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We are blessed to reside in in the Paso Robles wine country, which is composed of small-town communities such as Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero and our hometown of Santa Margarita.
Neighborliness is alive and well in these parts, and we feel very supported by our local customers and wine club members, not to mention our peers in the wine industry. For this reason, we join many other local wineries in striving to help make San Luis Obispo County an even better place.
One of our latest ventures is a Halloween pumpkin drive. We stocked a small pumpkin “patch” at our tasting room, and all proceeds from the pumpkin sales go to the Santa Margarita Elementary School PTA.
“Parents come in for wine tasting, and the kids get to walk out with a pumpkin,” says Nina Leschinsky, our direct to consumer sales manager. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
When it comes to charitable efforts, we place an emphasis on causes that align with our own winery culture, including those that benefit agriculture, sustainability, education, land stewardship and historical appreciation.
Accordingly, we have also provided donations and support to Santa Margarita Beautiful, a local beautification nonprofit, as well as the Paso Robles High School girls’ basketball team and California Women for Agriculture, among others.
“Often times it’s our own employees or wine club members who ask for support for something near and dear to them,” Nina says. “My son attends Santa Margarita Elementary, and I appreciate how our winery ownership is supporting the local school. There are some big hearts here.”
The Central Coast’s signature food and wine event is almost here, and we are happy to be right in the thick of it…
Indeed, the main event of Sunset Magazine’s Savor The Central Coast will be held right here in Santa Margarita at our historic Santa Margarita Ranch on September 27-28.
The main event will feature a Marketplace with offerings from more than 100 local wineries and restaurants. Other attractions include a Farm to Table Stage and Travel & Adventure Stage (more on that below), as well as a Central Coast Pavilion and educational seminars from leading chefs and winemakers. Trust us, your palate will not be disappointed, and your eyes will be opened!
In addition to pouring our wine at the main event, we are also leading an Ancient Peaks Adventure Tour on Thursday, September 25—and tickets are still available. During this tour, you will be invited to walk on the wild side by creating your own unique blend (see action shot below) of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel and Malbec.
Under the guidance of our Director of Winemakeing Mike Sinor, your personal blend will be bottled, custom labeled, and finished with a wax dip. The festive blending session concludes with a gourmet lunch hosted by Sunset’s Wine Editor Sara Schneider in the heart of Margarita Vineyard against the backdrop of the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains.
Also, our affiliated Margarita Adventures zipline canopy tours will take over the Adventure Stage at the main event on Saturday from 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. and Sunday from 2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. During these free sessions, Margarita Adventures will showcase its entire tour experience spanning ziplines, history, nature and wildlife. We won’t spill all of the beans yet, but be on the lookout for decked-out guides, four-legged friends and much more.
We look forward to seeing you at Savor the Central Coast!
We like to say that our wine club members are part of our family, which may explain why you never know what we will spring on them…
Our latest out-of-the-box wine club adventure was “Gone Fishing” with winery co-proprietor Karl Wittstrom, who invited wine club members out for a morning of fishing along the 13-acre reservoir at our estate Margarita Vineyard . Along the way, Karl (the photobomber above in white, behind guests the Mylan family) instructed the group on how to catch and release the reservoir’s largemouth bass.
A total of 18 club members came out, and all of them caught fish. Club member Ron George, pictured below, kindly called it “heaven on earth.” Another member, Gary Smuts, said that they had a “fintastic” time.
The fun didn’t end there. “We had snacks and water on-site, but once the club members had their fill of fish they headed back to the tasting room to quench their thirst in the tasting room,” says Erin du Fresne, our wine club manager. “What better way to spend a Sunday on the Central Coast?”
If you’re a club member, stay tuned for our next adventure. If you’re not a member yet, click here to check out the many benefits that await (including the occasional fishing expedition).
Frankly, this is a winemaker dinner that’ll make your tail wag. Indeed, on Friday June 19, and to celebrate Roll Out The Barrels weekend across SLO Wine Country, we are teaming up with “Let’s Be Frank” for an epic pairing of wine and…hot dogs!
These aren’t just any hot dogs, however. They’re gourmet, grass-fed beef franks that have been declared the second best in the nation by Saveur Magazine, and named to LA Weekly’s list of “99 Things to Eat Before You Die.”
Now this famous food cart from San Francisco and Los Angeles is rolling into SLO Wine Country to pair their gourmet hot dogs and artisan potato chips with a selection of Ancient Peaks wines. The night will be complete with live music from local guitarist Matt Cross, an all-time fave.
The cost is $21 per person, and includes a glass of wine, hot dog and chips. Additional wine and dogs will be available for purchase as well. This is one doggone delicious dinner you won’t want to miss! Please call 805-365-7045 to RSVP or email email@example.com.
We strive to offer a remarkable wine club, and that mission is aided by the fact that we have some amazing wine club members.
This was never more evident than at a recent wine club “road trip” tasting event that we hosted at Bacchus Bar & Bistro in Irvine, California. This event was designed as a complimentary “thank you” to our club members who reside in Southern California.
We weren’t sure how many members would make it. It’s not like they all live right around Irvine. Plus, many people are busy with work and family obligations.
“We thought if we could get 30 or 40 people that would be great,” says Director of Winemaking Mike Sinor, who co-hosted the event. “So we were blown away when 70 members showed up.”
Yes, that’s right—70 wine club members came to an event located 240 miles from our winery! How cool is that?
“Their enthusiasm was infectious,” Mike says. “They were really into it, and it was a great time for all of us. This kind of turnout really says a lot about our members.”
We offer an array of ongoing benefits and events for club members, as well as occasional surprise events like this one. Stay tuned for more, and join the fun if you haven’t already.
P.S. Here’s a short recap video of our “Reds, Whites & Greens” container gardening demo that we hosted for club members last week:
Things are looking up as we round the corner into March.
First, some significant rainfall this week is bringing much-needed water to the Central Coast. Yesterday’s storm brought more than two inches to our estate Margarita Vineyard, and the meteorologists say there’s more to come over the next few days.
Also, we are staging two March events—one for the public, the other for our wine club members—that will tantalize your taste buds:
Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival – March 14-16
Get your Zin on as we go all out during the Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival weekend! On both days, we will serve complimentary made-to-order artisan grilled cheese sandwiches from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. We are also offering complimentary tours of our estate Margarita Vineyard, with a focus on the diverse soils and marine moderated climate that enable us to craft one of the Paso Robles region’s most acclaimed Zinfandels. These Paso Robles vineyard tours are available by appointment on Friday at 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. To RSVP for a tour, call us at (805) 365-7045. And for more on the festival and related activities across the region, visit PasoWine.com.
Wine Club Artisan Cheese Seminar – March 20 (the first official day of spring!)
Wine club members are invited to join us at our tasting room on Thursday, March 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. as we team up with Fromagerie Sophie to explore the art of wine and cheese pairing. Based in San Luis Obispo, Fromagerie Sophie is the Central Coast’s newest artisan “cheesemonger.” Proprietor Sophie Boban-Doering brings a French-inspired flair to her regional cheese offerings, and she will provide a tasty demonstration on how to find the perfect match for a variety of wine styles. The cost is $15 for A-List members and $10 for Six Shooters, inclusive of wine, cheese and good cheer.
Not a wine club member? Please check out our member lounge to see the array of events and benefits that we offer to members.
We invite you to take a break and treat yourself to some seasonal magic at our annual Holiday Open House this Thursday, December 12 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This complimentary event at our tasting room includes light nibbles, sweet treats, hot cocoa, wine tasting, wine specials and…drumroll…a singing Santa! The Holiday Open House has become a festive tradition here at Ancient Peaks, and it’s always a lot of fun. And the cold weather this week will ensure that it feels a lot like Christmas.
Then, throughout the weekend, we will offer a trio of culinary craft workshops. Click here for more details.
We are also excited to share that our own Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins was on the What’s Cooking on Wine show on CRN Radio last night. During the interview, Amanda shared details about our Holiday Open house and our Paso Robles winery tours, as well as the unique qualities of our estate Margarita Vineyard and how they shape our wines. Click here to listen to the interview (fast forward to the 30-minute mark to hear Amanda).
We hope to see you at our open house, or anytime this holiday season for Paso Robles wine tasting, wine gifts and more.
The latest edition of Sunset’s Savor The Central Coast was a big success over the past weekend, and we were pleased to be right in the thick of it.
We kicked things off on a beautiful Friday morning by hosting one of Savor’s signature “Adventure Tours” at our estate Margarita Vineyard. The tour was titled “Winemaking on The Wild Side,” celebrating the unconventional blends for which Paso Robles is renowned.
Neil Roberts from Clavo, Christian Tietje of Cypher, Steve Lohr of J. Lohr and our own Mike Sinor, along with moderator and sommelier extraordinaire Christopher Sawyer and Sunset wine editor Sara Schneider, were on hand to help guests create their own daring blends from selected lots of Zinfandel, Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each guest’s blend was then bottled, corked, wax dipped, and labeled on site. The festivities concluded with a vineyard lunch catered by The Range.
Then, throughout the weekend, our Santa Margarita Ranch headquarters played host to Savor’s Main Event, which included an extensive Marketplace featuring local food artisans, growers, wineries, craft breweries, celebrity chefs and more, as well as cooking demonstrations and wine seminars. As always, this event was a remarkable showcase for the distinctive farm-to-fork culture of San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast.
It’s not too early to mark your calendar for next year’s Savor The Central Coast, and keep an eye out for announcements about next fall’s adventure tours—they often sell out fast!
They say that the best things in life are free—but they also say that nothing’s free anymore.
Well, they’ve got it half right, because we recently hosted our fall A-List Wine Club pickup party, complimentary to all members, and it was an evening to remember!
The event was held in our enchanting Estrada Gardens on the historic Santa Margarita Ranch. The festivities included wine tasting, live music and wood-fired pizza from Cahoot’s Catering. Mother Nature blessed us with warm air and beautiful blue skies, and we were delighted to welcome a crowd of club members to the party.
We take pride in offering a wine club experience like no other. If you aren’t a member yet, we invite you to check out our Member Lounge and signup page—and hope to see you at our next club event!
We were honored to receive the following feedback from some of the attendees at our recent party:
Brenda: Another truly amazing event with Ancient Peaks! The Ancient Peaks family and staff always makes us feel a part of their family. Thank you for everything you do for your wine club members!
Deborah: We had a great time! The AP staff are so friendly and accommodating! Good food and of course the best wine. Thanks for another great event!
Linda: This was so fun! Loved the wine and the food was great! Good friends and music, too...whooo hoo!
The advent of autumn is always exciting here on the historic Santa Margarita Ranch, and not only because of the bustling grape harvest at our estate Margarita Vineyard...
Indeed, each fall, our ranch is also proud to host the main event at the annual Savor The Central Coast celebration presented by Sunset magazine.
Savor is the ultimate showcase for the distinctive flavors and farm-to-fork culture of our region. The main event—which spans the weekend of September 28-29 this year—includes an extensive Marketplace featuring local food artisans, growers, wineries, craft breweries, celebrity chefs and more. In-depth wine and cooking seminars are offered throughout the weekend, along with culinary adventure tours (including one hosted by Ancient Peaks—sorry, ours is sold out!).
Celebrity Chef Michael Voltaggio and musician Colbie Caillat are among the top draws for this year's festivities. For foodies and wine lovers alike, this is a can’t-miss Central Coast event.
It’s also a fitting time to recall that Santa Margarita Ranch has been a hub of local hospitality since the 1800s, when then-owner Joaquin Estrada was known for hosting lavish fiestas and rodeos.
Today, we endeavor to extend this legacy of what we call “early California rancho hospitality” with our ecotourism offerings—including vineyard and zipline canopy tours—and ongoing special events.
Along the way, we are proud that Savor The Central Coast has chosen the ranch as its main event venue, and encourage you to come out for a tasty good time.