Monday, January 30, 2017



Silver Horse was a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery that was established in Paso Robles in 1989 by the Simon family.  The Kroener family became the sole owners of the estate when they purchased it from the them in 1996. Subsequently, Stephen Kroener started as a cellar rat in 1996 and worked his way into the winemaking position in 2000.   Stephen is a second generation winemaker; the first being his grandfather, Grandpa Kroener.
In 2014, the winery property was sold and Stephen moved the winemaking operations to a property located in the highly touted region of Paso Robles known as the Templeton Gap.

Schedule an appointment and come enjoy!  In October of 2016 Silver Horse opened up its new tasting room in Avilla Valley right of the 101.  The  tasting room is located in the old Santa Fe Schoolhouse.


2174 CA-46, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Open Friday - Sunday, 11pm - 5pm
By Appointment Monday - Thursday

KROBĀR Craft Distillery is the ethanol-induced brainchild of Stephen KROener and Joe BARton. With 40 combined years in the alcohol business, these guys had the fantastic idea to unite their skills and produce something they love: hooch.  With the right skills to distill and the perfect setting in which to do it, they decided to give it go.  Now all of you can try the fruitiness of their labors!

THE STILL is the most important tool for a distiller. Kroener and Barton spent 4 years researching stills and still manufacturers.  They decided on Vendome Copper & Brass Works in Louisville, Kentucky.  Their decision was influenced by many factors. First, Vendome is an American company with hard-working men and women who make kick-ass production stills.  Second, Stephen and Joe wanted a still they could design to meet all their distillation desires and Vendome had the skills to build their still.

THE SETTING of KROBĀR Craft Distillery is spectacular, situated on a hill overlooking vineyards and Highway 46 West.  The distillery has a Social Room and Ethanol Alley which will make your tasting experience one to remember.



Founded by Dick Doré and Bill Wathen in 1985.
Sustainable wine-growers. Solar-powered winery.

Bill Wathen and Dick Doré have been making wine together since 1985, when they founded Foxen Winery & Vineyard at the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in Northern Santa Barbara County. Since that time their dedication has remained the same: the creation of small production, sustainably-farmed, vineyard-focused wines using a straightforward and minimalist approach to winemaking.

The winery is named in memory of William Benjamin Foxen, and English sea captain and Dick’s great-great grandfather. Benjamin Foxen came to Santa Barbara in the early 1800’s and purchased the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in 1837 with a Mexican Land Grant that totaled nearly 9000 acres, that comprised most of what is now known as Foxen Canyon. Captain Foxen adopted the distinctive anchor as his ranch cattle brand, which became the trademark of the Foxen Vineyard & Winery. We are proud that we have made our home on the now 2000-acre Rancho Tinaquaic, which remains in family hands.

In 2009 we completed our new solar-powered winery and tasting room, and our beloved historic "Shack" was renamed foxen 7200, and focuses on our Bordeaux and Italian-style wines under a newly designed label. Our Burgundy and Rhône-style wines are showcased at our new location just up the road. 2014 marks the 30th harvest for the Foxen Boys.

LA Zoo's Sustainable Wine Dinner Series coincides with Sex and the City Zoo, their popular annual celebration of romance in the animal kingdom. Series dinners feature five-course farm-to-table menus created exclusively by the Zoo’s own executive chef, Brad Robertson, with wine pairings from FOXEN. Kaitlin will be present during the dinner to introduce each FOXEN wine and explain our sustainable approach.

Admission to the Sex and the City Zoo portion of the February 11 event includes a wine reception and provocative presentation in the Witherbee Auditorium, which can be purchased separately or in a package with the dinner.


Monday, January 23, 2017



New Zealand is a land like no other. New Zealand Wine is an experience like no other. Our special combination of soil, climate and water, our innovative pioneering spirit and our commitment to quality all come together to deliver pure, intense and diverse experiences. In every glass of New Zealand Wine is a world of pure discovery. Welcome to our world.

New Zealand extends 1,600km (1000 miles) from sub-tropical Northland (36° S) to the world’s most southerly grape growing region Central Otago (46° S). Vineyards benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate (no vineyard is more than 120km, or 80 miles, from the ocean) with long sunshine hours and nights cooled by sea breezes.

New Zealand wine is distinctive for its purity, vibrancy and intensity. The long ripening period - a result of cool temperatures - allows flavour development whilst retaining fresh acidity, a balance for which New Zealand wines are renowned. There are a number of distinct major winegrowing regions spread throughout New Zealand, with the majority on the East coast of the Islands in the rain shadow of the mountains. Within these diverse regions, sub-regional characteristics are beginning to show through and wines are now being distinguished as being not just from a wine region, but from a sub-region and a place. We hope you enjoy discovering our regions and producers.

Wine Styles
New Zealand produces less than 1% of the world’s wine, yet offers an impressive array of varieties and styles. Central to our success is New Zealand’s temperate, maritime climate, the unswerving passion of our wine producers and the highly distinctive nature of our wine styles.

It was Sauvignon Blanc that put New Zealand on the wine map, however the diversity and sophistication of our portfolio of wine styles has ensured the love affair with New Zealand wine lives on around the world.

New Zealand's expansive coastline enables us to succeed with a range of diverse varieties and styles; from the warmer climate wines, such as Bordeaux-style blends and Syrah, grown in Hawke's Bay and further north, through to much cooler climate wines, such as Pinot Noir and Riesling grown in the southerly regions.

Whatever your preferences for wine styles, chances are we have a New Zealand Wine to suit your palate.



"Are you Mr. Swan?"... "Is there/was there a Joe Swan?"... "How did  the winery get its name?" 

The winery was named by Joe Swan when he founded it forty eight years ago. Joe came to winemaking from an unlikely background. He grew up the son of  teetotaler parents (his mother was in the Women's Christian Temperance Union)  in the farm country of North Dakota. He was an avid reader (there not being a  whole lot else to do), and he happened to read about wine. Not lacking for  imagination but definitely lacking for grapes, he nonetheless set out to make  wine. Using his mother's ringer washing machine, he squeezed the juice from  some rhubarb from the garden, and, in a crock he had secreted in the attic,  proceeded to produce his first "wine".

History doesn't record the score this first effort received from the critics,  but one can safely assume that it didn't rival his later efforts! Nonetheless,  the beginning of a quest to become a winemaker was born.  In the intervening years, Joe was an artist. He would later say that the only  painting of significance that he did was on a famous mural painted during the  depression. He was paid by the WPA and his job was to paint the blades of grass!  Joe decided that he lacked the ability to succeed as an artist and pursued  another of his interests in flying. During WWII he taught flying to the Army Air  Corps and then took a job with Western Airlines as a pilot, a career path that  he would follow until his retirement in 1974. During this time, his love affair  with winemaking and grape-growing never waned. He visited the enology and  viticulture department at UC Davis in the years immediately after the war and  made several friends there. While based in Salt Lake City, Utah, he made  Zinfandel from locally grown grapes, a wine dubbed "Jose's Rose" by his  flying buddies. Later when based in Southern California, he purchased land in  the Sierra foothills where he planted a small vineyard. But his real goal was  to establish a small vineyard and winery where he could follow his dream, to  produce small lots of the world's finest wines.
Joe really believed that, when it came to grape growing and winemaking, small  was beautiful. A small vineyard could be tended by one person. Small crops led  to more intense, ageworthy wines. A small winery allowed you to oversee every  aspect from fermentation to bottling. Joe was a perfectionist and felt that if  the wine was to carry his name, then he should be personally responsible for  every aspect of its production.

In 1967 he purchased a small farm on Laguna Road near the town of Forestville  in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. The property consisted of 13 acres  of old Zinfandel vines, fruit trees and pasture along with several structures  including an old barn and a nearly 100 year old house. In addition to the  physical attributes, it included an interesting history. The house once housed  the post office of the village of Trenton along with the general store and  telephone exchange.


Monday, January 16, 2017



Now under the guidance of Peter Mondavi Sr., the Charles Krug Winery honors its roots while forging ahead to the future. From the Wild West to the twenty-first century, relatively crude beginnings gave way to the finest form of winemaking.

Founded in 1861 by Charles Krug, the 27-year old Prussian immigrant came to America with little besides willpower and a willingness to work hard to build the cornerstone of the first winery in the Napa Valley. He became the major local winery figure of his era, greatly influencing Napa Valley's development as a world-renown wine producing region.

His leadership was said to be inspirational and his ideas innovative. Charles Krug introduced the cider press for winemaking, the first of which is still on display at the winery. He carefully selected rootstocks, varietals and vineyard sites - a novel concept in late 19th century America.

After his death in 1892, James Moffitt held the winery in proprietorship through Prohibition. By 1943, he found a pioneering spirit in Cesare Mondavi, an Italian immigrant with a passion for wine, and sold the winery to his family for $75,000.

At 60 years old, Cesare Mondavi spearheaded a dramatic renaissance in the decade that followed. Wine historian Charles Sullivan writes in his book, Napa Wine, “By the early 1950s it was irrefutable that the Valley's Big Four had been augmented by one - the Charles Krug Winery”.

Cesare died in 1959 leaving Rosa as President with sons Robert as General Manager and Peter as Vice President. In 1966, Robert moved south to Oakville and began construction of his own winery. Upon Rosa's death in 1976, Peter became President of the winery.

Peter's industry innovations from his studies at Stanford and Berkeley included revolutionary research on cold fermentation, enabling the production of exceptionally crisp, fruity white wines. His pioneering efforts to plant vineyards in the Carneros region with chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, cold sterile filtration techniques and aging wine in small French oak barrels contributed to his being named one of the twelve “Living Legends” in 1999 by the Napa Valley Vintners Association.

Above all else, Charles Krug Winery is a family winery. Peter Sr. and his sons Marc and Peter Jr. continue their dedication to producing the finest Bordeaux style wines in the Napa Valley. To achieve this, they initiated a nine-year, $22 million investment program completed in 2010. Over 400 of the winery's 850 prime acres in Napa Valley have been re-planted and state-of-the-art winemaking equipment is now in use.

Peter Mondavi Jr. is the second son of Peter and Blanche Mondavi and grandson of Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, the Napa Valley pioneers who purchased the historic Charles Krug Winery in 1943. As co-proprietor with his brother Marc, he works closely with their father, Peter Sr. on issues of strategic importance, including stewardship of all the winery's brands.

Peter, born in 1958, was raised on the winery property. “I was born and raised around grapes and wine. It has always been part of me,” says Peter. His education began at the winery where he and Marc sanded fermenting tanks, unpacked glasses, worked in the winery’s laboratory and drove tractors through the vineyards.

He may have started his education at the winery, but following in his father's footsteps, he attended Stanford University, earning a BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in engineering management, followed by an MBA. The engineering background has proved a valuable asset to the winery; he has directed a number of key design projects, including the development of a state-of-the-art winemaking facility. His business education has contributed to the development and execution of the company's long-term strategic plan.

Peter now leads the vision for the historic Charles Krug brand. Part of the vision, and one that he believes only a family-owned and operated business can make, is the investment of $25.6 million made to replant the 850 acres of their Napa Valley vineyard land, renewing the winery’s focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and other red Bordeaux varietals and converting to sustainable farming methods. These investments now position the Charles Krug Winery as one of Napa Valley's premier properties, centering on the family's tradition of innovation, integrity and quality.

As international wine conglomerates take root elsewhere in the Napa Valley, the Peter Mondavi Sr. Family is resolute in their intention to remain independent and family owned. “Between Dad, Marc and me, we have been making wine from grapes grown on these vineyards for several decades. There’s a love and dedication here that I believe you can taste in the wine,” Peter says.

His responsibilities include day-to-day operations such as winemaking and overseeing their vineyards and directing sales and marketing for the Charles Krug brand. Peter is often on the road where his busy travel schedule combines winemaker dinners, consumer education, sales meetings with the distributor network and chain meetings around the country. He sums up his passion for the brand by pointing to what he inherited from his grandmother about the fine points of food and wine pairing. "While Charles Krug wines reflect their origins in the most prestigious Napa Valley appellations, they resemble my grandmother’s beloved Italian wine in one way: they are well balanced and structured to accompany food."

Along with the resurgence of the brand, resurgence in the winery itself has taken shape. Peter, Marc and their father committed $9.5 million to the investment in the historic renovation of the original stone structures on the property. A two year construction project under their tutelage brought new life to the 1874 Redwood Cellar which now serves as the Charles Krug Reserve barrel room, and the 1881 Carriage House that is now an elegant entertainment venue for winery events.

Peter is also a member of numerous wine related organizations, including the Wine and Food Society of San Francisco and the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. A prolific fundraiser, Peter will embark on his sixth year of partnership with Morton’s-The Steakhouse, to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In addition, he has served on the boards of the Yountville Appellation Association and the Bottlenotes Advisory Board. Peter is a former board member of both the Napa Valley Vintners Association and Family Winemakers of California. He lives in Napa Valley with his wife Katie Williams-Mondavi and their two children.




Three Sticks Wines is a boutique, family-owned winery founded by Bill Price (William S. Price III). Founded in 2002, the winery is named for Bill’s surfing nickname, “Billy Three Sticks,” which was assigned to him in his youth as a reference to the three Roman numerals that follow his name. As a long-time fan and collector of wines from the Durell Vineyard, Price purchased  the property from Ed Durell in 1998, and launched Three Sticks a few years later.

In 2015, Bob Cabral, former winemaker for Williams Selyem, and Ryan Prichard, former assistant winemaker for Medlock Ames, joined the Three Sticks Team. Don Van Staaveren, who had been with Three Sticks since 2004, remains as Winemaker Emeritus. Cabral and Prichard will be focusing on the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production, while Van Staaveren will continue to focus on the Cabernets.

The winery is housed in an industrial area near downtown Sonoma, among a cluster of other artisan wine producers known as the Eighth Street Wineries. In keeping with the winery’s “no crush” policy, every lot of grapes to come in is treated with utmost care and minimal handling. The winemaking team insists on keeping every vineyard block separate from the others from the moment they are picked on through fermentation, barrel aging and final blending.

In 2014, Three Sticks opened a tasting salon in downtown Sonoma: The Adobe (a.k.a. the VallejoCasteñada Adobe, #theadobe). Built circa 1842 and located just off the plaza in downtown Sonoma, the Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe was one of Sonoma’s oldest and longest occupied residences and remains one of the last standing buildings from California’s Mexican Period. It’s transformation into the Three Sticks tasting salon was directed by noted San Francisco designer Ken Fulk.

There is very good reason Bob Cabral’s name is synonymous with great Pinot Noir. With decades of experience in Sonoma County, Bob’s passion, experience and following for his work with the varietal is second to none. From 1998 to 2014 Bob was winemaker for Williams Selyem. There, he led the winery into a new era, overseeing an expansion of new vineyard sources and bottlings for the brand, along with the construction of a state-of the art winery.

Bob’s interest in wine and farming began in childhood helping his grandfather make wine in a barn. Growing up pruning grapes, irrigating vineyards and harvesting grapes became routine on his family’s 70-acre ranch near Escalon, CA. A fourth generation farmer and grape grower from the great San Joaquin Valley, he took all he learned at the family farm and applied it to his degrees at Fresno State University. While in college, his passion for Pinot Noir became evident as he spent every spare dime, and a good chunk of his student loans, on buying wines from all over the world—mostly Burgundy and Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs.

After graduating in the mid-1980s, Bob knew that Sonoma County was where he could best hone his skills and make wines to rival the best in the world. He spent 11 vintages in various winemaking positions—associate winemaker at DeLoach Vineyards, custom crush winemaker at Kunde Family Estate, winemaker at Alderbrook Vineyards and winemaker at Hartford Court Winery—before taking his seminal position at Williams Selyem.

Bob’s winemaking philosophy has remained constant throughout his career—to source and farm the best fruit possible, with minimal intervention in the cellar. He was awarded the 2011 Wine Star Award from the Wine Enthusiast as “Winemaker of the Year.” He joined Three Sticks in 2015, with fervent enthusiasm. Bob lives in the Russian River Valley where and is a devoted husband and father to his wife and daughter.


Monday, January 9, 2017



In the mid-1970’s, due to a normal teenage interest in alcoholic beverages, my family allowed me to make some wine from the family vineyard and beer at home (under adult supervision, of course). This led to a UC Davis degree as well as concurrent work at a local winery doing the dirtiest and most menial jobs imaginable. In the mid-1980’s good friends at Duxoup Wine Works (think Marx Brothers for the pronunciation) inspired me to try my hand at my own label so I negotiated cellar space in lieu of a raise by my then-current employer, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards in Anderson Valley (I got a raise anyway). Greenwood Ridge was supportive of my project and decided to have some Scherrer Zinfandel produced for their label as well. Unfortunately, I had a poor business plan and during the first year I realized I was not yet ready for this project. Greenwood Ridge continues to make a small amount of Scherrer Vineyard Zinfandel to this day.

Enter Dehlinger Winery in the late 1980’s. Tom Dehlinger was very supportive of my long-term plans and challenged me to develop a solid business plan, facilitating an important entry into my own project. In return, his winery received my heart and soul for a decade. The final key element in our getting started was from my parents. They allowed me to delay paying them for their fine grapes until we began getting cash flow from our wine sales. By 1997, we were ready to make the move to a facility of our own. In anticipation of this, we were able to add Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to supplement the Zinfandel we were producing, all from my father’s vineyard in Alexander Valley. Tom Dehlinger supported this transition of my focus, allowing me to produce these additional wines in his facility and we parted very amicably after that vintage.

And so after the harvest of 1997, I moved our operation to a corner of an apple packing shed-turned-winery, finally leasing the entire building. During this period, our production grew from just the three varietals from Scherrer Vineyard, to now typically a dozen wines, about half of which are Pinot Noir. Total production is now 4000 to 5000 cases. My good friend, Don Bliss helped me whenever I needed a hand (or a finger to dial 911 in the unlikely event of a forklift mistake) throughout this period until he sold his fine vineyard and moved back to his native Texas in 2006. Since then, I have been able to impose on a handful of friends and local customers when I have needed help, but still continue to work at the winery pretty much alone most of the year. Judi, my wife, has handled administrative and compliance for the winery since 2002, keeping me out of trouble with bureaucrats and making sure we are able to conform with the complex and changing world of direct shipping and wholesaling laws, reports and fees.

Current Wines
Fred began making Zinfandel from his father’s vineyard in 1991. The first vintage consisted of 600 cases made from the oldest part of the vineyard planted by Fred’s grandfather in 1912. Over the next 5 years, Fred was able to slowly expand production of Zinfandel as he continued his ‘day job’ as winemaker at Dehlinger. In 1997, we were able to expand production to include Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from the Scherrer Vineyard. This expansion included making the winery a full-time occupation in 1998 and moving into its current location in an insulated metal building near Sebastopol.
Because we make so many different bottlings now, it is difficult to decide just what schedule to offer them for sale to our direct customers. We usually offer wines here (especially the Zinfandels and Cabernets) well ahead of any commercial release to wine shops and restaurants since most of you know what you want and are cellaring these wines for yourselves according to your own tastes. This also helps enable us to survive the financial difficulty of holding back vintages until they really shine. If you are interested in purchasing any current wines, you can place your order easily now on line at the Scherrer Wine Shop.



A special place, Pisoni Vineyards expresses the land and climate of the Santa Lucia Highlands and the spirit of the Pisoni Family. The site is a source of exceptional Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. First planted by Gary Pisoni in 1982, Pisoni Vineyards consists of small vineyard blocks arranged on and around the ridges of the mountainous landscape. Ranging in size from one-half to seventeen acres, the vineyard blocks perch at an altitude of 1,300 feet in the granite-laced mountains of the coastal Santa Lucia Range.

Inspired by the Burgundy tradition of having several wineries source fruit from the same vineyard, Gary Pisoni has formed relationships with some of the most prestigious Pinot Noir producers in California. With agreements based on handshake alone, these wineries are guaranteed specific rows and blocks each year. They purchase grapes at a per-acre price rather than a per-ton price, which maintains the focus on quality and not yields. In addition to supplying fruit to artisan producers of vineyard-designated wines, the Pisoni Family retains a portion of the vineyard for the production of Pisoni Estate wine.

Vineyard management is meticulous. Under Mark Pisoni's leadership, a long-time permanent crew of 18 skilled individuals perform all the work by hand. Every decision implements sustainable farming practices and long-term considerations. This commitment, combined with the rocky soils and cold Monterey Bay weather, produce serious and compelling wines.

In 1952 Jane and Eddie Pisoni began farming vegetables in the fertile Salinas Valley. A celery-crop profit in 1979 provided the down payment for the Santa Lucia Highlands property that became Pisoni Vineyards. Their love for the land provided the place where their son Gary could realize his dreams. Gary developed a love of wine while attending college. He started collecting fine French and German wines, and he made his first wine in his garage in 1978 at the age of twenty-five. In 1982, Gary broke ground and planted the first vines at Pisoni Vineyards. He was up against many obstacles, including not having a water source at the time.

Mark Pisoni, the vineyard manager, completed a B.S. in Agricultural Economics at the University of California, Davis, and an M.S. in Farm Business Management at Cornell University. He oversees the meticulous care of both Pisoni Vineyards and Pisoni Farms.  Jeff Pisoni is the winemaker. He earned a B.S. in Enology at California State University, Fresno, and got hands-on experience at premium wineries before becoming the Pisoni Estate and Lucia winemaker in 2002.

The Pisoni Family produces one wine each year under the label bearing its name: Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir. Although actual quantities vary with fruit yields, typical production is a mere 500 cases annually. Often noted for their deep color and intensity, wines from Pisoni Vineyards offer complex flavors and layers of undulating texture. The rocky mountain soil and the long, cool growing season provide the fundamental character of the wine, and the tannin and acid structure contribute to the age-worthiness.

Lucia vineyard designated Santa Lucia Highlands AVA wines. Lucia is the sister label of the Pisoni Estate wines. Whereas Pisoni Estate is committed to a single expression of the Pisoni Vineyards, Lucia represents the collection of vineyards that the Pisoni Family farms: Pisoni Vineyards, Soberanes Vineyard and Garys' Vineyard (the latter two farmed in partnership with Gary Franscioni).

The wines of Lucia are vineyard designated Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from these vineyards and eponymous Santa Lucia Highlands AVA cuvées with varying percentages of each vineyard blended together. Lucia wines are made alongside the Pisoni Estate wines using the same exacting standards for quality. They are sold via mailing list and high-end restaurants and retailers. If you are on the mailing list for Pisoni Estate wines, you will automatically have the opportunity to purchase the Lucia offerings.