This Thanksgiving week, some of the things that most intrigued us in the world of wine do had to do with thanks (and giving) but also, as we look forward to a week of potentially signficant rain, at our drought and at a growing movement toward dry-farmed vineyards. Finally, for our thought piece, I wanted to share a lyrical view of our beautiful Central Coast. The highlights:
- This Thanksgiving week, we were happy to have our wines recommended in two places: our local San Luis Obispo Tribune (recommending our Cotes de Tablas) and Men's Journal (recommending our Patelin de Tablas). But just as much, we appreciated seeing the Thanksgiving newsletter from Talley Vineyards -- fellow Central Coast flagship, and a winery that I respect enormously both for the tremendous wines they make and for their dedication to their local community -- describing what several of their key people would be drinking. Yes, Tablas Creek made an appearance. Like with our own Thanksgiving recommendations, I think it's great that Central Coast wineries are comfortable being so publicly supportive of each other.
- Must! Charities has been doing amazing work in our local community since its founding in 2012. This week, they announced a quarter-million dollar, four-year program in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County. We will be supporting their efforts with a "must! month" in December. All month, we will donate a dollar to must! for each bottle of wine we sell out of our tasting room, online, or by phone. Last year, we donated over $7000. I hope we'll top that this year! For more about how you can support must!'s remarkable efforts, click here.
On Drought and Dry-Farming
- At the beginning of November, I went up to San Francisco for an event co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Club and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). It began with a panel discussion on the feasibility and benefits of dry-farming wine grapes and concluded with a walk-around tasting of dry-farmed wines (you can listen to the panel discussion here). With our current drought, I'm seeing renewed interest in the potential of dry-farming grapevines. This has to be a good thing, on both quality and sustainability fronts (I've written about our own reasons for dry-farming) and it was great to see the Los Angeles Times write a good piece on this small but growing movement.
- Also this week, we got some good news from the NOAA, which has updated their forecast for this winter and is now saying "above average rainfall is now predicted". Read more »
- Finally, on the rain front, we're looking forward to what is forecast to be a very wet week. It is being awaited with great anticipation by the entire Paso Robles wine community.
- We were excited to learn this week that we're not the only winery with two donkeys on staff! On the Cline Cellars Facebook page we met Fancy (left) and Pudding (right). If you don't follow fellow California Rhone pioneer Cline (home region: Carneros) on social media, you should; their posts are consistently among the cleverest in the world of wine. And, they have donkeys.
Food for Thought (Beverage for Thought?)
- We'll conclude this week with a paean to the Central Coast, written by UK Native, Napa resident and Master of Wine student Clare Tooley. In her piece "Saints, Rogues and Kerouac" she writes of Paso Robles: "Paso is colourful and rogue-ish. Wild still, definitely not tamed. In vogue right now but definitely carving its own path." The whole piece is worth reading: beautifully written and, I thought, right on. Read more »