Each August, we hold a pig roast here at the winery. We got the idea originally five years ago because our neighbor was having problems with feral pigs and offered to get us one for an event, and have continued the event with farm-raised pigs (in the absence of conveniently available wild ones) each year since. Our winemaker Neil Collins dug a pit in an old rootstock field near the creek and rigged up a rotisserie from an old tractor motor. The rotisserie:
Neil built the fire at 4:30am on Saturday, and the pig was on the rotisserie by 6am. It spends the next twelve hours cooking, and is then taken out of the pit, off the spit and carved up. Chef Tom Fundaro (of Villa Creek Restaurant) did the honors:
It's always fun for me to bring the kids and see what they think of all this. Last year, Eli (our older son, now 3) discovered that he could figure out which grapes were ripe by what color they were. This year, he was much more fascinated by the pig itself, while Sebastian (our younger son who is almost one) discovered the grapes:
We held the event in our nursery, in our shadehouses that are underutilized due to our partnership with NovaVine (they graft and harden off our grapevine material in Santa Rosa, so we don't have much use for shadehouses here). It turned out to be a beautiful event space. We welcomed around 120 people, mostly our VINsider Wine Club members, many of whom have come to every pig roast since 2004. A couple of views of the event space, first during late afternoon with the sun low, and then after sunset with the lanterns and the twinkle lights out:
The food was served family-style, on platters, and to accompany the pig, Tom prepared gazpacho, summer white beans, grilled summer squash and potatoes, and a peach crumble for dessert. All the vegetables were sourced from Paso Robles, and the dinner was delicious. It's always one of my favorite events that we do. If you didn't have a chance to make it this year, we hope we'll see you in 2009. You can keep up with what's coming up on our upcoming events page.