Just a few highlights……
Day 1 of our Spring Tour begins with an optional ‘self guided’ tour of Cambria farmers markets. An exceptional market with local fruits, vegetables, seafood, meats and flowers. You can also find lavender, olives, bread, dips and spreads. Locally made hot soup to take home is always a sell out and Linns Bakery and Cafe sets up a bbq where you can find delicious tri-tip, chicken and all the fixins for dinner, hot and ready to serve!
Dinner is always a fun, first day event where all the guests get to mingle and say hello. With the help of my Debettes, Armida, Barbara & Sue we create a casual atmosphere to enjoy a chef prepared meal, short cooking demo and some wonderfully overflowing gift bags from our sponsor, Melissas Produce. Thanks Melissa’s! , an LA based wholesale produce company that not only provides produce and packaged goodies to local So. California markets (as well as many all over the country) such as Bristol Farms and Gelsons, you can find Melissa’s at all So Cal sports venues and some of your favorite restaurants from LA to Vegas and beyond!
Day 2 of our Spring Tour is a long day, Coy & Sarah Barnes owners of ‘The Wine Wrangler‘ sends us John the entertainer to drive us around Paso Robles for our wine tasting part of the tour. Our first stop is Rangeland Winery, way out Adelaida Rd and up on the mountain top. Without complications, the owners of Rangeland are committed to creating wine and food in a sustainable manner. Only planting 40 acres of 1500 acres of wild oak woodland, they strictly limit their use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Sheep fertilize the dormant vineyard eliminating mowing and the use of herbicides. Their cattle herd is limited to 200 heads and rotated carefully. All of this helps maintain the beautiful setting that is Rangeland Ranch and Winery. A pastoral setting that was perfect for wine tasting and an uncomplicated wine country lunch overlooking the luxrious grass of ranch. Thanks to Lisa and Laird Foshay for sharing their passion.
Halter Ranch and Pasolivo Olive Oil were on the agenda as well that day. The lovely shaded patio at Halter Ranch and the expertise of our private wine tender were a welcome escape from the warm afternoon sun. Halter Ranch, other than excellent wines made by Kevin Sass, boasts the oldest oak tree around. Between 350 and 600 years old, the tree is more than 20′ across and 55′ in height. Owner, Hansbjorg Wyss, is a passionate advocate for land preservation and built part of the vineyard around the tree. Out of 2,000 acres on the ranch only 281 are planted with vines. Those vines are dry farmed, when possible, and the estate is certified sustainable with native gardens that are planted throughout the vineyards to attract good bugs. With a new winery and wine caves that have been carved into the mountain, Halter Ranch is a must stop for us spring and fall.
We made a stop for a ‘press tour’ at Pasolivo olive oil and learned about their organically grown olives, how they are harvested and pressed right on the site. A mix of flavored, Virgin and Extra-Virgin oils for tasting and a shop full of herbed salts, olives, tapenades and the like were all available to try and purchase
Our final day of the tour is spent on the peaceful family farm of Barbara & Bill Spencer. In addition to 12 acres of vegetable gardens, there are apple and stone fruit orchards and 5 acres of sheep pasture. The Spencers believe in the biodynamic philosophy where the farm should be seen as its own ecosystem, bulding and striving to maintain plant and animal communities. An incredible farm that protects habitats for animal, birds and insects, its hard to describe how peaceful and wonderful this land is. It makes one appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature and creates respect for all living things. You can find the Spencers harvests at local Paso Robles restaurants, in LA at places such as Patina, Campanile, Melisse and Lucques and also at the famous Wed. Santa Monica farmers market. It’s always hard to leave this magical farm named Windrose Farm. We cannot thank you enough for all the work you do.
Thanks also to all of our lovely guests! And to my hard working Debettes!
Stay tuned for information about our Fall Harvest Tour, Oct 24 – 26th.