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.
Just Bottled: 2013 Rosé
We just bottled (April 3rd) our 2013 Flora Rosé, which has more bright fruit and zesty acidity than ever. We are offering free shipping for case orders of this wine (12 bottles), so you can stock up for summer picnics and parties. Wine and beef club discounts apply, of course. Click here for this special offer.
We also bottled our first red wines from the dry, hot 2012 vintage. These wines (GSM, Zinfandel and Mistletoe) are bigger bodied and riper than past Rangeland vintages. While they still exhibit our distictive acidity and fine tanins, they are a little more hedonistic and "Paso" in style. We'll be releasing these exciting wines later this spring.
Let it Rain, Let it Rain
After a historic and scary dry spell to start the winter, a more typical pattern of winter rains returned to the Central Coast in early February. We’ve had over 10 inches of rainfall here at Adelaida Springs Ranch since then. This wetter weather has been a huge relief to us and the countryside. Our pastures and vineyard have that familiar green shimmer and we see some wild flowers developing. Nevertheless, the grass is short for this time of year and our rainfall is still about 35% of normal. As a result, we are considering some drastic moves to rest and restore our pastures, such as moving livestock to an “away” pasture or selling a significant part of our breeding stock.
April Field Day Cancelled
Considering everything, we have decided to cancel our Field Day pasture celebration, which had been scheduled for Saturday, April 26. We hope to resume with this spring event in 2015. We will be open as usual for tasting and tours by appointment. Please give us as much advance notice as possible.
Spring Wine Pick-ups: by Appointment
Our spring Rangeland wine club ship will be ready for pick-up by appointment beginning Saturday, April 26. Come see us and enjoy the spring scenery. Tastings and tours are free to wine and beef club members and their guests. We will send the club to our “ship-to” customers the week of April 28. Please let us know if you have any special instructions or requests.
Our Spring 2014 Rangeland Wine Club shipment will include:
- 2013 Rose, zesty acidity, just bottled!
- 2010 Syrah/Mourvedre, the last of our inaugural Rhone style wine
- 2011 Syrah, maturing nicely
- 2011 Petite Sirah, another exotic favorite, reorder soon before it's gone
- 2011 Watershed, our beautiful Bordeaux blend
- 2011 Limestone Reserve Cabernet, already drinking nicely for a “baby” Cabernet
Beef and Lamb Update
We have over 100 baby lambs kicking up their heels and dozens of calves as well. It has been challenging to keep the herds fed and happy through the dry spell, but our animals are in good health and enjoying the spring forage. We’ll expect to have enough beef for club members and we may be able to meet the wait list demand with our spring and summer harvest, but it will be close.
Wine Festival Coming Up
Our ranch gates will be open May 16-18th, 11-5 for Paso Robles Wine Festival.
We'll be serving estate raised, grass-fed beef and lamb sliders on Saturday and Sunday.
February Wine Specials: Two from Column B(ordeaux)
We just released our 2011 Limestone Reserve Cabernet and 2011 Watershed. These wines, bottled last August, are still just babies, but are already drinking nicely. 2011 was a very cool and wet year that pushed our Cabernet harvest into early November. The long “hang time” produced mellow tanins with moderate alcohols and nicely resolved fruitiness. Get one of each during February for the special price of just $72 (list price $80). There is no limit on quantity and your wine or beef club discounts apply, of course. Valid during February only. Now is the time to get a jump start on these perennial favorites, which are sure to become more integrated and expressive with age. We have traditionally sold out of the Limestone and Watershed every year; why not give the gift of great, rare wine on Valentine’s Day? Shop here.
February Wine Specials: Three from Column R(hone)
Wintertime finds us reaching for our Rhone wines, when cooler cellar temps promote a certain liveliness and heightened perception of acidity in our Syrah-dominated wines. These wines are a wonderful accompaniment to heartier winter meals like stews and roasts. In honor of winter (and hoping we have a LOT more winter), we’re offering a 3-pack of Rangeland Rhones for just $75 (retail $96). This special includes our 2010 Syrah/Mourvedre, 2011 Syrah, and 2011 GSM. Club discounts apply, as always. Shop here.
Rangeland Wine Awards for 2013: 90s All Around
We were thrilled when our 2010 Watershed won a gold medal and Best of Class with a score of 94 points in the limited production category for Bordeaux Blends at the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Awards. Justin Vineyards won Best of Class in the same category for larger wineries with their 2010 Isosceles, a wine which includes a significant fraction of grapes from our Adelaida Springs Ranch estate vineyard. A win-win!
Both our 2011 Watershed and 2011 Limestone Reserve also received 90 points from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar report. In addition, he gave our 2011 Mistletoe and 2011 Petite Sirah 90 points, and our 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon an 89. We are encouraged that our wines, which are not typical of Paso Robles' “big fruit” style, are gaining visibility and prestige in the world of wine. Congratulations to our young Winemaker Shannon Gustafson, who embraces our “field crafted” mission to deliver wines of consistently stunning purity and terroir.
Ground Beef Available
If you haven’t tried our succulent, grass-fed ground beef, you’re in for a treat. We still have some ground beef available from 2013, frozen fresh in 1lb. vacuum packages. We sell the ground beef in 10 lb. ($75) and 20 lb. ($130) boxes. The meat is packed in convenient 1lb. packages that fit easily in most freezers. Your wine and beef club discounts apply, and we can either ship to you in CA or you can pick up your beef at J&R Meats in Paso Robles or here at the ranch by appointment. Shop here.
Beef Organ Meat Boxes (10 lbs) Available for $50
For the more adventurous cooks, we have 10 lb. boxes of beef organ meats, which include beef heart, a whole tongue, kidney, and 1 pound packages of sliced liver. The meat is frozen and vacuum packed, and available for pick up in Paso Robles or can be shipped anywhere in California. Shop here.
Beef Prices Increasing
We’ve kept our prices level since starting our beef business in 2010, which are well below market prices for grass-fed beef. We are under pressure from rising costs so, beginning with our June beef harvest, our prices will increase from $8/lb. to $9/lb. Our beef club box, currently $200 before club discounts, will increase to $225.
Our ranch gates will open for tasting Friday March 14 through Sunday the 16th, 11 to 5, for this year’s Zin festival, which is titled: Vintage Paso: Zinfandel and Other Wild Wines. Saturday and Sunday, join us for lunch as we will serve a tasty selection of our estate grown grass-fed beef and lamb sliders.
Our second annual Field Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 26. If we don’t get any rain to freshen up our pastures with green growth, however, the event will be moved to the house. You’ll have an opportunity to pick up your wine club early, enjoy some grilled beef and lamb sliders, hear some music, and pick up your lamb share as well.
Dry, Real Dry
As many of you know, we are in the grip of an historic drought. If drought conditions continue, it will affect our ability to raise livestock naturally here on the ranch. Our wine grape crop, which fell short last year by 25%, could be substantially reduced as well. We will keep you informed about any change in availability of our meats as the situation unfolds. For more thought provoking commentary on droughts and natural forces, see Laird’s blog.
We usually have new green grass covering the ranch by Christmas time, with livestock and wildlife nibbling hungrily the new growth. 2014 has arrived without freshness or seasonal relief. The ranch is dry and all but barren of fodder. We are feeding hay to our cattle daily for the first time, which is an expensive and anxious pastime. Our once-independent beeves now crowd any white pickup truck they see, raising a cloud of dust and bellowing for their daily meal.
As many of you know, Central California, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, is in the grip of an historic drought. 2013 was the driest year on record, going back to 1849 in San Francisco. At least one scientist believes this is the driest year since 1580. The city of Paso Robles received just 1.9 inches of rain for the calendar year. Here at rain-favored Adelaida Springs Ranch, much higher and closer to the coast, we received only 4.33 inches of precipitation. Both totals are just 15% of the average annual rainfall.
Something about living through an historic event like this makes me feel connected to the past: taut threads vibrating with familiar patterns of nature, love, pain and achievement. Such ruminations also trigger visions of an uncertain, but probably familiar future, in which we strive and struggle with natural forces.
Since I could first read, I have been interested in tales and patterns of history. The first newspaper headline I remember seeing announced the death of Winston Churchill, as I carried the daily paper through our front hallway to my parents in January of 1965. I thought his famous, heroic round face looked so familiar. In truth, my historical interest started before I could read. As a small boy in Nova Scotia, I listened to adults discuss people and times past. They told stories of pioneers, architects, pianists, shopkeepers, of charming losers and unpublished poets. They told stories of great wars and gutted steel ships towed into harbor, of walks down country lanes and hunting in birch bark canoes.
Twenty years later, I was watching Palo Alto transform itself from a sleepy college town into the brain of Silicon Valley. I studied history at U.C. Santa Barbara, 1977 to 1981, during which time I never heard of a personal computer. Then I spent the next ten years publishing magazines about software development for PCs. I think they call that a paradigm shift. History was unfolding at an accelerated pace all around me, from transistors to integrated circuits in the 1960s, large computers to microprocessors in the 1970s, isolated personal computers to the all-connected internet in the '90s. I was a very small player, but I met the Bill Gates’ and Steve Jobs’ and many more who were envisioning, inventing and selling the future.
In the 1990s I published investment newsletters on the newly commercial Internet and rode the dotcom wave to ownership of Adelaida Springs Ranch in 2000. As I stepped out of the rushing tide, history swept forward: wireless networks and mobile phones are now everywhere. We routinely hold media-rich communications devices capable of accessing almost all of written history and visual media almost anytime, anywhere.
How interesting and wrenching it has been to step out of that world. My ranch life shares as much in common with prehistoric herders and wine growers as it does with Silicon Valley. I had a re-awakening to the joys and painful burdens of physical life. I changed focus from intangibles to a vividly tangible life of soil and sun, plant and animal, rain and drought. Our new life features old rhythms that peak with the birth of calves and lambs, the annual regrowth of the vines, or the pressing of a newly harvested wine. We reach mournful lows with the loss of animals or crops or water sources. One thing hasn’t really changed from our past lives or from those who preceded us in history: we feel the unrelenting anxiety of pioneering ventures and uncertain outcomes.
When we host wine tastings and ranch tours, a change will often come over our guests. Our scenery evokes a blossoming recognition of the natural world, as if they have re-discovered something. People sometimes tell us about their family’s farm in another part of the world, another time. We speak of homesteaders and ranchos in the old west. The threads of history begin to attach to our guests. The lowing of cattle and braying of sheep are Old Testament familiar, reaching back to the Fertile Crescent and before. “Previous, previous” as Van Morrison sings it. As they sip Rangeland wine, they see the native artifacts: arrowheads, grinding stones and bowls. These prehistoric tools of sustenance suggest a connection spanning thousands of years, and the web of history gains density. As we look over the ancient hills, we discuss their tectonic formation: the great conveyor of the Pacific plate crushing eastward under our very feet at the astonishingly slow (or fast?) rate of 3 inches per year. The stones and soil samples we display are old beyond comprehension, but the distinctive, lively minerality of our red wines reveals a sliver of the story. The dark, vivid flavors of our pastured meats offer the same delight and connection.
My family prospered helping to build, in a small way, the future. Of course we still rely on the internet to run our business, pursue our entertainment and connect with the world. But I am convinced that our future prosperity—and your enjoyment--here on the ranch relies more on an awareness of natural and human history than it does on technical innovation.
Free Shipping on Wine Orders
Your Rangeland Wines stock may be getting low and our next wine club shipment is about 2 months away. Now is the time to order some more wine! We’re offering free shipping on Rangeland Wines orders (3-bottle minimum) through October 15. Just go to our website (www.RangelandWines.com) and place the order, no coupon required.
We picked our first grapes of the season—Grenache and Syrah—on September 5, which is the earliest start to harvest we’ve had in several years. We’ve harvested almost every weekday since then. The winery is now packed with active fermentation tanks. With rainfall at 60% of normal, and this grape growing season the hottest on record, we’re seeing a lot of early ripeness in the vineyard. Small grape berries are producing dark colors, tangy acids and grippy tanins that may make 2013 a particularly vivid vintage. We will likely be finished picking grapes by Harvest Festival (October 18-20), which will really put us in the mood to celebrate!
A typical harvest day begins with vineyard manager Nathan rolling out on clanking caterpillar tractor at 6:30 AM. He has a trailer with empty bins and a picking crew in tow. By mid-day, tons of fruit has been hand-picked by us or labor crews into lug boxes and then dumped into 1000 lb bins. We then truck the fruit, using the family pickup and a flatbed trailer, to nearby Thacher Winery, where we process our wine.
During the afternoon, the fruit is mechanically de-stemmed and then hand sorted by all of us on a vibrating stainless-steel table. It is then crushed by rollers into tall plastic tanks where fermentation can begin converting the sugars to alcohol. Winemaker Shannon oversees all the work: sampling the grapes, calling the pick, blending some lots at birth for co-fermentation, measuring sugars and acids, moving tanks into the sun to speed up fermentations or cooling them in the barrel room—and 100 other details on dozens of lots of wine. All these tanks are punched down manually two or three times a day, which can be a real test of endurance. After a couple of weeks “on the skins”, the fermentations are typically complete and Shannon presses the wine with a hydraulic basket press and puts it in tanks, then barrels for aging. (We are pressing our first 2013 lot this weekend.) At the end of the day, often at sundown, we begin cleaning equipment for the next day’s harvest. The next day we get up and do it again, amen.
Harvest Festival October 18-20
We will be pouring exclusively out at the ranch during Harvest Festival on Friday October 18 through Sunday October 20. We plan to offer tastes of our unreleased 2011 Rangeland wines along with freshly fermented samples from our 2013 vintage. On Saturday and Sunday only, we will also have grilled grass-fed beef and lamb sliders on hand for purchase. You’re free to dine here on our sliders or bring your own picnic. If you’ve never been out to the ranch, this is a perfect opportunity to see where we grow our grapes and raise our cattle, sheep, and honey bees. Club members taste for free. If you join our wine club or beef club, you’ll receive a 20% discount on all ranch products. Our gate will be open Friday-Sunday, 11-5 pm. Check our website for directions. We hope to see you then.
Lamb Shares Available
There are only a few lamb shares left from our summer harvest. We plan to harvest several more lambs in November, but if you just can’t wait, now’s the time to secure some of our delicious lamb for autumn entertaining. Our lamb is extremely tender and mild—we’ve gotten rave reviews. The Lamb Share (20 pounds for $225 before wine or beef club discounts) includes half of a lamb, or approximately:
- 1 rack
- 1 loin, cut into 1” chops
- Sirloin and shoulder chops
- 2 leg roasts
- 2 shanks
- Riblets and stew meat
- A few pounds of ground lamb in 1 pound packages
Rangeland Pick-up Party November 16
On Saturday, November 16, we will host our second annual Rangeland fall pick-up party at our home, the ranch headquarters. Come out to the ranch and pick up your November wine club or beef club shipment and enjoy some live music. We’ll have some newly harvested lamb shares for sale as well. We’ll be pouring wine, serving grass-fed beef chili or lamb stew (we just haven’t decided), and will have plenty to nosh on—home baked cookies, local cheeses and other appetizers. If weather permits, you can tromp through the vineyards or visit our animals, but as farmers, we hope we get rained on and this drought becomes a fading memory. We look forward to opening our home and celebrating with our loyal club members.
July Shopping Coupon
To celebrate our new website we are offering a 10% off coupon. Take this opportunity to stock up your wine cellar or meat freezer with a 10% discount coupon on your order (in addition to your club discounts), good through July 31. Just type in the following coupon code when you place your order: july2013
Flora Rose’ Special
We’ve had some record breaking heat in Paso Robles the past couple of weeks. Hot days and warm evenings have us reaching for our chilled Flora Rose’ for a post-work drink or preferred wine with picnics, salads and fish. We’re offering a Rose’ special: 6 bottles for $80 or 12 bottles (full case) for $150, through July 31. Your wine and beef club discounts apply, so if you enjoy our Rose' this is really too good to pass up.
Day of Horseback Riding on the Ranch
One of the best ways to enjoy the scenery and splendor of our ranch is on horseback. Outback Trail Rides will be leading a day-long ride on Saturday, July 27. Riders will start with a beautiful trail ride through a portion of the vineyard, down through golden pastures to the freshwater farm pond, where you can fish, swim or just relax for a few hours. Enjoy a catered lunch by J&R Meats and sip on some of Paso Robles’ finest from Rangeland Wines. All ages over 6 are welcome and wine is available for those 21 and over.
Limited spaces available, and a minimum of 6 people is required for event to be held. Price is $195/person. For more information call Outback Trail Rides at 805.286.8772, or visit the Outback Trail Rides website.
If you’re interested in a horseback ride at the ranch but can’t stay the whole day, you can schedule an evening horseback or wagon ride through the vineyard with Outback Trail Rides. An evening hour-long wagon ride with wine tasting costs $45/pp, and an evening 1 ½ hour horseback ride with wine tasting costs $95/pp. Contact Outback Trail Rides for more information.
We’ve harvested about a dozen more lambs this month and will soon have some additional lamb for sale. Our first lamb harvest sold out quickly to wine and beef club members. If you’d like to be on the Lamb Share wait list, go to the Lamb Share waiting list form. The Lamb Share (20 lbs, $225 before wine or beef club discounts) includes half of a lamb, or approximately:
• 1 rack
• 1 loin, cut into 1" chops
• sirloin and shoulder chops
• 2 leg roasts
• 2 shanks
• riblets and stew meat
• a few lbs. of ground lamb and/or sausage, in 1 lb. packages
June is a busy month at the ranch—we gather all of our cattle for branding, and sort and harvest our beef for the year’s beef club boxes. We were able to add several new members to the Beef Club this year, but unfortunately there are many more people on the notification list than we have beef club boxes to share. We wish we could wave a wand and produce more home grown grass-fed beef, but there is no hurrying Mother Nature!
To be eligible for future membership in the Beef Club, fill out the form (including your credit card info) at: https://www.rangelandwines.com/clubs/ASR-Beef-Club-waiting-list. For this harvest and for the future, we will use this list on a first-come, first-served basis to allocate newly available Beef Club memberships. We expect our production to more than double in the coming years as our ranch-raised Angus herd grows, so we can likely satisfy all the current demand, given time. Being on this waiting list will give you a 10% discount on Adelaida Springs Ranch ground beef (we have plenty, available in 10 lb. and 20 lb boxes), Rangeland Wines, ranch events and everything we do here.
Beef Club boxes began shipping July 8, and Beef Club pick-ups are currently available at J&R Natural Meats at 3450 Riverside Drive in Paso Robles.
Join Outback Trail Rides on Saturday, July 27, for a fun-filled day on Adelaida Springs Ranch with Rangeland Wines. Start your day with a beautiful trail ride through a portion of the 40 acre vineyards nestled within a 1500 acre woodland valley. Travel your way though golden pastures to the freshwater farm pond, where you can fish, swim or just relax for a few hours. Enjoy a catered lunch by J&R Meats and sip on some of Paso Robles’ finest from Rangeland Wines. All ages over 6 are welcome and wine is available for those 21 and over.
Your day includes:
•1.5 - 2 hour horseback ride through the Adelaida Springs Ranch vineyard
•Wine tasting from Rangeland Wines
•Catered lunch by J&R Meats
•Afternoon (2-3 hours) at the creek where you can fish or swim
•Gorgeous views only open to the public on this day!
Full day at the Ranch price: $195 per person
Want the horse ride experience but can’t stay the whole day? Schedule an evening horseback or wagon ride through the vineyard.
Evening 1 hr Wagon Ride only price including wine tasting: $45/pp
Evening 1.5 hr Horseback Ride only including wine tasting price: $95/pp
Limited spaces available. Minimum of 6 people required for event to be held. For more information call Outback Trail Rides at 805.286.8772.
Visit the Outback Trail Rides website for more information.
We are proud to announce that Rangeland Wines 2010 The Watershed won a gold medal and Best Of Class, with a score of 94 points in the limited production winery category for Bordeaux Blends at the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Awards. We are also proud that Justin Vineyards, won Best of Class in the same category for larger production wineries with their 2010 Isosceles, a wine which includes a significant fraction of wine from our Adelaida Springs Ranch estate vineyard. It's interesting to note that Isosceles (93 points) is priced at $62, while Rangeland The Watershed (94 points) is just $30. This double victory says a lot about the rising tide of Paso Robles Bordeaux wines and the major role that our estate vineyard is playing. Learn more about The Watershed : click here.
A rich aspect of agricultural life is seasonality and the change of pace that comes with it. Wintertime brings shorter days, longer nights and soggy weeks. After 300+ days a year of sunny and often hot weather in Paso Robles, capped by the long days of the wine harvest, we gladly huddle indoors on occasion and enjoy an oakwood fire. There is more time for reading and indoor work on the business side of ranching and winemaking, as well as time to reflect.
I began my winter reading with Richard Rhodes' Arsenals of Folly, which recounts the history, proliferation and attempts to limit nuclear arms. It is a chilling ride that brings the Cold War to life and reminds us of the fundamental risks of modern life and technology. While reading that book in the deep of a November night (3:07 AM, actually), I was startled to see what I thought was a bright and persistent shooting star out my bedroom window. I went out on our south-facing balcony to watch it arc across the sky when I realized I was watching a missile launch, the ghostly trail of which lingered in the night sky as if left the atmosphere far out over the Pacific. This apparition had been a Vandenberg Air Force Base test launch of a Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), whose designed purpose is to carry a nuclear weapon to the far side of globe. I was profoundly moved at the eerie coincidence. I have not been able to stop thinking about it for very long since.
I was so impressed by Richard Rhodes writing that I sought out another of his books: John James Audobon: The Making of an American. This book provided a rich plunge into the world of early 1800s frontier America. It is, for me, a gripping tale of the great naturalist, artist and publisher spanning decades of misfortune, persistence and eventual triumph. Audobon's _Birds of America_ was the finest ornithological work of its time and his paintings set new standards for natural realism. His scenes have a wild, strange, sometimes violent quality that Rhodes summed up as "the concentrated essence of the wilderness". What really struck me in the book was the dramatic environmental changes already taking place in North America. Audobon observed that through deforestation and overharvesting of wildlife in 1830, "Nature herself is perishing".
Moving on in my literary journey, I read Wendell Berry's The Gift of Good Land. Nathan, our ranch manager, had recommended it to me and was so moved by the book that he read passages aloud to us. The Gift is a collection of essays on sustainable farming published in 1981 that is still strikingly relevant. Berry's prose is so thoughtful and beautiful that I found myself marking page after page with dog eared corners.
On the work of family farmers Berry comments: "The work of factory workers is ruled by the factory. Whereas the work of housewives, small craftsmen and small farmers is ruled by their own morality, skill and intelligence" and "society...may lose...efficiency and economy of scale. But it begins to gain...independence, pride, respect....love, reverence."
On cattle feedlots: "within the boundaries of the feeding operation itself a certain factory-like order and efficiency can be achieved. But [it] produces biological disorder, for we know that health problems and dependence on drugs will be greater among cattle so confined than among cattle on pasture. And beyond those boundaries, the problems multiply."
On life: "the world, the weather, and the life cycle have caused me no end of trouble, and yet I look forward to putting another forty or so years with them because they have also given me no end of pleasure and instruction. They interest me. I want to see them thrive on their own terms."
On farming: "Agriculture depends on nature and is contained in nature; if you want to understand agriculture, therefore, you must understand what preceded it."
So what does all of this reading and reflection have to do with growing (and enjoying) good food and fine wine? Everything.
Springtime, Party Time, Excellent!
Springtime is festival time in Paso Robles. We will be pouring our wines at the following events in next few months:
- Zinfandel Weekend, March 15-17, 11am to 5pm at Thacher Winery, including 2011 Zin barrel samples and advance "future" sales
- Paso Robles Cab Collective, April 27, 2-5pm at Windfall Farms in Paso Robles
- Rangeland Wines Field Day, First Annual April 28, 12 to 3:30pm at Adelaida Springs Ranch (see below for more details)
- Paso Robles Wine Festival, May 18-19, 11am-5 pm; the ranch will be open to visitors for tasting and grass-fed sliders.
First Annual Rangeland Field Day
For years we have talked about a springtime event in the pasture celebrating what we do here as ranchers and winegrowers. Our inaugural Rangeland Field Day will include wine, food, music, educational and livestock displays and tours in our beautiful pasture, including:
11:00 am Vineyard Tour led by winemaker Shannon Gustafson
12:00 - 3:00 pm Field Day Celebration
Wine: taste Rangeland Wines and enjoy a glass with your lunch
Food: grass-fed beef and lamb sliders, salads, homemade baked goodies, lemonade and iced tea
Music: live acoustic music from local singer/songwriter/guitarist Jill Knight, plus some homegrown family and ranch employee performances
3:00 pm Ranch tour led by owner Laird Foshay
Tickets: $40 per person, club discounts apply for members and their guests (when purchased by the club member).
Children 12 and under are free.
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