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2016 will be a great year!

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2016 is here and we hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are as excited about the New Year as we are! Inevitably, this time of year invites reflection, goal setting and appreciation for what we have. Our intention is to keep things fresh and innovative while staying true to the values that have made Castoro Cellars what it is today. 2016 is going to be another exciting year for us and we’ve got quite a bit up our sleeves!

One development that will begin to take shape this year is our distillery, Bethel Rd., which will be located across the street from our Tasting Room in Templeton. This project has been a long time in the making and has gone through a whirlwind of brainstorming sessions. Recently, we had our first bottling, which included Moscato and Primitvo Grappas. These Italian style “digestivos” (after dinner “digestive” drink) are made from the grape pomace that is left over after the winemaking process. Our Grappas are 90 proof or 45% alcohol and have wonderful aromatics that are very distinct to the grape they are made from. We are still working out the kinks in our packaging etc but hope to have a release in the near future. One place our spirits will be available to taste is at the SLO Distillers “Fire & Ice” event February 27th at the Paso Robles Inn Ball Room. For information and tickets visit To stay in the loop on Bethel Rd. please follow us on Facebook and Instagram @bethelrddistillery

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Another “little” project that will continue to grow in 2016 is our annual music and arts festival, Beaverstock. After the success and growth of 2015, our excitement for this year’s event couldn’t be higher. We’ve gotten such great feedback from you all and many wonderful suggestions that are a huge help in us continuing to evolve the festival. As of yet I don’t have much in the way of specifics to share but I can tell you to save the dates, September 17th and 18th!

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On the farming side, it’s no secret that 2015 was a very tough year. From unusual weather patterns to a historic drought it was likely the most challenging year we have ever faced. It is too soon to tell what 2016 has in store but so far we have definitely been benefitting from the El Niño weather pattern with quite a few days of rain to date and talks of much more to come. Obviously it will take more than a year of good rain to end the drought but everything helps! It also makes everything nice and green which is very refreshing to see!

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One vineyard experiment we starting in 2016 is Biodynamic farming in select blocks in the Whale Rock Vineyard. Biodynamic farming is a philosophy of farming based on lectures by Rudolf Steiner in 1924. Basically the farm is to be treated as a whole organism. The focus is on soil health, non-use of synthetic fertilizers, use of compost, and planting cover crops along with a holistic approach to pest and weed management. The holistic approach takes in the effect of the moon and planets on timing for certain practices in the vineyard. Some of the practices can seem a bit odd but as a whole we think it could be something we see long term benefits from.

As always, we appreciate you being a part of our story and we look forward to bringing you more Dam Fine Wine and Dam Fine Times in the New Year! 2016 is going to be fantastic…I can feel it!