Founder Niels and Bimmer Udsen established Castoro Cellars with the goal of producing world-class wines from Paso Robles-appellation grapes. Each vintage presents a new challenge and Niels is more than willing to constantly and creatively experiment. This on-going research is only one of the things that ensures they meet their goal.
Castoro Cellars currently has over 750 acres of Estate vineyards, 350 acres of which are certified organic by CCOF. All of the vineyards are SIP Certified, which stands for sustainability in practice. Roughly 15 percent of the fruit is sourced from local farmers, many whom they have been doing business with for almost two decades.
The tasting room is in a Mediterranean-style building. Mr. and Ms. Zhang tried their signature wines and discussed about the wine making details with the host.
Scheid Vineyards in Monterey is the largest single vineyard in North America.
Al Scheid first purchased property in Monterey County in early 1972. Monterey wine grape growing was in its infancy and Al was drawn to the region for its untapped potential.
In Scheid’s 44th year of farming, it owns ten estate vineyards located along a 70-mile spread of the Salinas Valley. They built a state-of-the-art winery with a crushing capacity of 30,000 tons, as well as a smaller Reserve Winery where the small production wines of Scheid Vineyards are crafted. With 4,000 acres of vineyards, they sell the majority of the production as custom-made wines to other wineries.
After tasting the famous wine of Scheid Vineyard, Mr. and Ms. Zhang took a tour at its vineyards.
Villa San Juliette Winery
In the afternoon, Mr. and Ms. Zhang left Monterey and went to visit the Villa San Juliette Winery in Paso Robles.
Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery is the creation of Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick, who are committed to sharing the good life and their delicious wines. The star of the show is their beautiful 168-acre country vineyard in San Miguel, California, at the northern tip of the Paso Robles AVA. Dan Smith, Winemaker for Villa San-Juliette, and his experienced team create exceptional wines at our SIP Certified vineyard & winery.
After taking a winery tour, Mr. and Ms. Zhang had a wine tasting in a neat tasting room.
Victor Hugo Winery
Victor Hugo Vineyards and Winery is one of Paso Robles’ most exciting and innovative wineries. Victor Hugo Roberts is the owner/ winemaker of the small family operated vineyard and winery. The family legend has it that he was named after a great uncle and a great grandfather (the man who Anglicized the family name from the French name Robert to Roberts), with no reference to any literary connection.
The Victor Hugo winery estate vineyard is located in the Templeton Gap with warm days, breezy afternoons, and cool nighttime temperatures. Planted on the rugged, shale hillsides of the property the vineyard receives meticulous care including vertical shoot positioning, shoot thinning, cluster thinning, and leaf pulling. The vines are grafted on four different root stocks (phyllexora and nematode resistant) specifically selected for drought tolerance, which allows the use of mild deficit irrigation to concentrate flavors and further improve quality.
Production is limited to retain outstanding quality and detail in all aspects of the process. Our vineyard and winery is committed to sustainable farming practices in all aspects of our vineyard and winery. Victor Hugo is a small family owned and operated winery specializing in small hand crafted lots of wine with intense colors and flavors. The winery is dedicated to producing elegant, rich wines exhibiting excellent longevity.
In the third day morning, Mr. and Ms. Zhang went to the Hearst Castle located in San Simeon.
Hearst Castle’s history begins in 1865, when George Hearst purchased 40,000 acres of ranchland. In 1919,William Randolph Hearst inherited what had grown to more than 250,000 acres, and was dreaming of ways to transform it into a retreat he called La Cuesta Encantada—Spanish for “Enchanted Hill.” By 1947, Hearst and architect Julia Morgan had created Hearst Castle: 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways—all built to house Hearst’s specifications and to showcase his legendary art collection.
Hearst Ranch Winery
Steve Hearst and Jim Saunders began their business and personal relationship after Jim purchased a Hearst Ranch tour at a Hearst Cancer Resource Center fundraiser. As the saying goes, “a meeting of the minds” developed into this benevolent project—Hearst Ranch Winery.
Independently, Steve Hearst and Jim Saunders are accomplished businessmen that have the talent, imagination and integrity to create great things. Collectively, their shared vision on sustainable agriculture, resource protection and historical preservation brought Hearst Ranch Winery to fruition.
Mr. and Ms. Zhang visited the Hearst Ranch Winery and had a barrel tasting tour. They found the good quality and specialties of this winery, and discussed with the host about the possibility of cooperation in the near future.