Wine and Creativity Reign at Clautiere Vineyard
MY FIRST VISIT to Clautiere Vineyard was almost by accident.
I had just turned off a back road onto a dusty side road ... past a sign that says “Pavement Ends 1 Mile.”
Vineyards rolled out over the countryside for miles in all directions. I followed the dips and gentle turns of the road. Then suddenly I came upon a driveway, marked by a sign for the winery.
And just inside the fence was a barn-red ranch-style tasting room.
Directly ahead of me as I turned into the driveway, a towering valley oak was hung with huge Christmas-style ornaments, swaying gently in the breeze. Avant garde sculptures – mosaic-covered cubes and abstract designs – glittered in the afternoon sunlight.
Those on the porch just outside the tasting room door all had spiked, colored hair ... orange hair and pink hair and green hair. So did the half dozen people in the party atmosphere of the tasting room.
They all had colorful ...
... party wigs ...
... party wigs from the bins just inside the door.
I picked a purple one and joined the fun.
That was my introduction to Clautiere Vineyard.
The name “Clautiere” stylishly incorporates the names of its owners, Claudine Blackwell and Terry Brady. Partners in a Santa Monica restaurant, they longed for a less urbanized lifestyle. Their original plan in moving to Paso was to grow trees for a nursery. On an inspiration, they started a winery instead.
It was the right choice.
The winery focuses primarily on reds and rhone wines. Their red varietals include syrah, grenache, mourvedre, and cabernet sauvignon. They also offer two rhone-style white varietals – roussanne and viognier. In addition, Clautiere features three rhone-style proprietary red blends, labeled Mon Rouge, Mon Beau Rouge, and Grand Rouge.
Most recently, I enjoyed their cabernet sauvignon. As enjoyable as it was at first taste, the wine was remarkably smooth and mouth-filling the next evening.
You’ll find Clautiere Vineyard in the heart of the uplands east of Paso Robles, at 1340 Penman Springs Road. Enjoy the leisurely drive and the views along the way.
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