyard View Cottage vacation rental is available for several dates in August and September. It's a really lovely, relaxing place to recharge your batteries and enjoy some quiet country living. The 3-bedroom house sleeps six--perfect for a family or 2-3 couples. To view the house and make a booking inquiry, go here.
Contents: Wine Case Special Update, Beef Available, Tasting Room Open, Burgers, Predator!
Your Favorite Wine x 2, Two Weeks to Go
Well, our 2 fer 1 case special has been a big hit. It's really fun selling wine by the case but it's hell luggin' all dem boxes. My son thinks I'm too old (61) to be doing this work. Although my back is a little sore, I say "Pshaw!" All good times have a limit, however, and this sale will last only until July 31, so place your order now via email. We are out of some popular wines like the 2015 Watershed, but the 2016 Watershed is tasting great and we have plenty of 2016 Cabernet, 2016 Petite Sirah and many other fine wines still on hand. See our complete selection here. How it works: 24 bottles for the price of 12. Your club discount applies. No mixed cases--you have to pick a favorite! You can have more than one favorite wine. Order two cases of your favorite wine by email here.
Beef Available Now!
We harvested enough beef to supply our Beef Club list and still have these boxes available:
- 25 lb Beef Club box, mixed cuts, $300 before club discount
- 20 lbs Ground Beef, $190 before discount
- 10 lbs Ground Beef, $110 before discount
With a little more dry-aging time on the rail (3 to 4 weeks), the beef is really tasting good this year. So dark and flavorful. Also nutrient rich and anti-inflammatory--as nature intends it. We feel very proud and privileged to grow and offer this outstanding meat. Order here. You can also sign up for our ongoing Beef Club here.
Tasting Room Open for Outdoors Wine + Food Service
Since we have been seating all our guests outdoors, the recent restrictions have had no effect. We are still pouring wine, Thursday to Monday, 11 to 5. And we are serving killer grass-fed hamburgers on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday, 11 to 4) prepared by the skilled and enthusiastic Prancing Chef. Make an appointment.
Digital Rancher Gets Natural Reminder
I do so much of this work (email, customer service, financials), that I wryly call myself the Digital Rancher. I was sitting at my computer, as usual, this morning when Dane, our ranch manager, walked in with a sad report. Ramses, our male sheep sire (ram), was killed by a mountain lion last night. The lethal wound was a crushing bite to the esophagus. Only a big cat can do this. Losing sheep to predators, especially cougars, is fairly common in the area. This one hit us hard because Ramses was valuable breeding stock, but also the constant companion of our retired quarterhorse Cactus. They were inseparable buddies. Ramses would often stand under Cactus' tail, apparenlty just enjoying the shade without fear of kick or output. Now that's trust. The attack occured just 200 yards or so from our house. Cactus apparently drove the lion away because the ram was not eaten. Must have been quite a scene with Cactus snorting and kicking his arthritic hind quarters to protect his buddy, but moments too late. Can't quite believe all that happened while we were sleeping with the french doors open in that direction. So long live the memory of Ramses and his bromance with Cactus, the protector.
This is a reminder to all of us who are civilized and digitally enabled. When we encroach on Nature, she pushes back with all her powers. I think we'll have to live with all these natural forces: predator, climate and virus.
Contents: 2 fer 1 Special, Beef Club, Burgers, Wine Tasting, July 4, Rental Cottage
Time to Play Favorites!
You all have been wonderfully supportive during this time of crisis. When you couldn't visit you ordered more wine and meat online. That was a lifeline for us. As we re-opened, you came back to the tasting room with smiles and gratitude. We are very grateful too and we'd like to show our appreciation with an extra special offer. Select your favorite wine, the one you'd like to drink every week. If you buy one case, we will double your order! We can't say free and we won't say BOGO, but you get the idea: 24 bottles for the price of 12. Your club discount applies, too. No mixed cases--you have to pick a favorite! But you can order more than one case of your favorite and have more than one favorite wine--two cases at a time. Limit 10 (20) cases. Time to stock up for the summer and for all of your celebrations, even if you're just celebrating a pizza on Tuesday night. Does not apply to 2016 Syrah Mourvedre, which is already on special for $240 per case. And no, there is no more 2016 Mistletoe. Order by email here. Check out all of our available wines here.
Beef Club On Deck
We are busy packing boxes for our beef club members and we know you're looking forward to your annual 25 lb. shipment. That's my meat packing mama Lisa in the pic. After a dryish winter, good March rainfall resulted in plenty of rich pasture feed--the beef is delicious! Another good Rangeland "vintage."
For those of you scheduled to pick up, boxes will be available at J&R Meats in Paso Robles beginning July 3. J&R Paso is open Mon-Sat, 8-5, closed Sundays. They will be open until noon only on July 4. Or you can make an appointment to pick-up at the tasting room. We will start shipping beef the week of July 13. Club members will receive an email about their box purchases (including extra orders), and information about shipping in the next week. If you're on the waiting list, you'll be hearing from us about availability after July 6.
Grass-Fed Beef Burger Weekends
Our mouth-watering grass-fed burgers will continue to be served at the tasting room every Saturday and Sunday, 11-4. Last orders at 3:30. Please make an appointment.
Wine Tasting Now Available
We are permitted to pour tastings (outdoors only) once again. Thank you, oh mighty governor! We are still encouraging appointments, especially on the weekends, to ensure that your group will have seating and adequate spacing. We look forward to seeing you!
We're Open 4th of July, 11-5
Since all the typical public parades and fireworks seem to be cancelled, we've decided we will be open 4th of July, serving burgers and wine on our patio and lawn. You're welcome to bring a picnic blanket if you prefer to sit on the grass. Families are welcome. Please make an appointment.
Our Vineyard View Cottage vacation rental is booking up fast--there is just one weekend available in July and two in August. There are a few weekdays available too. It's a really lovely, relaxing place to recharge your batteries and enjoy some quiet country living. The 3-bedroom house sleeps six--perfect for a family or 2-3 couples. To view the house and make a booking inquiry, go here.
Grass-Fed Burgers are Back! Starting this Weekend
We've partnered with Railroad BBQ Company to serve our delicious Rangeland estate grass-fed beef burgers and tacos on Saturdays and Sundays going forward. We are starting this weekend May 30 and 31, 11am to 4pm. Please make an appointment. You can purchase a bottle of wine to enjoy onsite, but only if you purchase a meal at the same time. We are still not offering wine tasting flights, due to COVID-19 restrictions. It's a dream come true to serve our estate GFB (grass-fed beef) burgers at the Rangeland tasting room. Come out and enjoy a lovely lunch and a bottle of wine!
Father's Day Special
Since Dads are getting tired of mansplaining the intricacies of the pandemic and its regulatory backlash, they deserve a nice break this year, don't you think? We've got a special for Father's Day--3 bottles of wine (or more, your choice of wines) and a free Rangeland ball cap! $1 shipping applies, as do your club discounts. Father's Day is Sunday, June 21, and the deadline for shipping orders is Friday, June 12 If you're local or going to be in town, you can pick up your Father's Day order Thursdays-Mondays, 11-5. Order by email.
Beef Club Boxes Coming Soon!
We've begun our annual beef harvest and Lisa (my wife and hands-on proprietress of this estate) will soon be packing beef club boxes for members. She gonna touch all yo' meat, so to speak. We'll get back to you about billing and shipping dates later this month.
We've added many new Beef Club members, so we may not have as much (if any) extra beef after club shipments this year. You can reserve additonal 25 lb. beef club boxes ($240 each, wine or beef club price). We also will have 10 lb. boxes of ground beef ($72 club price) and 20 lb. boxes of ground beef ($128 club) available while the supply lasts. You can add these to your Beef Club order or buy them separately as a wine or lamb club member. With inflated beef prices and poor supply in the grocery store, these deals are better than ever and you are getting 100% grass-finished beef from our estate pastures. Pre-order these products now by email.
Our Vineyard View Cottage has a number of open dates available due to recent cancellations. The cottage is a great place for a family or friend group (3 bedrooms, sleeps 6) to isolate and restore with plenty of space and fresh spring air. We are offering 3 nights for the price of 2 for bookings through June 30. Price is $400/weekend night (Fri, Sat, Sun), and $350/weekdays. Club discounts apply. Book your stay here.
We started the Rangeland experiment twenty years ago by purchasing Adelaida Springs Ranch and planting our estate vineyard. I will never forget the first day I saw the ranch in March of 2000. It had been raining and was overcast. The lake was full, the cattle were lowing on the hills and rainwater was dripping from the mossy oak trees into the knee-deep grass. I was a goner. Love at first sight. So we left Silicon Valley and headed for the hills of Paso Robles.
Ten years ago, we started bottling a Rosé annually, featuring a local plant depicted in botanical label art, with some explanatory copy on the back label. We wanted to call attention to the natural beauty and rich diversity of the wild pastures and woodlands that surround our vineyard. The Flora Rosé, as we call it, has no direct connection with the plants on the label, but there is a profound symbolic and environmental connection between the landscape and our wines. The wild plants around us demonstrate the richness and diversity of our local soils and climate, much as our wines do. Did you know that California’s oak woodlands are home to some 2,000 species of plants, 170 birds, 100 mammals, 60 amphibians and reptiles and 4,000 species of insects? Most of those live right here. We are doing our best to conserve this biodiverse landscape for posterity through a sustainable approach to our wine and meat businesses.
We also take inspiration from the simple beauty of the landscape, the animals and the plants. And we think the Flora Rosé crafted by winemaker Paul Hinschberger sings with aromatic fruitiness, while retaining a refreshingly dry, crisply acidic character. So, cheers to 20 years of Rangeland. Cheers to ten years of Flora Rosé. Cheers to a healthy posterity for our children and the generations to come. And cheers to you for helping make this possible. We are deeply grateful.
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