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The DIRT on AP - a winery blog

Ancient Peaks
November 12, 2015 | Ancient Peaks

Screaming Deal for Zinfandel Day

California's (and Paso Robles') heritage grape is getting the royal treatment at Ancient Peaks Winery on November 18, a.k.a. National Zinfandel Day. 

For the entire day, our acclaimed 2012 Zinfandel will be available for purchase at the tasting room and online for a full 30 percent off the already enticing regular price of $18. 

This is an estate-grown Zinfandel that was declared a “Best Buy” by Wine & Spirits Magazine, so now is the time to stock up on a screaming deal--particularly because it offers a perfect pairing for holiday turkey. 

Indeed, the 2012 Zinfandel comes from our estate Margarita Vineyard, the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles AVA. Here, cooler conditions foster a Zinfandel style that exhibits full flavors with elegance and restraint. 

As such, the 2012 Zinfandel is a perfect match for classic holiday turkey. The wine’s bright berry fruit and spice elements provide versatility with traditional fixings, while the balanced character ensures that the turkey meat will be complemented, not overwhelmed.


Time Posted: Nov 12, 2015 at 8:43 AM
Ancient Peaks
September 26, 2015 | Ancient Peaks

Taste The Harvest Today

Taste the 2015 wine harvest today and tomorrow—September 26-27—as we take over the Travel & Adventure Stage at Savor The Central Coast from 2:45 to 3:15 p.m., right here on our historic Santa Margarita Ranch.

Our session will be helmed by winery co-owner and viticulturist Doug Filipponi and director of winemaking Mike Sinor, who will lead you through an interactive immersion into the harvest season.

Along the way, you will taste grapes fresh from our estate Margarita Vineyard. As you taste them, Mike will offer insights into the winemaker's art of determining when to pick grapes based on factors such as sweetness, texture and tannin. 

Meanwhile, Doug will illuminate how our sustainable winegrowing practices make a difference in both our wine and our environment, and you can expect a special appearance by one of our majestic wildlife residents that play a role in keeping vineyard life in balance. 

Doug and Mike will also provide insights into the influence of soils on wine, to include a look at the ancient sea fossils that make up one of our five soil types at Margarita Vineyard.

Lastly, we will be pouring some special wine. So if you're at Savor The Central Coast, make a note to come out at 2:15 p.m. We look forward to seeing you!

P.S. And don't miss our affiliated Margarita Adventures zipline canopy tours as they take the stage from 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. both days. Click here for the full Travel & Adventure Stage schedule.

Time Posted: Sep 26, 2015 at 7:06 AM
Ancient Peaks
April 24, 2015 | Ancient Peaks

Benefit Concert on May 17

Get ready to rock for a good cause as Ancient Peaks and must! charities team up to host a benefit concert on May 17 at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch, in tandem with the Paso Robles Wine Festival weekend. 

This concert is all about having a good time for a great cause, and it offers a relaxing conclusion to an action-packed weekend.

The concert will be headlined by The JD Project, known for their upbeat original songs and classic rock sounds. The Haute Skillet food truck will be on hand to provide scrumptious fare for purchase, while we will offer our estate wines by the glass and bottle. 

The concert takes place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The entry cost is a minimum donation of $5. The setting will be the ranch’s beautiful Estrada Gardens, which features broad lawn seating. You are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. 

Net proceeds will benefit must! charities, a local nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life in San Luis Obispo’s North County by offering hope, compassion, and resources to those in need. 

Click here for more details, we hope to see you there!

Time Posted: Apr 24, 2015 at 1:43 PM
Ancient Peaks
March 19, 2015 | Ancient Peaks

LA Times Shines on AP Events

The Los Angeles Times just took note of two upcoming wine events right in our backyard, and included two mentions of Ancient Peaks along the way.

In a piece titled “Three Spring Wine Events,” noted wine writer S. Irene Virbila showcases both the Vintage Paso: Zinfandel Weekend in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo (SLO) Wine Country’s Roll Out the Barrels monthlong celebration in April.

Along the way, Virbila spotlights two related happenings here at Ancient Peaks, specifically our tri-tip sandwich offerings during Zinfandel Weekend, and our Sauvignon Blanc and oyster pairings for Roll Out The Barrels. Here's the lowdown on both:

Zinfandel Weekend in Paso Robles

Come enjoy two local classics—Zinfandel and Santa Maria Style BBQ—as we pair our latest vintage with tri-tip beef sandwiches from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on March 21-22. At our estate Margarita Vineyard, the Zinfandel grape achieves a rare balance of robust flavors and elegant structure—making it a perfect pairing for the juicy, spicy goodness of Santa Maria tri-tip. Bring your appetite and we’ll see you here. No RSVP required, just come on by. 

Roll Out the Barrels in SLO Wine Country

Celebrate our local marine influence on April 11 by enjoying our new release 2014 Sauvignon Blanc paired with local oysters on the half shell from Dorn's in Morro Bay. No RSVP required, cost is $2 per oyster, just come on by between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

We hope that you can come out for one or both of these region-wide events and enjoy our delicious happenings along the way!

Time Posted: Mar 19, 2015 at 1:17 PM
Ancient Peaks
December 3, 2014 | Ancient Peaks

Join Us for Holiday Fun

We invite you to take a break from the stress of the season and get into the holiday spirit with us as we host three timely events over the next week:

Thursday, December 4 – Essential Holiday Wine & Cheese Plate

Get a jump on your holiday hosting and learn how Ancient Peaks wines can be highlighted with fine cheeses from around the world. The experts from Fromagerie Sophie will show you how to create the essential wine and cheese plate for all your entertaining needs. Featured wines will be tasted with selected cheeses, additional wine available for purchase by the glass or bottle. Just $15 per person, click here for RSVP info.

Saturday, December 6 – Holiday Open House

A winter classic is back as we host our annual Holiday Open House with complimentary Reserve tastings, festive nibbles and a Toys for Tots charity drive. Along the way, ask us about our wine club as the perfect gift for your wine-loving friends and relatives. We will include shipping on the first shipment as a special promotion this December. The open house runs from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and no RSVP is necessary, just pop in!

Wednesday, December 10 – Holiday Cork Art & Craft

We have asked one of the craftiest gals we know, Zoe, to share her tricks for turning corks into art and fun tips for sprucing up your gifts and more! A glass of wine and light bites will be included. Specials on select wines will be offered during the event, and additional glasses will be available for purchase. Just $15 per person, click here for RSVP info.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

Ancient Peaks
October 30, 2014 | Ancient Peaks

Tricks for Charitable Treats

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.”

Ancient Peaks
September 15, 2014 | Ancient Peaks

Savor Wine, Adventure and More

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! 

Ancient Peaks
August 27, 2014 | Ancient Peaks

Gone Fishing

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).

Time Posted: Aug 27, 2014 at 7:28 AM
Ancient Peaks
June 13, 2014 | Ancient Peaks

A Doggone Delicious Winemaker Dinner

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 

Ancient Peaks
April 19, 2014 | Ancient Peaks

Road Trippin'

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: