Apr 17, 2008

Halter Ranch

Holy moly! Just driving up to Halter Ranch predisposes you to love whatever you're going to drink inside. This winery has such a great combination of setting and location...they could be pouring me Welch's and I wouldn't care as long as it was as sunny and idyllic as most Paso days! Lucky for us they're not pouring Welch's--in fact Halter Ranch has fallen in line with much of what makes a great wine from this area: estate red wine blends from the west side of Paso.

Halter Ranch is easy to spot because there's a giant beautiful Victorian house just off the road. Sadly, the tasting room isn't inside the restored house, it's just behind it in a smaller, new building. And apparently it's not a home-steading, pioneer family that lives in the old Victorian...it's owned by some rich Swiss guy that's rarely there! But I xenophobically choose to ignore that incongruous detail and focus on how gorgeous the setting is at Halter Ranch! I mean come on, not only is there an old Victorian house but there's a barn and a grain silo and rolling, oak-covered hillsides. Swiss guy or not I totally love this place!

The tasting room itself is small but not too small and there is a really nice outside patio area. Plus, they sell some little meat and cheese snacks, which saved me a trip back into town. But I think the main highlight for me was the French pourer working there! The wines were mostly estate Rhone blends so of course I was loving the descriptions of the French varietals in an authentic French accent! In fact, I think the accented introductions to the wines made me like them even more...if I'd tasted them for the first time in my house it just would not have been the same! But French-accent aside, these wines are definitely tasty and many of them are still at good value. There's no doubt that I'll be coming back to Halter Ranch and bringing friends. With nice wine, a convenient location (at the Adelaida Road/Vineyard Drive intersection), and an incredible setting I can't think of any reason to not recommend a trip out to Halter Ranch.

**All photos taken from the Halter Ranch website: www.halterranch.com** And I'd like to give the website two very enthusiastic thumbs up...everything I could have wanted was available to me, which actually makes this website useful (unlike many other winery websites!).


Anonymous said...

This was an old, abandoned party house back in the day (way before you time, probably before your birth). In fact, many middle aged locals might not know what Halter Ranch is, but if say the old "_____ house", they know EXACTLY what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, It was never an abandoned party house. It was occupied by the MacGillivray family since the forties. It was always active and taken care of except for the time between 2000 and 2002 +/- when it was undergoing a complete rennovation by the new owner. The family sold the property to the "Swiss Guy" about 8 years ago. Since then, he remodeled it to his taste as well as making it more earthquake proof and modern.

I don't know where you got the "Party House" info but it is just incorrect. You must be thinking of a different house. I am a neighbor and close friend of the MacGillivray family who used to own the ranch. During that time I was in that beautiful house repeatedly and it was always well kept and museum like and never a "______ house".

Bobby Wino said...

First of all I'm thrilled to see anyone reading my blog!!

Second, I'm going to do a little research myself. Maybe another building on the property or a different building nearby used to be a party house?