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Beaverstock is almost here!!

(The Venue) Tickets
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With less than two weeks till Beaverstock, anticipation and excitement are running rampant around these parts! Everything is falling into place and the event feels more and more real every day that passes. With that said I wanted to use this blog outline some of the updates to the festival and some of the things people have asked us a lot about.

One thing that is very important to know is there will be no Ins and Outs and seating is first come first served so get there early if you want a good spot. As for seating, you will want to bring low back chairs and or blankets to make a nice comfy home base for the day. Children 10 years and younger get into the festival for free and no pets (aside from service animals) are allowed in the venue. Outside food and beverages (aside from water) are not permitted, however, we will have a wide variety of food and drinks available at the festival at very reasonable prices.

Another question many people have asked is “Where is the venue?” This is a great question since many of you have been to our outdoor summer concerts and know we don’t have a whole lot of room! This festival will be down in our Whale Rock Vineyard just beyond the tasting room in a beautiful field of oak trees. When you arrive you will enter at the normal tasting room entrance and head through the main parking lot. There will be plenty of signage and staff to guide you along on your journey to Beaverstock.

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Now lets chat food! As promised there will be a wide variety of local food vendors and I think we really lucked out on our selection. Listed below are the vendors for the festival and links their website for more info:

Bella Pops
Leo Leo Gelato
Elly’s Sweet Tooth
Gypsy Flame Pizza
The Pairing Knife
Kun Fusion
Haute Skillet
Toro Creek Brewing Co.

If you have any other questions about the festival please give us a call and we’d be happy to help you out.

Tickets are selling fast so get yours today!

See you at Beaverstock!



Sauvignon Blanc: Grower’s Blog

(The following blog was written by our winemaker Tom Myers for the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance to coincide with the Paso Robles Wine of the Month.)

It piqued my interest when I learned that Sauvignon Blanc would be the varietal of the month for Castoro Cellars to expound on. Way back when I was an eager enology student we had a class that involved one lecture on each of the major grape varieties.

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The various faculty members took turns and it was the legendary UCD professor Maynard Amerine that gave our Sauvignon Blanc lecture. He claimed it was his “desert island” wine because he never grew tired of its beguiling characteristics. I give him credit for initiating my love affair with this variety. Sauvignon Blanc will always have a major place in my personal cellar and no variety has more consistency in providing a satisfying glass of wine for me. Even the name has a nice flow off the tongue and not every variety can make that claim. Also, not of little import, is that Sauvignon Blanc usually has a very appealing color; they are typically pale yellow and are especially attractive when a greenish-yellow tint is present. Sauvignon Blanc has an aroma and flavor profile that seems lifted from an array of fresh fruits and to lesser degree herbs, which you would find on your table. Perhaps that is why I find it such a versatile wine and usable in many situations. Sauvignon Blanc goes well as a luncheon wine, an aperitif and with the lighter courses of dinner. Serve well chilled as that complements the leaner body and crispness of these wines; the aromatics will still be unleashed when tasted.

Enologically Sauvignon Blanc is in a unique category. The delicate aromatic characters do not lend themselves to high alcohol. All in all, Sauvignon Blanc will be lighter and crisper than the average white varietal. Therefore most winemakers choose to harvest it at lower levels of sugar content, resulting in lower alcohol and a higher acidity in the wine. These factors conspire to often make it the first variety to be harvested in the season. Most Sauvignon Blanc is fermented cool in stainless tanks, given minimal or no oak aging and bottled young, with the goal of having the varietal characteristics not be obscured. While Sauvignon Blanc is an easy wine to make, there is always the challenge of finding methods which tease the most intensity from the variety.

Viticulturally the variety has undergone a lot of study in relation to best farming practices. A few decades ago the reputation of this variety suffered from a rash of bottlings that were vegetative and off-putting in character. It turned out that those wines were coming from vineyards that were over fertilized and irrigated. Overgrown leaf canopies and shaded fruit was the source of the inferior character. Allowing the fruit more light and keeping the fruit to leaf ratio in better balance is now known to be the key to premium Sauvignon Blanc.

Historically Sauvignon Blanc is associated with the country of France. Specifically the Bordeaux and Loire Valley are key areas where the variety has historically gained renown. As if to prove the point of its versatility and appeal, it has found its way to most new world locations.

Finally I cannot help but mention, at least from a California perspective, how Sauvignon Blanc has always taken a backseat to Chardonnay. The merits of Chardonnay notwithstanding, I scratch my head at this fact and believe that Sauvignon Blanc should be just as highly regarded.

Tom Myers
Castoro Cellars

Hoppe’s Garden Bistro!

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It has been a little while since I have done a food write up and I’m particularly excited about this one because the restaurant is a long time Central Coast favorite and the food is amazing! Hoppe’s Garden Bistro, located in the coastal town of Cayucos, has been serving word-class food for over 20 years and has been considered the number one restaurant on the Central Coast!

A couple weeks back I stepped into Hoppe’s for the first time (believe it or not) and met with Jeff Tolan who manages the Restaurant. After discussing and tasting a line-up of Castoro wines, Jeff decided to bring on the Zinfandel Zinfusion by the glass! I couldn’t have been happier about Jeff’s choice of Zinfusion and more importantly couldn’t wait to come try the food I had been hearing so much about!

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Last week, on a particularly beautiful coastal evening, my girlfriend Lauren and I went to Hoppe’s for dinner and the experience was amazing from start to finish. First of all, the drive down the Highway 1 to Cayucos was gorgeous, as it was a blue-sky day with the sun beginning to set over the ocean. When we arrived at Hoppe’s Jeff greeted us at the door and took us to a table in the window with a beautiful view of the ocean.

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To get things started we ordered a couple glasses of local white wine along with the asparagus appetizer plate. When the asparagus arrived we knew we were in for a treat as such a simple dish was full of flavor. After the asparagus we moved on to the Cayucos Red Abalone appetizer and let me tell you, it was absolutely amazing! The small piece of abalone was smothered with a rich cream sauce that had just the right amount of everything, including mango and macadamia nuts!

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Now the time had come for a couple glasses of Zinfusion and our entrees! Making a decision on what to order was really tough as there were so many amazing things to choose from. We decided, after heavy debate, to share the hand-made fettuccine with smoked chicken and mascarpone and the fire grilled New York Steak with wild mushrooms and caramelized onions. Not only were both dishes absolutely delectable, the combination with Zinfusion was perfect!

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After finishing up our main dishes we took a moment to let the food settle and gaze out the window at the disappearing horizon. If you’re ever in the area or just want to go try something new (or revisit something old) don’t hesitate to visit Hoppe’s. The food is wonderful, the service is great and they carry some of the best wines around!



Hut, Hut, Harvest!

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Dave takes a few steps back scouring the field with his reading glasses on. He looks left to Patrick streaking down the sideline, carrying a hose, and Megan hitching up underneath with a bucket of citric acid. Dave fakes the handoff to Chuy, his 4 time wine moving Pro Bowler, sweeps right and lets the ball fly. Rolling down the right hash marks is Max with his steal toed boots on, he slants right towards the end zone, looks up, sees the grapes, makes a giant leap and… BEEP BEEP BEEP, Woah! What a crazy dream. Looks like my excitement about Harvest and football season is getting to be too much for my brain to handle.

Every day we get one step closer to Harvest 2013 and it’s impossible to escape the energy and excitement in the air here at Castoro. Our harvest workers are beginning to arrive and preparations are being made for what should be one of our busiest harvests ever. With everyone hustling around I can’t help but be reminded of my football days and it’s only fitting that the two seasons occur at the same time of year. This year will be Dave’s first harvest with us as Winery Manager, or “Quarterback”, but rest assured he is a Veteran of the field and will get us through with flying colors. Patrick, Chuy, Bill and Max will be back to help out as well as a few new faces including a previous Castoro Tasting Room Crew member Megan. I no longer have the pleasure of getting covered in mud, grape juice or lees on a daily basis, but this year I vow to take as many videos and pictures as possible so you can feel like you’re part of the action.

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More importantly though, the grapes are beginning to turn beautiful greens, yellows, reds and burgundies, while some of the green grapes are softening up and filling with sweet, delicious juice. It looks as if Sauvignon Blanc, once again, will be the first of our grapes picked and the Dos Vinas Vineyard never disappoints; especially with Referee Cindy keeping a watchful eye on the clusters every night. After that we will most likely see the summertime favorite Muscat Canelli and maybe a little Viognier, who knows what will be next.

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We aren’t yet sure when the first batch of grapes will arrive, but we are jumping in our boots to start another awesome harvest season in Paso Robles Wine Country. Stay tuned because updates will be coming on the regular every week until this craziness is done.

Once again, thanks for reading,