Open: Year Round
Well our space in the only Basque restaurant in San Miguel, just 6 miles north of Paso Robles, finally opened. We started with a soft January opening, just to see how things would go for our little operation. It is amazing how many wine drinkers fill up at that darn Chevron station!
Time has passed and this weekend brings us to the annual Paso Robles Zin Fest. We will be serving Paella, cheese and other goodies in generous portions. Steven has also got the 2005 Barbera and Petite Sirah bottled and ready to go, so it will be available for sale for the first time The 2005 Zinfandel is also bottled, but needs some time in the bottle to calm down. It is available for pre-release sales, if people promise not to open too many bottles before May’s Wine Fest
Speaking of wine fest, we will be having a wine drenched dinner on the Saturday, May 19th at the Tenth Street Vineyard Café. Lots of food, wine and good times can be had by all for only $45.00 for wine club members and $55.00 for non members. Hope to see you all there.
I wish I could say more, but it is getting late at my computer and my eyes are failing, so let me end by again thanking everyone for their support over the last year. Enjoy the wine and stop by and visit us when you can, the welcome will always be large.
Letter 1 "Fall 2006"
Dear Wine Friends,
Lupe, the children, Jacob and Emily, and I thank you for your kindness and support over the last year. As I write this we have been an official bonded winery, with approved labels for 364 days! Lupe has learned to travel, going to wine pouring events almost every weekend. Christian survived another crush which produced some of the great fruit, even if the yields were down from our already low levels. We have even placed our wines in three restaurants. Next year we plan on even better things. Wow.
In a little less than one year we have meet so many wonderful people that we can only consider ourselves blessed. We have opened a tasting room, well a bar in a room, only to have the experiment close down around us, just as we were starting to build a base of friends. Life throws many an obstacles on our sojourn, but with the help of good people we can regroup and go at it again.
Hopefully you noticed the new address on our letterhead. The very day our downtown Paso adventure was shut down we received a call from Dallas and Karen Holt offering a spot for a tasting room in their dining room. Tied House laws do not allow me to give the name of their business, but we can say that it is the only Basque restaurant in San Miguel, located across from the Chevron station, just off the 101 Freeway Tenth Street exit. Our legal 30-day posting ended on November 14th, now it is just a matter of some paperwork being completed. Our space will be small, the welcome will be large.
Lupe is planning on an open house in January, she will send out letters and emails when the dates get firmed up.
As two ol’ guys on a porch used to say, thank you for your support.
I would be happy and honored to tell the story of our wine. Yes very happy and honored indeed.
But, what type of story? True or fictitious, prose or verse, a story to amuse or instruct? I think what is best is a true story in prose. A story to amuse? Well, one does hope to entertain and history should be to instruct, so a true, historical story in prose will be the choice.
In 1979 ol’ Doc McGillis, a thoracic surgeon from Los Angeles, decided to give up the city life and move to the small town of Paso Robles on the central coast of California. He purchased some land just west of town in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains and built a barn.
Life was good. Many an evening Doc and his wife Dale would sit in the hay loft of their barn house and watch the beautiful views of the town lights to the east and the mountain sunsets to the west. One such evening, with a cocktail in hand, Doc came up with a brilliant idea.
“If we grew grapes, we could drink wine for free!”
A dream was born and the next day a ten-acre vineyard was began. The front five was planted to Zinfandel, the versatile red grape, claimed by California as its very own. Like its adapted state, zinfandel that can make diverse wines such as; a late harvest that tastes of velvet raisin, or a claret style that challenges the best of Bordeaux, or a powerhouse of fruit and flavor that shows the raw energy of our young nation, or a light picnic wine that tastes so fresh on a spring day outing with friends and family, or lastly a ‘white Zinfandel’ that America has learned to enjoy chilled for its sweet tartness. The back five were planted to one of the finest clones of Nebbiolo, the noble grape of Italian Barolos, one of the finest wines in the world.
For the next several years Doc learned the joys of farming as he dug his tractor out of the mud. He imbibed the glamour of the wine business as he swatted grape leaf hoppers off his sun-baked neck. He experienced the beauty of nature’s creatures as he shooed, chased and shoot away the fauna. I other words these were the best years of his life.
Sadly, with the fruit of his first harvest safely in barrels, Doc suddenly passed from this life to his greater reward. We mourn his passing and celebrate his life.
With Doc gone the vineyard continued to produce great grapes. Local Paso Robles wineries sought out the grapes and made some wonderful wines. It worth noting, however, that vineyards are like people, without someone to care for them they will wither and decline. By 2001 the Nebbiolo in the back five had to be removed and the Zinfandel was looking very sorry. Lupe and I bought the vineyard in 2002 and started the long process of bringing the vineyard back to health.
You are tasting the fruits of our efforts from the first year of Christian Lazo Vineyards. We sincerely hope you enjoy the wine.
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