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Three Peaks Grill; Steamboat Springs Co!

On a recent trip to Steamboat Springs Colorado, Niels and Bimmer had a pleasant surprise while dining out on the town. Normally this time of year you can find the Udsens up in Kirkwood, but due to the lack of precipitation in California this year my folks had to get creative which is how they ended up in Steamboat Springs Colorado. On their first night out, they really didn’t know where to go and some local advice pointed them in the direction of Three Peaks Grill.

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After a slow drive through the icy and very chilly streets the group found Three Peaks and rushed in to warm up. After hanging up their coats (something we don’t do often on the Central Coast) they were escorted to a table in the main dining area. The restaurant is quite large with a beautiful fireplace in the middle giving it a very cozy and elegant feel. There is also a beautiful bar surrounded by more casual seating.

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As expected, the first order of business is browsing the wine list and finding the perfect glass for the occasion. As Niels was looking over the menu a big grin crossed his face and he exclaimed, “They have our cab by the glass!” It’s not every day you find your wine on the menu 1,000 miles from the winery and when you do it feels great. After this discovery Niels notified the server and asked if the owner or manager was in. Moments later, owner, Michael Fragola strolled over and introduced himself.

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Michael was thrilled to meet my parents and said he had been doing very well with our wine. Not only was the wine a perfect fit for the list, but also Michael was very familiar with Paso Robles and enjoyed wines from the region. Like Castoro Cellars, Three Peaks has been around for a long time and was founded by Michael and has become his passion and life’s work. An avid skier himself, Michael came to Steamboat as a young man chasing the legendary powder and never left. Now his restaurant is one of the hottest spots in town and he still manages to hit slopes on a regular basis!

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To get things started in the food department, Niels ordered a round of fresh oysters on the half shell and shrimp spring rolls. As the night went on Niels continued to order a wide array of appetizers to share and everyone enjoyed a wonderful main from Twice Roasted “Peking” Duck to Rancher’s Ridgeline Filet Mignon. The variety of the foods offered was fantastic and everything was very good. They also offer a wide array of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.

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If you love seafood, steaks and great wine this is the place for you and if you love skiing in one of the most beautiful parts of the country you will be hard pressed to beat this spot! With that said, next time you find yourself in Steamboat Springs, give Three Peaks a try and tell Michael hi from the Udsen family.



Splash Café: Fresh, Local and Delicious!

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Last week I had the absolute pleasure of having lunch at Splash Café with owner Joanne Currie and manager Heather Berkowitz at their downtown San Luis Obispo location. Both SLO locations have been carrying Castoro wines for quite some time and I have been so excited to get in there and learn more about Splash, the food and how the wines fit into the equation!

Right off the bat I was fascinated with Joanne’s story as there is so much in common with us here at Castoro Cellars. Joanne and her husband Ross got their start at Splash Café in Pismo Beach 22 years ago and through their focus on family, quality and consistency have expanded Splash Café to three locations. Not only do they use local produce and seafood, when possible, they make everything from scratch. Originally known for their (now world famous clam chowder), it’s Splash Café’s customer loyalty and their insistence on using the highest quality ingredients that has caused chowder sales to grow from 5,000 gallons a year in 1991 to over 40,000 gallons a year between the three restaurants!

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At Castoro Cellars we have always focused on diversity in our wines to make sure we have something for everyone who walks in our door and Splash Café is no different with their restaurants. All three locations have a different focus and the chefs at all three locations are more than flexible with any needs a customer may have. The Pismo Beach location focuses on seafood with a fun “beachy” theme, the downtown location is focused on fresh seafood from the grill and the Monterey street location is focused around the Bakery that is located at the restaurant. All three locations receive fresh bread daily from their bakery and all offer gluten free selections.

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After hearing Joanne’s story and sharing some of ours I was ready for a glass of Castoro Sauvignon Blanc and their recommended Salmon BLAT, that of course came with a cup of some of the best clam chowder I have had! The Salmon BLAT came wrapped in my choice of a spinach tortilla and was fresh, nutritious and incredibly tasty. The crisp and refreshing acidity in the Sauvignon Blanc was a great fit for the meal and I was one happy camper! I have always loved our Sauvignon Blanc with food, especially seafood so this meal was tugging at my heartstrings from the beginning.

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From one family owned business to another it is a wonderful experience to help each other out and work in unison. When you have the chance, stop in at one of the Splash locations and support local, fresh food. The service is great, the wine is Dam Fine and food is made with love daily. Splash will also be providing lunch at Castoro both days of our Vintage Paso Zinfest weekend on March 15th and 16th.

Till Next Time,



Zinfusion wins big at SF Chronicle Wine Comp!

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Results are in from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and let me say, “Tom and our winemaking team have done it again!” Every year we enter a handful of wines in the competition and this year, like many others, we have come out with some great awards. One wine in particular, continues to blow me away with its accolades and that wine is our Zinfandel Zinfusion!

This year at the SF Chronicle Wine Comp our Estate Chardonnay (one of my favorites) and Estate Zinfandel both took Gold and our Zinfandel Zinfusion took top honors with “Double Gold!” This is not the first time our Zinfusion has lead the pack and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Last year Wine Spectator Magazine named our Zinfusion one of the “Top 100 Red Wine Values in America,” which was something we were really proud of as we take pride in the value and quality of our wines.

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To me this is a testament to our appellation and mot of all to our wonderful winemaking team. Growing grapes and making wine is not an easy task and our team manages to do a spectacular job year after year. With our Zinfusion, Tom has truly created a one of a kind Zin blend and a wine we openly refer to as a “Cult Favorite!”

Below is a list of awards received by our Zinfusion over the past years:

GOLD Grand Harvest Awards
GOLD Florida State Fair Intn’l Wine Competition
GOLD San Francisco Intn’l Wine Competition
GOLD Los Angeles Intn’l Wine & Spirits Competition

GOLD Pacific Rim Wine Competition
CHAIRMAN’S AWARD Riverside International Wine
GOLD Riverside International Wine

DOUBLE GOLD San Francisco Intn’l Wine Competition
DOUBLE GOLD California State Fair
Best of California, Best of Class California State Fair
GOLD San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Top 100 GREAT AMERICAN VALUE RED WINES under $20 Wine Spectator Magazine

DOUBLE GOLD San Francisco Chronicle Wine Compition
GOLD – 91 Points Los Angeles International Wine Competition
GOLD – 93 Points (Cellar Selection) BTI World Wine Championships