NEIL COLLINS – OWNER & WINEMAKER, LONE MADRONE & BRISTOLS CIDER – CENTRAL COAST CIDER FESTIVAL ATASCADERO
A lone Madrone stands atop a hill between the mountain and the sea in west Paso Robles, presiding over the rugged vineyard that started it all for brother and sister duo, Neil Collins and Jackie Meisinger.
The Lone Madrone wine label was founded in 1996 with the premier goal of producing distinctive wines exclusively from vineyards in the rugged limestone hills of west side Paso Robles. Growing slowly yet steadily since, the focus has become largely on vineyards that are dry farmed and head trained, which winemaker Neil Collins believes to be “the purest expression of the unparalleled terroir of west Paso Robles.” Neil also feels that when you begin with grapes from vineyards of this quality, in these outrageous soils, it only makes sense to “let them sing for themselves without being masked by our hands.” To this end, all the wines are fermented with native yeasts and native malolactic bacteria then aged in predominantly neutral oak barrels.
Lone Madrone wines are unique not only because of where the grapes were grown, but due to the influence of Neil’s winemaking style. The winery produces some rare single varietal wines, however the majority of Lone Madrone wines are extraordinary blends where you distinguish Neil’s unique winemaking slant formed over years of tasting and blending west side Paso Robles wines. The wines of Lone Madrone are distinctive and characteristically balanced with structure and finesse.
Lone Madrone wines are available to purchase at the tasting room, on line, at Brisotls Cider House in Atascadero and at many restaurants and stores on the central coast.
ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Neil strongly believes that in order to produce wines of the highest caliber you must first start with grapes of exceptional quality. Neil’s technique of marrying old world growing methods and winemaking preferences with new exciting blends of Rhône, Bordeaux and Italian varieties is a result of carefully honing his craft over many harvests. Neil has been working in the wine industry for 21 years, spending time at Wild Horse Winery and then Adelaida where he became winemaker alongside the notorious Mr. Munch. In 1997 he moved his family to the vineyards of Chateauneuf-du-pape in southern France where he spent a year learning the cellars and vineyards of the famed Chateau de Beaucastel, one of the oldest and most highly regarded estates in France. Neil returned to Paso Robles to take up the new role of winemaker and vineyard manager at Tablas Creek Vineyards, the California property of Château de Beaucastel. Since that time, great success has been achieved by Tablas Creek, success in which Neil’s hand has been significant. Neil’s experience in French winemaking complemented his earlier training as a French chef in hometown of Bristol, England.
ABOUT BRISTOLS CIDER:
Bristols cider is a part of the Lone Madrone winery, owned and operated by brother and sister Neil and Jackie and Neil's wife Marci. Jackie and Neil grew up in the West Country of England which is very much cider country. We are not talking murky apple juice here but the fermented version.
When Neil moved to California he was disappointed to find none of the traditional beverage of his home, of which he had been known to partake on occasion. So in 1994 Neil began making small batches of cider from local apples under the Bristols name. Since that time it has evolved into a small line up of ciders. These ciders are all from select varieties of local apples, primarily from See Canyon and Paso Robles, although we have played with fruit from Oregon. All ciders are 100% apple juice and fermented on the native yeasts of the fruit. We ferment different ciders in different casks, some in retired Bourbon casks some in retired white wine barrels but most in stainless steel.
Bristols can be found on draft at a number of the central coast's finest watering holes and select restaurants. The more obscure and quirky bottlings are to be found when available at BRISTOLS CIDER HOUSE only. If you have the passion it will be worth the trip!!
CENTRAL COAST CIDER FESTIVAL ATASCADERO (MAY 7TH 5-8:30PM):
The First Ever Cider Festival is happening on the Central Coast May 7 at the Atascadero Pavilion on the Lake. Tickets will sell out, do not miss your chance to taste over 20 local craft cider producers, boogie to great jams and savor a traditional English pig roast dinner - all included in your ticket.
Tickets Now on Sale
INCLUDES TASTINGS + DINNER + BAND
Full Price $60 (until sold out)
SATURDAY, MAY 7
DAVID HUNT – OWNER & WINEMAKER, HUNT CELLARS
It started over 20 years ago as a fantasy: living on a lush beautiful vineyard, producing your own style of favorite premium varietal wines that are well received and appreciated by those who have discovered the wines and shared them amongst friends.
Now, drive along the scenic Highway 46 West, about three miles west of the 101 Fwy at Oakdale Road, you will find this dream has become reality for David Hunt, Winemaker and owner of Hunt Cellars, a winery committed to producing “Memorable Wines”. We believe that great wines leave indelible impressions when poured with wonderful meals and great friends and scintillating conversations. Hunt Cellars was founded on the philosophy of producing wines that you will look forward to simply sipping by a cozy fireplace or pairing with your favorite meals to enhance that special event or moment in time.
How It Began
When The Hunt Family decided to pursue their dream they were uncertain where they would choose to build their vineyard. The Hunts spent exhaustive days and weekends traveling to various premium wine regions from Oregon, Washington, and throughout the State of California. They finally narrowed their decision down to the Central coast to San Luis Obispo County. Paso Robles was selected because of its rich diversity in soils, superb growing climate and unique styles of wine making along with the spirit of graciousness and traditional American values.
Eventually after looking at numerous parcels of vineyard potential property, they settled on uniquely beautiful property containing over 550 acres on Highway 41 in Creston. This unique property met their criteria in topography, soil composition and unparralled beauty. Within the 550 acres there are four terrior’s with varying elevations containing soil composites that mirror the great wine regions of the world. They were convinced that they could grow wonderful exciting intense fruit here on this property.
The Hunt Family decided to name their vineyard, “Destiny Vineyards,” in honor of their new baby girl they named Destiny who was born in 1996. Just ask Destiny who has the best wines today and she will certainly tell you.
Destiny Vineyard’s first planting consisted of: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Cab Franc, Viognier and Zinfandel. The Hunts decided to build a tasting room for their premium wines, which opened in October of 1999.
In 1997 they began producing their first releases of memorable wines… Experience has taught Hunts that in order to make great wines you must simply have the best fruit. At Hunt Cellars, we believe passion, hard work and never giving up until we have put together all the components and structure that will give our wine the varietal character, flavor and velvet finish that will become a trademark of our wines.
View of Destiny Vineyards
As you enter The Hunt Cellars Tasting room, the fun wine experience begins, as you are greeted with either live music or our white grand player piano, which can play any song. Stroll up to our Cabernet Bar, where our warm and friendly staff are eager to lead you through a light hearted and fun sampling of our wines. You may also choose to sip your wines on our spacious 1200 foot veranda, smoke your favorite cigar under our pavilion or simply stroll through our lush inviting landscaped lawns. We want you and your guest to simply have a wonderful time at Hunt Cellars and bring your friends and family back on your next visit to the Paso Robles Wine Country.
How Hunt Cellars Wines Differ from Others
There are many different wineries in the Paso Robles area; few compare to the quality of Hunt Cellars. Hunt uses only the best and rarest mountain grown fruit to produce the best harvest of grapes. Their vineyard’s location has been specifically chosen for its composition and diversity – every step of the production process is designed so Hunt Cellars produces the highest caliber of wine for you to enjoy.