Dracaena Wines

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Central Coast – Day 7

Right now I am so upset. I have been updating the blog as the day went along. I took my typical pictures and discussed the wineries, but since there is no WiFi, I had to do the blog offline. Typically this isn’t an issue, but there is no way to save until you reach a connection and I guess somehow, I deleted my blog. Some way, some how, my daily entry disappeared and is nowhere to be found!
So I am going to have a different type of blog entry today and it will be more of a summary, versus a follow our day.

So here we go…..

We woke up this morning to a day of work. We needed to rack our wine today. If you read a previous blog, we detected some subtle differences between the barrels. In order to create a more harmonious wine we decided to rack our wine. Racking is not a difficult process, but it is time consuming. When racking, we pump the wine out of the barrels into a stainless steel holding tank. Once the wine is out of the barrel, we clean the barrels. This video shows the very glamours (haha) process of racking  Today, we noticed there was more lees within one tank than the other. Lees is basically dead yeast cells and/or wine sedimentation. Once the barrels are empty,mew run water through to clean and get rid of the lees.  We were pretty shocked at the difference of lees between the barrels. (There was a really awesome picture of the lees that I had taken, but alas, it has vanished) once the barrels were cleaned, we re-pumped the wine back into the barrels. We’ll do a sulfur content test and top off with extra wine tomorrow. After two and a half hours of racking we were done working. With time to spare, we decided to do more wine tasting. (I know, life is rough).

Here is a summary of where we went. We stayed on the West Side of Paso today.

Our first stop was Treana/Hope Family Wines.  They are open Thursday – Monday 10-4. I love this place.  It is interesting to me because the outside is all rustic but inside is very modern. It is a very pretty tasting room. There isn’t any shade and there is no place to picnic in the front. However, once you enter the winery, along the side there are a few chairs and tables and a wood burning fire pizza oven among the vines. The tasting is complimentary for up to five wines. We purchased two 2012 Treana White and two 2012 Austin Hope Syrah.

Our second stop was J. Dusi.  They are open Wednesday – Monday 11-5. If you can only stop in to one place, I would recommend coming here. This is a family run winery and they provide a great tasting. There was a $10 tasting fee, but they also provide a food plate consisting of chocolate, dried cherries, apricots, and nuts.  They believe in eating while tasting. We really enjoyed ourselves here. There wasn’t shade for parking, but they did have picnic benches with umbrellas to enjoy their wines. While we were there, there was a family enjoying their fruit and sandwiches along with the wine. We purchased two 2011 Syrah and one 2012 Rhone blend.

Our third stop was to Rotta.  Since we are producing a Cab Franc, we have been on a mission to see other producers of the varietal. We were informed that they had a Cab Franc. There is a $10 tasting fee that is waived with purchase.  They are open daily 10:30-5:30. This was a small tasting room. Alongside the room, there was a partial building that they lost in the 2003 earthquake. They are planning on rebuilding. There isn’t shade here, and there was a small covered patio with a couple of tables. We made no purchases.

Our final stop was Epoch. There is a $15 tasting fee that is waived with a $40 purchase. They are open daily 11-5, but won’t start a tasting after 4:30. This is at the site of the historic York Mountain. They too lost quite a bit during the earthquake. They have already rebuilt the house on site and are planning on rebuilding the tasting room. Additionally, they are in the process of building a brand new crush facility. There is a patio with tables and umbrellas and there is shade here to park. We purchased a 2011 Grenache.

We ended early and are heading back to the hotel to pick up our wine. We checked out of our hotel in SLO and spending our last two nights in Santa Maria.   We left our wine at the hotel so as not to be in the heat. We figured we would move a little south because we will be visiting the Los Olivos area tomorrow and we will be a little closer to LAX for Wednesday.

For our last two night in California, we are staying at the Historic Santa Maria Inn.  There is a Marilyn Monroe suite(we will not be in there) along with many other rooms that boasts a famous person stayed in them at least one night.  Additionally, this hotel is known for being haunted. Click news report to read and see a video about the haunting.  There are rumors of a sea captain who was killed by his mistress and of Rudolph Valentino haunting rooms 210 and 221, respectively. We did not get one of those rooms, but we did get room 158, which is James Stewart’s room. They mark the rooms of famous people with stars.

I have driven Mike crazy since we have been here, running around looking for a ghost.  No luck so far! There is always tonight and tomorrow.

Sláinte!