Monday, July 17, 2017

Visiting Paso Robles - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Halter Ranch Vineyard is located in a valley in the Adelaida District's western hills. Vineyard manager, Lucas Pope, met us outside near the tasting room with a chilled bottle of the 2016 Rosé to get our group refreshed and ready to see exactly from where those grapes that made up the wine in our glass came.

The rosé is a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Picpoul Blanc, it was light and crisp with tropical notes over strawberry and grapefruit. All of the wines that Halter Ranch produces are made from estate grown grapes growing at elevations reaching 1750 feet on limestone-rich slopes. There is huge soil diversity in the top soils within the area, Pope explained, as we headed into the vineyard. This allows for a wide variety of grapes to grown,
primarily Bordeaux and Rhône varieties. Currently, 281 acres are under vine at the expansive 2000 acre ranch property.

Much of the land has been designated as an environmental preserve by the current owner, Pope revealed. He ensured that there were wildlife corridors for the deer and other animals to access the water that they had always enjoyed when the vineyard was under construction. He is interested in protecting the land for the continued use of future generations. Pope said they are certified sustainable and try to be as organic as possible.

After a walking tour to check out the terroir, we stopped for a vineyard tasting of a few of the current releases. All of the following wines along with the Rosé are recommended.

If you are planning on being in Paso Robles, go online and check out the many tasting and touring opportunities offered at Halter Ranch.

The wines:

Halter Ranch Grenache Blanc 2015 - This wine is 80% Grenache Blanc, which is the favorite white grape at the vineyard, along with 14% Picpoul Blanc, 4% Rousanne and 2% Viognier blended in. Medium-bodied with a creamy texture, this wine had aromas and flavors of melon and pear with a light honeysuckle note in the fresh, lingering finish. SRP $28

Halter Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 - Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Malbec and 7% Petit Verdot, this classic Bordeaux-styled red has bright aromas and flavors of pomegranate and cherry with a light earthy minerality; full-bodied, approachable and easy to enjoy now.

Halter Ranch Block 22 Syrah 2014 - This rich full-bodied red has intense fruity aromas and mouth-filling flavors of ripe mixed berries with a hint of smoke and cocoa in the long finish, SRP $55.