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Four Sisters Winery

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Located in the Paso Robles area of the Central Coast of California, the Four

Sisters Ranch has been growing grapes and producing world class, award winning,

wine for over 28 years.  Over 8 varieties of grapes are planted on over 430 acres.

The terrain is variable, from Limestone rich sandy-loom soil on hills adjacent to
the dry Estrella River bank to oak trees on hills overlooking a little and big “Grand Canyon”.
They more recently acquired their new winery and Tasting Room/Event Venue facility
where they also produce Limited Edition wines, and have room for large weddings
and celebrations. The New York Times has called their location the “best view of any
vineyard in the Central Coast” up on top of a hill with vistas of vineyards 360 degrees.
Tasting and Touring Magazine listed the Four Sisters Ranch in their 2016 Platinum Issue
as one of the 6 “Most Scenic” wineries in the Paso Robles area.  They take great pride in
being a friendly fun scenic Tasting Room with fine wines.

Four Sisters Ranch is owned and operated by a husband and wife team of two retired medical doctors: Dr. Michael Drucker and Dr. Serena Friedman. It is named after their four daughters; Sacheen, Elan, Toccara, and Sierra, who each contribute. Michael and Serena fell in love with Paso Robles in 1989, when they bought their first vineyard, and have now expanded to 433 planted acres! The first 16 years of Four Sisters Ranch involved intense, hands-on learning, experimenting, and getting down and dirty with the grapes, which were sold privately to world renowned wineries in the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Texas, Paso Robles, and beyond. Finally, in 2005, the first vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah were released under the Four Sisters Ranch label – and the rest is history! They now have have an impressive portfolio of award-winning Paso Robles wines and are thrilled to share their pride and passion with wine enthusiasts in the U.S. and internationally! In 2015, Four Sisters Ranch Vineyards & Winery expanded to a gorgeous new tasting room, winery, lab, barrel room, and event center in the northern

Paso Robles AVA

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 They are passionate about the fine wines they produce from the unique microclimates and mineral rich soils of Paso Robles.The Central Coast terroir has a long growing season with warm days and cool nights that produces uniquely ripened fruit, translating into a balanced wine of world class exception. Enjoy their Rhone and Bordeaux varieties.  Many of the wines are characterized as fruit forward, long lingering, and sure to tantalize the palate. They recently added Sparkling wines, Albarino,red blends, Petite Sirah,Orange Muscat, and  desert Port Style wine to our Merlot, Malbec, 91 point Zinfandel and our Flagship wines:  Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

They use special canopy management to allow just the right amount of sunlight and ocean-infused afternoon breeze to mingle with the fruit and allow it to to mature it to its full flavor potential. For the elegant 89 points Syrah you will taste a balanced, dry and subtle fruit palate of blackberry, boysenberry and plum. This delicious food friendly wine goes well with hearty foods like pasta, wild game, duck, and flavorful soft cheeses.

The award winning “River Cab,” grown on the banks of the dry Estrella River, has a bright raspberry and dry cranberry nose, with hints of dark cherry and currant. This wine is long on the palate with balanced tannins, and pairs well with lamb, steak, veal, pasta, rice, and spirited conversation.

Their youngest wine is a Grenache/Tempranillo blend, light and easy to drink.

The 2011 Zinfandel, rated 91 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, was aged in Hungarian Oak barrels to balance the cool 2011 vintage. The Petite Sirah is a bold new Limited Edition Wine nick-named “3 Sips Titanic” because it cannot be judged until “after the third sip, when the tannins sink into the back of the palate and tongue.

Their  Port style desert wine is 95% Cabernet and 5% Negrette, with a unique flavor but easy drinking.

The Crew & The Wine
Their new winemaker, Craig Reed, is working tirelessly to continue to expand the portfolio with new releases of carefully handcrafted, limited-release wines. They are focusing on estate-grown red blends and small-batch varietal wines, including varietals like

Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, Malbec, and Tempranillo. The Estate Director & Brand Manager, Shauna Burke, oversees our three wine brands: Four Sisters Ranch, Serena’s Vineyard, and Red Hat Vineyards.She is also a Certified Sommelier and chef who lends her expertise in food and wine pairing and global wine education.

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Aflac at the Winery

The other day, a lady comes to the winey and ask me to allow her to release her duck. The name of the duck Aflac. She even brought a giant bag of food to feed her duck, and ask me if it was ok to bring some apples to feed Aflac. We took the very large cage over to the pond to allow Aflac to see the water. Here are some of the photos of his release…

The other duck with the red bill is Matilda, and she is the other loner that I believed might be a friend or buddy to Aflac. The two mallards are the bullies of the pond. Once Aflac got into the pond the two mallards went after Aflac. I have found myself looking for Aflac in the afternoon, and making sure he has food. It is a little heartbreaking that he hasn’t made any pond friends. Maybe, he just needs time to fit into the pond with the other ducks.

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Donald B Williams

Two sketches done by a local artist Donald B. Williams. Th first sketch is Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church at Cayucos, California. It was dedicated July 14, 1900, and the little church burned to the ground on September 30th 1970.

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The haunting image of the church with it’s picket fence almost has sense a looming omen. Maybe it is the black and white, or maybe the knowing that it no longer exists. The shadow that is starting to fall on the left side of the building doesn’t help to make it appear to be a place of happiness. The new church was built in 1965, and five years later this one burned to the ground, yet no one knows the cause of the fire.

 

The other sketch is of the San Luis Obispo Mission…

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Although, this too is a sketch, it doesn’t look as “dark” to me as the other one. I notice that the fountain is not in the sketch, could be that the fountain did not exist when he did his sketch.

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RiverStar Vineyards

 

Riverstar Vineyards is an 80-acre ranch located in the heart of San Miguel, in the Paso Robles AVA. There are 60 planted acres of grapes, including six varietals that they use to produce their estate wines. They are a family owned and operated winery, and pride themselves on utilizing the fruit grown on their vineyard to create well balanced and easy drinking wines. Riverstar is a beautiful piece of land, with a scenic meadow in the front of the property that is used for concerts, weddings, and events.

Their boutique tasting room is open Thursdays through Mondays from 11-5, where you can taste their award- winning wines and fun red blends that Riverstar has been known for. They offer a wine and cheese pairing with six of their red wines. They will soon be featuring sparkling wines as well, stay tuned!

Extend your experience at Riverstar by staying in one of their vacation rentals. The “Ranch House” is three bedrooms and two bathrooms with a wrap- around deck, just perfect for watching the gorgeous sunsets over the vines.

The “House on the Hill” is nestled in the middle of the vineyard, with a private pool in the backyard. This home is three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, with a fourth room that has a futon and couch to fit all your guests under one roof. More information and photos can be found on our website and on VRBO/ Homeaway.com.

Riverstar is hosting some great concerts this fall. Saturday, September 10, 2016 the Blimp Pilots, a rock n roll cover band, will be playing from 1-4 pm on the meadow. Chaco’s Mexican Grill food truck will be on site cooking up delicious tacos. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and come hang out with them to listen to some awesome tunes, and enjoy some of their great wines!

The next event will be Saturday, October 15, 2016 and will feature the JD Project from 1-4 pm, as well as Chaco’s Mexican Grill food truck. Come celebrate this year’s successful harvest with live music and flowing wine!

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Villa San Juliette

I love visiting Villa San Juliette, they are the neighbors of Ranchita Canyon Vineyard. The beauty there is magnificent, the grounds evoke an image of European splendor. The artistically rendered gates open at 11am, the driveway is punctuated by cypress tress, and olive trees. The statuary, and landscape transport your soul to a place of divine harmony. I feel as though I am in an ancient Roman painting…bring on the banquet!

I have visited VSJ many times, but have never had the opportunity to meet the two gentlemen that own the winery. Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe  are the owners, and I am told that the two met as schoolmates in Liverpool and a friendship bloomed. Both young men loved to entertain and as they grew into adulthood, this shared passion led to careers that often intersected,  as dancers, then as choreographers and as producers of entertainment enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.

Despite their demanding schedules, in 2004 these two friends made time to catch up over a dinner in Las Vegas. They asked the sommelier to surprise them with a bottle of Cab, and, when both glasses were poured, the conversation took a momentous turn. The wine was spectacular, spurring an interest in the Paso Robles AVA that would grow into a love affair. And thus, in that first sip, the dream of Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery was born.

Smitten as they were, just one year later Ken and Nigel purchased a pastoral 168-acre property located at the northern edge of the Paso Robles AVA in the small town of San Miguel, California. A healthy vineyard was already established across rolling slopes and ideal soils, so Ken and Nigel directed their energies towards enhancing the natural beauty of the vineyard with a tasting room styled after the Tuscan villas that Nigel had enjoyed during trips to Italy.

Ken and Nigel’s belief in Paso Robles wine country comes to fulfillment in Villa San-Ju- liette’s comfortable tasting room, superb wines, and idyllic vineyard views.

The two are the producers of American Idol. They also produce many other talent shows, as well as own the winery. In 2013 the winery became SIP certified, which is no easy feat. One must be able to demonstrate their sustainability, water, animal conservation, soil health, and the overall carbon footprint are measured.

Their wines have won several awards too, so it’s so worth a visit. Every time I have visited, I have been fascinated by what appears to be a sculptured wind vane. I recently was told that the “Fat Monk” is a second label. I can’t personally attest to it’s yumminess, but the Fat Monk looks super cool.

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Luna and Venus

Luna and Venus are our two Angus heifers. Both of them are pregnant, and looking really good for fair. Only one will go to fair this year, so we are thinking that Venus will go. She looks feminine, and that is what the judges at the fair like. Every year the panel of experts is different, but when it comes to heifers, feminine is better. IMG_8718

 

Every day there is work to be done with the heifer and for her too. These big girls need a bath. Some like it, and some don’t like their bath time. It is all about being handled in the ring. Getting used to loud noises at the fair with kids screaming, and people walking around them. Getting the bath gets them used to being handled too.

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Then the final product is…IMG_8941

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Tackitt Winery

Tackitt Family Vineyards provides visitors with an opportunity to sample award- winning wines, such as the Petite Sirah, which I have had the pleasure of drinking. the vineyard is in a beautiful location, and support a great cause at the same time. Leon Tackitt, a retired Navy officer who trained sailors in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) techniques and his wife of 28 years, Cindy donate proceeds from their  line of EOD Cellars wines, and from special events, to the EOD Warrior Foundation, a non-profit  foundation providing support for Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, veterans, and their families. IMG_8671

 

Tackitt said that it was natural for his interest in winemaking to become linked to his desire to help current and former EOD technicians, and their families. With his background as an EOD training specialist, Tackitt has a clear understanding of the role these soldiers play in battle. “They are the guys who are on the front line. They enable access for the entire force,” he said. EOD technicians might have to disarm a bomb or diffuse a booby trap. “They clear the path.” With this type of responsibility, they have a necessary, but incredibly difficult, role to play. It is dangerous and can often result in injuries.

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For this reason, Tackitt Family Vineyards donates proceeds from wines sold under the EOD Cellars label to the EOD Warrior Foundation. They  also hold an annual event to raise money for the foundation, called Warriors Helping Warriors.  In 2015, Tackitt Family Vineyards raised $21,000 during this annual event.

The annual Warriors Helping Warriors Event features live music, skeet shooting, food, and EOD demonstrations. Visitors also get a chance to bottle some of Tackitt’s fine wines as well. During this year’s event, four wines from the EOD label were bottled:

  • Master Blaster – a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend
  • Basic Blaster – Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Willie Pete White – Sauvignon Blanc
  • Det Cord – Gewürztraminer

Each of the wines in the EOD line has a name with meaning. For example, Willie Pete White refers to the nickname given to the explosive material White Phosphorus.

The EOD Warrior Foundation provides financial assistance to both active duty and veteran soldiers.  It might offer emergency financial relief to help a soldier pay for travel costs to reunite with their families, provide educational opportunities, or support hope and wellness by sponsoring group activities, such as ski trip or pig hunting.

In the 1970’s, Tackitt’s grandfather first planted a few Gewürztraminer vines in the vineyard for home winemaking. When Tackitt retired from the Navy, he and Cindy decided to  clone the vines that his grandfather planted and start their own winery. Theyplanted petite sirah i in addition to Gewürztraminer., Tackitt produces many other wines, including a Zinfandel, a Merlot, a Grenache-Rosé, and more.

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Visitors will find that Tackitt Family Vineyards has a new tasting room. It is small and homey and a great place to sip wine..

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Others have recognized that Tackitt’s wines stand out from the rest. The vineyard recently was awarded Best of Class at the San Francisco Wine Competition for their 2012 Petite Sirah. The competition is the largest one in the country featuring wines made in the United States. This same wine won a gold medal, and was awarded 93 points, in the San Diego Winemaker competition. For Tackitt, the honors were particularly meaningful because the Petite Sirah is estate grown.

Tackitt Family Vineyards is open to the public for tasting Friday through Sunday from 12-5 p.m. The vineyard is located at 6640 Von Dollen Road in San Miguel. For more information, call 805.467.9490, visit www.tackittfamilyvineyards.com or find Tackitt on Facebook.

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What Time Is It?

OMG! It is that time of the year. The time of the year that I can not go into Tractor Supply or Farmer Supply. Why, did you ask? IMG_7714

 

Baby chicks!!!!

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Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending the show at CalPoly. It was so much fun, and I was amazed what they could do with the Ukulele. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I could not believe the sound and the complexity of the sound variation from this little instrument.

The Orchestra was amazing…they really put on a show for everyone. From older music to some modern tunes that younger people knew. I was thinking I may be in for a night of Hawaiian style music.

Here is a little sample of what we enjoyed! You Tube

One of the best parts was they allowed local schools to perform a song with them. My baby was one of the lucky students to perform a song with them!