We had a great turn out for our first ever Library Vertical tasting last Saturday. It was a fun and lively group and the wines and the weather could not have been better. We had many requests for the lunch recipe, which is in the link below. I used this recipe for both the lamb and beef pies. For the beef pies I used stew meat and a top round roast. For the lamb pies, I used shoulder chop meat, stew meat and shanks. Enjoy!
Rangeland Library Vertical Tasting and Luncheon February 13
We've been impressed with some older Rangeland Wines lately, so we are excited to announce our first ever vertical tasting and special sale of Rangeland library wines on Saturday, February 13. We will start at 11 am with a sit down seminar at the ranch headquarters. Winemaker Paul Hinschberger and owner Laird Foshay will guide you through samples of our estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines from 2007 to 2011. We'll also taste a couple of other varieties from our cellar and you'll get a glass of library wine to enjoy with your meal. Our lunch buffet will follow, featuring estate grown, grass-fed beef and lamb Bourguignonne pie (you can have both!), with veggies, cheeses and some baked goodies.
The wines are very rare (just a few cases each), so seating and sales quantities will be limited. Library wines will be priced at $75 each, with a 3 bottle special price of $200. Club discounts will apply. The wines will be available at the event and also on our website afterwards, for those of you who can’t attend. Tickets for the event are $50 (includes tasting, lunch and a glass of one our library wines), before club discount. We look forward to seeing you on the 13th!
Purchase tickets now to reserve your place.
Ground Beef Shipping Special: Free for 20lb Ground Beef Orders
We are offering free shipping on any 20 pound box of ground beef ordered through March 1, and only $10 shipping for 10 pound boxes of ground beef, while supplies last. For those of you who regularly buy our beef and have it shipped, it’s a great opportunity to stock up. It should help stave off your cravings until the beef club becomes available in June.
Order meats here.
Beef and Lamb Clubs Open for New Members
Although we are sold out of last year's Beef and Lamb Club boxes, we are accepting signups for 2016. Our first Lamb Club shipment this year will be in March, in time for Easter. Our Beef Club will ship in July, as usual.
Sign up for clubs here.
(Inaugural blog entry by winemaker Paul Hinschberger)
One of the many reasons I love my job is that I rarely have to do the same thing two days in a row. Whether I’m in the cellar, filing government paperwork, or herding sheep--most days I don't know what excitement awaits me. My official title at Rangeland is Winemaker. For some, this might conjure up an image of me swirling a glass of cabernet all day and mumbling pompous comments about the wine’s nuances of purple petunias and tiger sweat. Others might think that I just sit in my office and write work-orders for my inferiors to complete. In reality, because we are a small winery, I am also the assistant winemaker, cellar worker, and intern/peon. I wash the barrels, clean the drains and I even harvest my own tiger sweat. On top of my cellar duties, I also help out on the ranch with cows, sheep, vineyard projects and basically whatever Laird or Nathan tell me to do. So although my task list may not seem as glamorous as most people’s expectations, I prefer to have some grit in my job description--even if that means shoveling sheep excrement. Read more.
Vintage Paso (Zinfandel and more) March 18-20
We’ll be open, by appointment only, during Vintage Paso (formerly the Zinfandel Festival). We’ll have some Zinfandel on special, and hope to see you during the weekend. Make an appointment any time Friday March 18 – Sunday March 20, from 11 am-5 pm. We’ll be serving our famous grass-fed beef and lamb sliders on Saturday only. We look forward to seeing you then!
Rangeland Field Day Saturday April 23
Save the date and keep an eye out for the official announcement about our favorite spring party. Also, you can see all of our 2016 event calendar here.
One of the many reasons I love my job is that I rarely have to do the same thing two days in a row. Whether I’m in the cellar, filing government paperwork, or herding sheep--most days I don't know what excitement awaits me. My official title at Rangeland is Winemaker. For some, this might conjure up an image of me swirling a glass of cabernet all day and mumbling pompous comments about the wine’s nuances of purple petunias and tiger sweat. Others might think that I just sit in my office and write work-orders for my inferiors to complete. In reality, because we are a small winery, I am also the assistant winemaker, cellar worker, and intern/peon. I wash the barrels, clean the drains and I even harvest my own tiger sweat. On top of my cellar duties, I also help out on the ranch with cows, sheep, vineyard projects and basically whatever Laird or Nathan tell me to do. So although my task list may not seem as glamorous as most people’s expectations, I prefer to have some grit in my job description--even if that means shoveling sheep excrement.
This week, Ranch Manager Nathan, Eddie ("retired" and does everything) and I have been building fence around the barn in preparation for lambing season. Constructing livestock fencing is so much harder and more precise than I would have ever imagined. Fortunately, Nathan and Eddie have been extremely patient with me while I am learning the rudiments of fencing--they give me the easy jobs so I can feel good about myself. It is times like these that I feel truly humbled as a weakling winemaker since I can’t seem to keep up with Eddie, who I’d wager is twice my age.
I don’t really know exactly what ‘lambing’ is going to entail just yet, but we are expecting to have 250 baby lambs born within the next few weeks! I can’t wait to be surrounded by so much cuteness. I have this bucolic image of myself dressed in shepherd garb cradling a newborn lamb and keeping it warm while I sing it to sleep with a soft lullaby. Then doing it 249 more times. However, I’m pretty confident that won’t actually happen. I may just end up covered in feces, cursing a lot, with my dignity shattered. But that’s what makes a better story, right? Stay tuned on that one.
So this is my first blog, and I’m not exactly sure where I want to go with it just yet. I’m not confident that anyone other my mom will even read it. Nonetheless, I plan on writing about wine-oriented topics such as the soil’s effects on wine, Paso Robles’s place in the wine world, and the relationship between wine scores, popularity, and price. Ideally, I would love it if our club members would ask wine questions of me in an “Ask Amy” sort of way. I could be your own personal wine butler, who answers to your every question. I shall call myself… the Wine Whisperer. (Apparently, there is already a trademarked ‘Wine Whisperer’ but I thought of the name idependently.)
For questions or comments, please email me at email@example.com or comment below.
Until next time, Cheers!
Paul, The Wine Whisperer
We loved having club members out to our pickup party last Saturday--the weather was warm and beautiful, the wine was tasty and the company was terrific. We had several requests for recipes, so here they are. We hope you enjoy!
MINTY LAMB POPS
1/2 cup best olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1/4 cup minced mint leaves
1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon minced oregano leaves
2 pounds of chops
Freshly ground black pepper
1. in a non-reactive bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, onion, mint, parsley, rosemary and oregano. Add the lamb and toss to coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours. (Can be marinated in gallon ziplocks).
2. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before cooking. Preheat the grill or a grill pan on high.
3. Salt and pepper chops, and then grill to the desired doneness, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium to medium rare. Serve immediately.
MARINATED LEMONY LAMB KABOBS
1 pound plain yogurt (regular or lowfat)
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus more for brushing grill
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 Tablesppons fresh whole rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds lamb meat, cut into 1" cubes
1. Combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large, non-reactive bowl. Add the lamb chunks, and stir to make sure every piece is covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Soak wooden skewers (if using) for 30-60 minutes before cooking.
3. Thread 3-5 pieces of lamb per skewer, alternating with vegetables of your choice.
4. Salt and pepper both sides. Place on hot grill and cookr for 6-8 minutes, turning 2-3 times, until the lamb is medium rare.
NOVEMBER 14 PICK-UP PARTY
We are hosting our annual pick-up party on Saturday, November 14, from 12-4 pm. Come pick-up your fall wine club, or your lamb or beef order, and enjoy the party. All club members--wine, beef, and lamb--are welcome to attend and bring 2 guests (max party of 4 per club member/couple). Even if you don't have anything to pick-up, you are welcome to come enjoy the ranch.
We will be serving grass-fed beef chili, grilled tomahawk lamb chops and lemony lamb kabobs, all estate-grown. We'll also have grilled J&R sausages, as well as assorted cheeses, roasted veggies, fruit and, of course, Lisa's cookies. We may even have some barrel samples of new wines. It's a perfect time to do a little wine shopping before the holidays. We look forward to seeing you! Please RSVP.
FALL WINE CLUB
Our wine club shipment is available to pick-up now. It will of course be available at the November 14 party. Shipping orders will go out the week of November 16. Here are the wines included in the fall shipment:
- 2013 Mistletoe (new)
- 2013 Zinfandel (new)
- 2012 Watershed
- 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2012 Limestone
- 2012 Petite Sirah
If you’d prefer to customize your order, just send us an email or call with instructions. As always, you’re free to add more wines (while they last) to your wine club order. Also please let us know if you have any address changes, billing information updates or special instructions for pick-up or shipping, by phone (805-674-9232) or email.
Bordeaux 3 Pack. We are extending the killer deal on our beautiful Bordeaux wines—two 2012 Cabernet Sauvignons and a 2012 Watershed for $100, and that’s before you apply your club discount! These ageworthy wines are completely drinkable now and, if you plan to cellar them, they will develop beautifully for years to come. A worthy gift for very good friends. Click here to order.
Mistletoe 2 Pack. One 2012 and one 2013 Mistletoe (new release) for $50. The Mistletoe is a Cabernet/Syrah blend that offers the best of Paso Robles: Opulent fruit with good natural acidity and structure. Club discounts apply to this affordable, festive holiday gift. Click here to order.
We still have some ground beef available--10 pound boxes for $90, and 20 pound boxes for $160 (before your club discount). We can ship anywhere in California. This would make a great holiday gift for your grass-fed beef loving friends and family members! To order, click here.
We have a few more places left in the Lamb Club--all charter members get an additional 5 pounds of ground lamb with their first order. Lamb Club members will receive two shipments a year, in October (available now) and March, for $200 (20% off). The 25 pound box (half a lamb) includes:
- Rack of ribs
- Loin chops
- 2 small leg roasts
- Shoulder chops
- Stew meat and/or shanks
- 1-2 lbs ground lamb + 5 lbs charter bonus
To sign up for the Lamb Club, click here.
We picked our last fruit on October 12. Vintage 2015 was a relatively smooth and short season, less than six weeks total. As expected, we had much lower yields due to the drought--a story we heard repeated all across the Central Coast. The quality of fruit was good, however, with extremely small "berries" and intense flavors.
We're looking forward to tasting the first wines made by our new winemaker Paul Hinschberger. Paul was admittedly "excited" about his first season as chief winemaker--he was previously the assistant winemaker at Denner Vineyards--but he handled everything with aplomb and good humor. Paul introduced more whole (uncrushed) berry and some whole cluster (stems included) fermentations into our winemaking. These techniques may add more aromatic expression and complexity to the vintage.
As fall progresses, we are preparing our vineyard for the next season. We've already spread some lime on the sandstone portions of the vineyard to boost the structure and water-holding capacity of these powdery soils. We have a small mountain (70 tons) of compost which we'll spread throughout the vineyard and till into the soil after the first fall rains. We are looking forward to a rainy winter and a more fruitful harvest in 2016.
Lamb Club--Special Charter Offer
We are pleased to introduce our Lamb Club, featuring our Adelaida Spings Ranch grass-fed lamb. Our flock of grass-fat dorper sheep is growing and we had more than 175 lambs last spring. So we finally have a steady supply of good lamb to support a club offering. Lamb Club members will receive two shipments a year, in October and March, for $200 (20% off).The 20 pound box (half a lamb) includes:
- Rack of ribs
- Loin chops
- 2 small leg roasts
- Shoulder chops
- Stew meant and/or shanks
- 1-2 pounds ground lamb
Sign up now and you will receive an extra 5 pounds of ground lamb in your first box—a $50 value. If you’ve had the opportunity to taste our grass-fed ground lamb at events at the ranch, you won’t want to miss out on this limited time offer.
Lamb Club members can apply their 20% discount to all Rangeland products, including our estate wines, grass-fed beef, and events. And Lamb Club members taste Rangeland Wines and tour the ranch for free. To join the Lamb Club, click here.
We picked our first grapes on September 3 and our new winemaker Paul Hinschberger is busy tasting fruit, scheduling picks, overseeing the processing, and taking care of the wines as they ferment in our new winery processsing “home” at Brecon Estate on Vineyard Drive. Our crop has gotten progressively smaller during the 4-year drought, with yields at a dramatic new low this year, less than 50% of our 2010 peak. On the bright side, we're confident that drought conditions are creating intense flavors and bright acidity. We just won't have as much of our beautiful wine to sell in the next couple of years. As much as we'd like to stop talking about the drought, it continues to dominate our lives. We are sympathetic to all farmers and ranchers trying to raise crops and animals under these historic, harsh conditions.
Bordeaux Special: Two Cabs and a Watershed for $100
We have a killer deal on our beautiful Bordeaux wines—two 2012 Cab Sauvignons and a 2012 Watershed for $100, and that’s before you apply your club discount! These ageworthy wines are completely drinkable now and, if you plan to cellar them, they will develop beautifully in the bottle over the next few years, or even longer. Click here to order.
Harvest Festival-Set Your Appointment!
We will be open by appointment only for Harvest Wine Weekend, October 16 to 18, so please plan ahead. We’ll be serving grass-fed beef and lamb sliders on Saturday October 17 only! Request a reservation online or give us a call at 805-674-9232.
Save the Date: Pickup Party November 14
Our annual pick-up party for wine, beef, and lamb club members is scheduled for Saturday, November 14 from 12-4. Please save the date! You'll be hearing more about this party in late October. We’re planning to serve grass-fed beef chili, a lamb dish, and assorted other goodies. We may have some barrel samples from vintages not yet bottled.
You'll be able to pick up your fall wine club, lamb club, and/or your beef orders at the party. It's also a perfect time to do a little wine shopping before the holidays. This is our favorite event of the year—we love to pour wine and cook for our club members. We look forward to seeing you!
Here Comes the Beef Club!
We are busy packing beef club boxes for the season. Beef Club members can pick up at J&R Meats in Paso Robles beginning the week of June 29. For those Beef Club members from out of the area, we will begin shipping on July 6. If you are on the Beef Club wait list, we should have enough meat to serve you. You will receive an email in the next week or so regarding all the details.
Beef Club members (including new members from the wait list) can order addtional 25 pound boxes, while the supply lasts. You can also order extra ground beef in 10 or 20 pound boxes. Send us an email with your order or to make any special arrangements for pick-up/shipping.
Our harvest steers were beautifully finished this spring, thanks to the extra forage they received at Halter Ranch last fall, as well as the abundant pasture feed that grew on our ranch this winter. Although we had below average rainfall (again), we did get well timed rainstorms that nurtured a rich pasture crop. We are pleased with our “grass fat” steers and we think you will be too!
Unfortunately, we have to raise the price of our beef this year. The added drought costs of renting pastures and buying hay have made our past prices untenable. Our 2015 beef club box price is now $250 ($10/lb)--still just $200 or less with your club discount. Our 20# ground beef box is now $160 before discount, and the 10# ground beef box is $90 before discount. We deeply appreciate your ongoing support of our beef program.
Introducing Winemaker Paul Hinschberger
Our original winemaker Shannon Gustafson left this spring to make Pinot Noir in Oregon—we wish her all the best. We were fortunate to find Paul Hinschberger, who was most recently the assistant winemaker at Denner Vineyards right here in Paso Robles. Paul’s passion for wine began early (age 19) when his family opened a restaurant in Idaho. At the time, he was getting a business degree from The University of Montana, but in his spare time he read about (and drank) the world of wine. After graduating, he went to sommelier school to learn even more. The experience sparked his craving for knowledge and traveling, and he has logged harvests in Washington, Sonoma, Oregon, New Zealand, Sebastopol and Paso. We are looking forward to our first harvest with Paul and excited to see (and taste) what he crafts with our fruit.
Lamb Special: Free Shipping this Summer!
We still have both lamb shares and ground lamb available. The 20-pound lamb share ($250 before wine or beef club discount) includes:
- 1 rack
- 1 loin, cut into 1” chops
- Sirloin and shoulder chops
- 2 leg roasts
- Riblets and stew meat
- 1-2 pounds ground lamb
We are also now offering a 10 pound box of ground lamb in convenient 1 pound packages. If you’ve ever had our lamb sliders, you know how delicious ground lamb can be. Order ground lamb or a lamb share from us before Labor Day and we will ship to you for free (in CA only), a $30 value. To place your order at this special rate, send us an email.
Rosé and Bordeaux Specials
Our new 2014 Flora Rosé is a lovely field blend of 7 red varietals. Just a little sweet ("off dry"), but crisp, acidic and refreshing, and perfect for summer BBQs and picnics. We’re also featuring a Bordeaux special which will pair nicely with BBQ meats. Here are our specials:
- 3 pack 2014 Flora Rosé for $50 (before club discount)
- 3 pack 2012 Bordeaux special (2 Cabs and 1 Watershed), $100 before club discount
- If you buy a case of any Rangeland wines this summer, we’ll cut the price of shipping in half
Send us your order by email to receive the special discounts.
Rangeland Field Day 2015: Saturday, April 25, 12-3 pm
We are excited about hosting our second Field Day, which was canceled last year due to drought conditions. Field Day 2015 will include wine tasting, food, live music, educational and livestock displays in our beautiful pasture on the ranch flats, as well as an afternoon tour. Here are the details:
- Wine: taste Rangeland Wines, including our new 2014 Rosé, and enjoy a glass with your lunch
- Food: grass-fed beef and lamb sliders • grilled sausages • salads • baked goodies • gelato • cold lemonade
- Music: local, live acoustic band
- Ranch and Vineyard Tour: led by owner Laird Foshay at 2:30 to 3:30pm.
- Tickets: $40/person, club discounts apply for members and their guests (when purchased by the club member). Children are welcome, and children 12 and under are free. Click here to purchase tickets.
Attendance is limited to 100 guests and the ranch tour has only 30 seats and will fill up fast, so reserve your spot now on our website. If you are a wine club member, you can pick up your spring shipment at the event.
Spring Lamb and Ground Meats Available
Many families traditionally enjoy a lamb dinner during spring time. We have some Adelaida Springs Ranch lamb shares for sale now, so you can serve the very best in humanely handled, pasture-fed lamb--paired with your Rangeland Wines! Your wine or beef club discount applies. Each 20 pound Lamb Share ($250 list price) includes:
- 1 rack
- 1 loin, cut into chops
- Sirloin and shoulder chops
- 2 leg roasts
- Riblets, shanks and stew meat
- A few pounds of ground lamb in 1 pound packages
To place your Lamb Share order, click here.
Ground lamb and beef are still available in 10 lb boxes. We ship anywhere in California or you can pick up your meat either at J&R Meats in Paso Robles, or by appointment at the ranch. All ground meats are vacuum sealed in convenient, 1 lb. packages. Please visit our website to place your order.
We hope to have more 25 lb. Beef Club boxes by the end of June. Join the Beef Club waiting list here.
Spring Wine Club Shipment
We will begin shipping our spring wine club during the week of April 27, so if you have any address or credit card changes, or other special requests, please email us now. This spring wine club will include the following:
- 2014 Flora Rosé , newly released
- 2012 Limestone Reserve Cabernet
- 2012 Watershed (Bordeaux blend)
- 2012 Zinfandel
- 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2012 GSM
About that Drought
We are counting our blessings for the 18 inches of rain we’ve received since last fall. We have rich green pastures right now to feed our livestock. Our lake nearly filled with runoff this winter, and that is a critical soure of irrigation water for our grapevines. Nevertheless--barring a very wet April-- this marks the fourth consecutive year of below average rainfall. One thing we've noticed is that the summers haven't really gotten hotter, but the the onset of spring and summer conditions is occurring ealier. Our grapevines, which used to bud-out in April are peeking out in March (some even in February) and are in full growth now. Same for the wild oak trees and domestic plants. We already have our first roses blooming in the garden. These drought conditions have been shrinking our grape and livestock harvest, but thanks to your support, our wine and meat sales are still growing. So are our hopes for better, wetter years to come.
Upcoming: Paso Wine Festival, May 15-17
Our gates will be open Friday to Sunday, May 15 to 17. We’ll be serving grass-fed beef and lamb sliders on Saturday and Sunday only.
Limestone Cab Release and a Special Offer
We are just now releasing our 2012 Limestone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which reflects the dry (60% of average rainfall) and hot (107% of average heat) 2012 vintage. Described as " ripe, sexy and voluptuous" by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, our flagship Reserve Cabernet also has our trademark acidity and fine tannic structure. This is a wine to enjoy now and set aside for years to come.
Now that the holidays are past you may want to re-order some wines to fill your seasonally depleted wine racks. Here is a list of the released 2012s and the few 2011 wines (all with less than 20 cases left) we still have in stock:
|Cabernet Sauvignon||$40||Cabernet Sauvignon||$35|
|Limestone Reserve Cabernet||$50||Syrah||$32|
For orders of six or more bottles of any of these wines, we are offering a 10% discount, in addition to any wine or beef club discount you already receive. To take advantage of this offer please email your order selection to firstname.lastname@example.org. The offer expires on February 14.
We recently received some excellent scores from Robert Parker's prestigious Wine Advocate. Although we are confident in our "field crafted" philosophy and we personally love the wines we make, it's nice to get validation from the critics. Reviewer Jeb Dunnuck highlighted our winemaker Shannon Gustafson, noting that "Her entire lineup is loaded with outstanding wines." That's what we've been saying all along!
- 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, 90 points
- 2011 Limestone 90 points
- 2011 Petite Sirah, 91 points
- 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (barrel sample), 89-92 points
- 2012 GSM, 90 points
- 2012 Limestone Reserve Cab (barrel sample), 91-93 points
- 2012 Mistletoe, 90 points
Vintage Paso: Zinfandel+, March 20-22
The festival season in Paso kicks off in March with Vintage Paso - Zinfandel and Other Wild Wines (formerly known as Zin Fest.) Our gates will be open March 20-22, from 11-5. We invite you to come up and taste our wines, chat with us, enjoy grass-fed beef sliders and barbecued lamb (food served Saturday and Sunday only). You're welcome to bring a picnic and feast on the best views in the Adelaida. As always, wine club members and their accompanied guests taste for free.
Field Day, Saturday April 25
We had to cancel Field Day last year because of the drought, but we're hopeful we'll get plenty more rain this winter and be able to continue this tradition. Our second annual Rangeland Field Day will include wine, food, live music, educational and livestock displays, and tours. We'll be serving grass-fed beef and lamb sliders, salads, homemade baked goodies, lemonade and iced tea, along with wine of course. You can enjoy your lunch in the shade of a giant oak while listening to local musicians. Tickets are $40/person, and will go on sale in March.
Wine Festival, May 15-17
We will open our gates from 11-5, Friday through Sunday and have food for sale on Saturday and Sunday.
Lamb Shares, Ground Lamb and Beef Available
We still have some lamb shares available for $250 (club discounts apply of course!). We can ship our meats anywhere in California. These 20 pound boxes contain half a lamb, which includes:
- one rack
- loin chops
- shoulder and sirloin chops
- 2 leg roasts
- shanks, riblets and stew meat
- a few pounds of ground lamb
For the first time, we have ground lamb available in 10 lb. boxes of 1 lb. packages ($100, club discounts apply). Our ground lamb is lean and delicious--if you've ever had our lamb sliders, you know. We have a limited supply, so place your order today!
Although our beef club boxes are out of stock until June harvest, we still have 10 lb and 20 lb boxes of ground beef available.
The Worst and Best of Times
We have a long way to go to return to "normal", but we are thankful for 10 inches of early December rain that helped germinate grass and bring much needed drought relief to the ranch. Our lake, after being nearly empty last fall, is now about half full. It's great to see our country turn green on the normal seasonal schedule and we're hoping for more rain this winter.
Having said that, we are still recovering from 2014 and effects of the drought--which may not be over. Last winter started dry and we were looking at the possibility of selling most of our cattle and sheep herds. We did sell a couple of dozen cows last year, but were lucky when spring rains allowed us to hang on to most of our animals. We were also fortunate to lease neighboring Halter Ranch for fall grazing, after our home ranch pastures were depleted. We are very grateful for the opportunity, so if you are a friend of our ranch please also be a friend to Halter by buying their fine wines. Moving our stock to Halter required building fences and troughs there and moving all the animals by truck. This spread our people and equipment over two ranches, requiring extra planning and one very exciting cattle drive to bring the cows home. Ranch manager Nathan Stuart presided over all these activities with enthusiasm and many extra hours of labor. We are grateful for his work ethic and his passion for raising grass-fed animals.
Over the last 15 years we have put a number of pots on the stove: farming grapes, making wine, raising grass-fed cattle and sheep, as well as processing and selling packaged meats. All these projects seemed to come to a boil in a scorching and extraordinary 2014: we doubled our wine case count and expanded our wine distribution in Southern California through Wine Warehouse. We increased club members and sales for both wine and beef. So 2014 was one the toughest and most rewarding years of our lives, thanks to your support. Raise a glass of Rangeland wine to a wet and prosperous 2015!
Rangeland Wines in San Luis Obispo October 15 and 16
We’ll be pouring 3 wines at Novo Restaurant on Wednesday, October 15 from 5-7 pm. Stop by and have a complimentary glass! Winemaker Shannon Gustafson and Rangeland proprietor Laird Foshay will be on hand, offering our 2013 Flora Rose’, and the just released 2012 Mistletoe and 2012 GSM. Novo is located at 726 Higuera Street, and has a lovely creekside patio. You just might want to stay for dinner.
The following evening Shannon and Laird will be pouring at Central Coast Wines from 6-9 pm during SLO’s famous Farmer’s Market. Conveniently located on 712 Higuera Street, just north of Broad Street, this well-stocked wine shop features high quality, hard to find Central Coast wines. We will be pouring 4 wines from our current lineup; all featured wines are 10% off at shop for the entire week. Please stop by and say hello.
Gates Open for Harvest Wine Weekend October 17-19
Harvest Fest is just around the corner and we are in the mood to celebrate since we just finished picking grapes this week! See this video of harvest action footage, shot by multi-talented vineyard manager Nathan Stuart. We will be pouring wines at the ranch Friday October 17 through Sunday October 19. We'll be offering some newly released 2012 Rangeland wines and some freshly fermented samples from our 2014 harvest. We’ll also have outstanding wine specials. On Saturday and Sunday only, we’ll be grilling our grass-fed beef and lamb sliders for purchase. You’re free to dine here on our sliders or bring your own picnic. Club members and their guests, as always, taste for free.
If you’ve not yet joined either our wine or beef clubs, please consider it! You’ll receive a 20% discount on all ranch products—wine, beef, lamb, events, and who knows what else we’ll think of. Our gate will be open Friday-Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm, no appointment necessary. Please check our website for directions. We hope to see you then!
Rangeland Pick-up Party
On Saturday, November 15, we’ll host our third annual Rangeland fall pick-up party at our home and ranch headquarters. Please plan to come out to the ranch and pick up your November wine club, lamb share or ground beef order. You'll enjoy some home-cooked food and live music. We’ll be pouring wine, serving grass-fed beef chili and some delectable lamb dish, and will have lots of other goodies to nosh on. If weather permits, you can tromp through the vineyards or visit our animals. But really, we hope it’s a RAINY day! We look forward to opening our home and celebrating with you, our loyal club members. You’ll receive an email invitation at the beginning of November with more details.
November Wine Club
Our fall wine club is an exciting list, including several newly released 2012s. These 2012 wines display intense fruit and vivid structure from that hot, dry vintage. Here is the club lineup for this fall, which will be available for pickup November 15 and will ship the week of November 17:
- 2011 Mistletoe
- 2012 Mistletoe
- 2012 GSM
- 2012 Watershed
- 2012 Cabernet
- 2012 Petite Sirah
If you’d prefer to customize your order, just send us an email. As always, you’re free to add more wines (while they last) to your wine club order. Just in time for the holidays!
Lamb & Mistletoe Holiday Special
We are offering a terrific special for fall—a 20 pound lamb share with 3 bottles of 2012 Mistletoe for just $300 ( (plus $51 shipping in CA only, or pick-up for free) before club discounts. The lamb share is one half a lamb—wonderful meat for special occasions and holidays, and also a great gift for your foodie friends and family. It retails for $250. The 2012 Mistletoe is a lush, easy drinking blend, retailing for $28/bottle. This offer gives you 10% off regular prices before you apply your wine or beef club discount—an unbeatable deal. The lamb share includes:
- 1 rack
- 1 loin, cut into 1” chops
- Sirloin and shoulder chops
- 2 leg roasts
- Riblets and stew meat
- Ground lamb and/or sausage in 1 pound packages
Harvest and Drought Update
Our people, livestock and vineyard have been under tremendous pressure in this third and most severe year of California’s drought. Nonetheless, we got through the harvest with good quality fruit which promises to produce some intense wines. Our harvest started earlier than ever and was extremely compressed; we picked our first grapes on September 1 (ironically, Labor Day!) and within two weeks had picked about 85% of the vineyard. Our last grapes were harvested October 7.
Because of the drought, we’ll be making less wine than last year, and also had less fruit to sell to our grape customers, since the vineyard produced only about 60% of its potential. We pumped our lake nearly dry and ran our generator 2,000 hours this summer in an effort to keep the irrigation system going. The costs (in time, money and stress) were steep as we spent much of the season chasing water and repairing the systems that deliver it. And unlike most wineries, we also need water for our cattle (150 head) and sheep (250 head). According to Laird, we “farmed our asses off,” paying extraordinary attention to our vines and animals, with much less to show for it. We’re cautiously optimistic about a rainy winter and a return to normal.
Our entire team really steps up hard at harvest but nobody works harder this time of year than our winemaker Shannon. She is an extreme juggler with hundreds of details to keep track of. In late August Shannon orchestrated the bottling of 1100 cases of our 2012 wines, and then we began harvest 5 days later. She does fruit sampling, measuring sugar and acid content for Rangeland Wines and for other wineries that buy our grapes. She “calls the pick” for each vineyard block (often just a few rows at a time), a critical judgment call that incorporates sampling data, flavors, trends in weather and past experience. She oversees all the grape processing and fermentation, involving dozens of tanks in various stages, then presses and barrels every lot of wine. All of this activity is tracked in worksheets and emails transmitted from her laptop at the winery. Although we like to describe our wines as field-crafted, they surely do not make themselves. We are extremely grateful to Shannon for her incredible work ethic and the beautiful, terroir-driven wines she produces.
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