Mary Hall
 
January 29, 2016 | Mary Hall

The Mike Behind Michael's Vineyard

 

 


 

Ranch Manager
Michael Whitener 
 

 

Mike remembers the day in 2001 when he and Adelaida owner Don Van Steenwyk were driving on the HMR ranch and Don asked, “What would you plant on this hill?”  Mike answered “a dry farmed vineyard”. It was then that Adelaida Cellars chose to plant dry farmed Zinfandel on what is now Michael’s Vineyard.
 
Mike Whitener was born and raised near Peachy Canyon Road in Paso Robles, now part of the Adelaida District of the Paso Robles AVA. His family has been in the area since 1890.  Mike is a “true local” in every since of the term.

Growing up running through the hills fishing, hunting and caring for the family’s walnut and almond orchards, Mike developed a strong love and respect for the land.  In the early ‘60s, Doctor Stanley Hoffman purchased what is now known as the HMR Ranch.  Mike’s dad, Johnny, worked for Doctor Hoffman and helped to plant the first HMR Pinot Noir grapes 50+ years ago.  As a young man, Mike worked the Hoffman Ranch alongside his dad. Mike grew to love the vineyards and the “smell of dirt”. While everyone loves the vines and grapes that make the great wine Adelaida is known for today, it’s the dirt Mike values more than anything.

In 2002 Mike incurred a spinal cord injury. This did not stop Mike from doing what he loves to do; working on and managing the Adelaida ranches. With great encouragement from the Van Steenwyks and his own family, this is what Mike still does today.
 
Next time you visit Adelaida, look for the guy driving through the vineyards and walnut orchards wearing a cowboy hat and a great big smile – he’d love to say hello to you!

It is with deep gratitude and respect we raise our glasses to you, Mike Whitener (zinfandel, of course!).  Cheers!

 

 

Time Posted: Jan 29, 2016 at 9:15 AM
Jeremy Weintraub- Winemaker
 
January 22, 2016 | Jeremy Weintraub- Winemaker

El Niño Update from Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub

The first very wet winter in four years is upon us! This year’s El Niño, caused by elevated surface water temperatures in the South Pacific, is expected to bring about heavy rains and cooler nights. El Niño rains promise a limited replenishment to our water-starved soils…..if we can keep the water from running away! Fortunately, the rains that we’ve had so far have been wonderfully easy, with a handful of daily accumulations totaling not more than 0.9 inches. Since July 1, 2015 we’ve recorded 8.3”, over 2" more than this time last year! What does this mean for the vineyards? Those frequent, light rains allow the soil to slowly absorb the water, which, over time, help to flush out the salts that have accumulated from the prolonged drought.  Our concern over heavy downpours at Adelaida is that the steep slopes will simply allow the water to run off, carrying with it our valuable topsoil. To combat this possibility, just before the first rains began to fall we planted lots of peas, beans, white and yellow mustard, daikon radish, and triticale to build up the biomass of our soils. Right now, the vineyards look beautiful with lots of greens and colors, and we know that we’ve done as much as we can to work in stride with Mother Nature.
 

 

Time Posted: Jan 22, 2016 at 9:52 AM
Mary Hall
 
December 15, 2015 | Mary Hall

We have a secret... Santa Claus is an Adelaida Wine Club Member

Holiday spirit is in the air and one of our very own Wine Club Members has been spreading cheer for over 30 years throughout California. Meet Santa Bob. Here is his story, in his own words.

My Santa career began with my first grandchild’s birth in 1984. Christmas came and I bought a really cheap Santa suit. One could almost see through it. As I held her in my arms she looked up at me and gave me a smile that brought tears to my eyes. How could a four-month-old child know Santa? My son-in-law suggested that I pursue this. After the following Christmas as Santa, I bought some material and asked my daughter if she would make me a Santa suit. That’s how it all began.
 
You will find me at the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. This is my 15th season with them, listening to the wishes of children for what they hope to find under their Christmas trees.
 
Each year on the first Saturday in December I work at the Mission Viejo Lake in Mission Viejo, CA. I’m taken to the security dock where I board the security speed boat and head for the beach part of the lake to meet several hundred kids and families. I’m there taking photos with them until the last child has had a turn talking with Santa. I’ve been doing house parties and company parties since 1987. 
 
Now retired, my wife and I are cross-country motorcycle riders. I ride my Harley to the Vietnam Memorial War for the Memorial Day Weekend. Usually there are more than 2500 riders. We begin in Rancho Cucamonga and end in Arlington, VA. We’ve ridden through most of the country spreading holiday cheer.  
 
Happy Holidays!

Santa Bob
 

 

 

Time Posted: Dec 15, 2015 at 10:09 AM
Mary Hall
 
November 17, 2015 | Mary Hall

Adelaida's Gone Nuts

Adelaida Cellars
Adelaida Cellars
Adelaida Cellars
All of our fruit may be picked, pressed and barreled down, but walnut harvest is just beginning at Adelaida Cellars. The Van Steenwyk family became involved with the Adelaida District of Paso Robles in the late 1970s when they purchased the Hill Top Ranch as an agricultural investment. Managed with sustainable farming practices, the dry farmed orchards are planted to five different varieties of English walnuts, all grafted to black walnut rootstock. Why English walnuts instead of black? The black walnut was in fact part of many native American diets but most of the walnuts we eat today are actually English walnuts, which have a milder taste and broader appeal. They also have thinner, easier-to-crack shells. Black walnuts on the other hand have a bolder, earthier flavor. Their shells are thick, tough to crack, and will likely stain your hands. Grown our mountainous terrain, all of our walnuts are hand harvested after being shaken to the ground. They are then transported offsite to be hulled and dried. While a majority of our walnuts are sold to Crain Walnut Shelling, Inc. for distribution, we make sure we have a few 100 lbs available here at the source for our Adelaida guests. Just in time for the holiday season, they are an excellent addition to your favorite recipes. Ask for a sample the next time you are in our Tasting Room!
 
Walnut and Apple Herb Stuffing
Pair with Adelaida Pinot Noir 2013
• 1/3 cup butter
• 3 onions, medium chopped
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• 12 cups bread, cubed
• 2 apples, tart, peeled, cored and chopped
• 1 1/2 cups Adelaida walnut pieces
• 1/2 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
• 1/2 cup sage
• 1/2 cup rosemary
• 1/2 cup thyme
• 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
• salt and pepper, to taste
stuffing recipe

DIRECTIONS:
• In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and celery; cook 5 minutes or until soft.
• In a large bowl, mix bread, onion mixture, apples and walnuts. Add parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Mix in enough chicken stock to moisten bread. Season with salt and pepper.
• Loosely fill turkey cavity and follow cooking instructions for the weight of the bird; or make single servings by baking at 375° in small well buttered oven-proof ramekins for 25 minutes or until heated through and brown on top.
Time Posted: Nov 17, 2015 at 2:39 PM
Mary Hall
 
November 1, 2015 | Mary Hall

Adelaida's Recent Wine Scores

 

A wine score is the quickest, simplest way for a wine critic to communicate their opinion about the quality of a wine. Here are our latest:

 

Vinous
 
Vinous. Antonio Galloni -  September 2015
"Jeremy Weintraub is the newly installed winemaker at Adelaida, a winery that has been a consistent performer over the last decade..."  Josh Raynolds.

 
2013chard 2
Chardonnay HMR Vineyard 2013
90 points.
Light gold. Musky pear skin, Meyer lemon and toasted bread on the fragrant nose. Chewy orchard and pit fruit flavors become more energetic as the wine opens up and pick up a hint of tarragon. Finishes with firm grip, an echo of juicy citrus fruits and very good persistence.
viog1 2

Viognier Anna's Vineyard 2013
90 points.

Pale, green-tinged gold. Potent, mineral-tinged aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits, honeysuckle and ginger. Smooth and expansive on the palate, offering juicy melon and tangerine flavors and a refreshingly bitter touch of pear skin. Expands and deepens nicely on the lingering fruity finish.

 
12-Viking Syrah

Syrah Viking Vineyard Reserve 2012
91 points.

Inky purple. Smoke- and spice-accented aromas of blackcurrant, menthol and licorice. Spicy, fleshy, deeply pitched dark berry and floral pastille flavors are lifted by a peppery note, with a floral pastille nuance building on the back half. The long fruit-driven finish features smooth tannins and a candied licorice quality.

 
13 zin michaels photo shopped

Zinfandel Michael's Vineyard 2013
90 points

Glass-staining ruby. Fresh blueberry, boysenberry and mocha on the perfumed nose, with a floral topnote and a hint of black pepper. Gently sweet, sappy and concentrated, with dark fruit flavors complemented by peppery spices and anise. Finishes spicy and very long, with an echo of cracked pepper and chewy tannins that come in slowly.
 

Robert Parker
Wine Advocate. Robert Parker Jr.- August 2015 
"Located on the northwestern edge of Paso Robles, not far from Tablas Creek, Adelaida Cellars is a large, family owned estate that covers 168 acres. Made by Jeremy Weintraub, the wines are always classic Paso Robles in style and beautifully made." Jeb Dunnuck.

 
2013chard 3

Chardonnay HMR Vineyard 2013
90 points.

Coming from the Adelaida District in Paso, the 2013 Chardonnay HMR Vineyard is a ripe, well-made and thoroughly enjoyable Chardonnay that offers classic orchard fruits, brioche and spice in a medium to full-bodied, supple, forward and easy-drinking style. Aged 10 months in 26% new French oak (a small part was in stainless, with the balance in neutral oak), drink it anytime over the coming 2-3 years.

 
version white 2013

Version White Anna's Vineyard 2013
90 points.

Paso's take on a Rhone blend, Adelaida's 2013 Version White is a terrific blend of 42% Roussanne, 42% Viognier and 16% Grenache Blanc that spent 10 months on lees in 37% new French oak. It gives up beautiful richness in its white peach, toasted spice, white flowers and brioche-scented bouquet. This gives way to a medium to full-bodied, ripe, textured white that has loads of fruit without ever seeming heavy or cumbersome. Drink it over the coming 2-3 years.

 
12-Viking Syrah 2

Syrah Viking Vineyard Reserve 2012
91 points.

An outstanding Syrah that comes from the calcareous shale soils of their estate vineyard, the 2012 Syrah Viking Vineyard has lots of spice and cedar qualities in its blackcurrant, pepper and menthol-scented bouquet. Full-bodied, pure, layered and nicely focused, it should have a decade of overall longevity. Jeremy aged this 20 months in 67% new French oak. It's a classic Paso Robles Syrah that has both textural richness and elegance.
 

 

 

 

Time Posted: Nov 1, 2015 at 9:46 AM
Tony Hermann- Resident Wine Educator
 

Harvest at Adelaida

 

Once a year we pick grapes.  We call it the harvest.  In France it’s the “vendange”, in Italy it’s the “vendemmia”.  Every year it’s different, every year it’s the same.  The vagaries of weather, rain, drought, hot , cold, wind, hours of sunlight, all change every year.  Yet, there’s a sense of repetition, going through the motions.  It’s Fall and we’re picking grapes again.  Our intrepid crew, armed with pruning shears trudges through the vineyard rows in the darkened early morning hours, lights ablaze and snip, snip, snip, pick off the small compact clusters from our chalk-rock challenged vines.  By daybreak yellow picking bins brimming with ripe grapes arrive at the winery and the process continues: hand sorting, destemming, optical sorting of individual berries (1st time this year), and onto tank, yeast innoculation and ultimately finished wines to barrel.

2015 was different in many ways.  4th year of drought, early bud break (vines awaken from dormancy, the beginning of growth), cold snap in May during bloom (which interrupted the delicate flowering phase, greatly reducing yields), earliest harvest on record, small berries (more solids than juice, a great omen for wines of density and full flavor), a 1st time purchase of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from a famous vineyard (to make up for the shortfall of our own reduced crop).  This year’s experience reflects the unique micro-climates of our estate mountain vineyards.  Bottom line, to be a winemaker you’ve got to love 2 months of sleep deprived babysitting fermenting grapes, stained hands, washing 1000 chemistry beakers, and in general getting down and dirty.  Most of us are better off pulling corks and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

 

Time Posted: Oct 30, 2015 at 3:50 PM
Mary Hall
 
September 16, 2015 | Mary Hall

Adelaida Cellars is now a Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Winery & Vineyard

Although Adelaida’s vineyards were certified as sustainable in the past, now both the vineyards and winery have been certified. In order to achieve certification, Adelaida has met all of the program’s 82 prerequisites (50 Vineyard Best Practice criteria and 32 Winery Best Practice criteria). These prerequisites include various factors from crush operations at the winery to soil nutrient monitoring in the vineyard. In addition, Adelaida has demonstrated a commitment to sustainability when it comes to both winegrowing and winemaking. This is evident in our approach to water conservation, clean energy, habitat preservation, and sustainable farming. By accomplishing these goals and creating a plan of action to continue improving, Adelaida Cellars has earned the distinction of being a Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Winery & Vineyard.
 
Over the years, Adelaida has implemented many practices that support our commitment to sustainability. In 2007, we installed a 113 kilowatt solar array. With the system in place, Adelaida is able to meet, on average, 85% of its own power needs with solar. Along with major strides in energy efficiency, Adelaida is also extremely water conscious, practicing either dry-farming or deficit irrigation throughout our vineyard acreage. We also use pressurized hoses to conserve water usage in the winery and recycle all grey water amongst the property. These steps, coupled with Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub’s vineyard-driven winemaking philosophy, continue to distinguish Adelaida as a winery and a vineyard that sets industry standards for excellence and sustainability.
 

Solar 2
Sheep 2
retention pond

 

Time Posted: Sep 16, 2015 at 9:29 AM
Mary Hall
 
September 1, 2015 | Mary Hall

Harvest 2015 is in Full Swing!

  

 

IMG_3705 wine 2 sampling
IMG_4003 grapes 3 2 IMG_3891 2

Full Press: Harvest 2015

August 14th marked the first official day of harvest, and as is tradition here at Adelaida Cellars, we toasted to the season with 1984 Adelaida bubbly! An early budbreak coupled with a light cropload spurred an early start and an early end to the 2015 harvest. Our first pick was HMR Chardonnay in mid-August and our final pick was Viking Cabernet Sauvignon on the last day of September. With our commitment to dry-farming, we asked the vines to scavenge for water that had become increasingly scarce during the persistent drought. In July we had a highly unusual deluge that brought a second-wind to the vineyards just as they were entering the critical growth period where color, sugar and phenolics all assemble inside the berries. This hydration event sustained the optimal development of our clusters and led to a classic season. There were a few typical heat waves in September and the vines responded well, likely because they've become used to such conditions.
 
We’re very excited about the concentration of flavors and the high acid in the fruit and must, which promises delicious wines and liveliness. Many of the wines have already been barreled down, and Cabernet Sauvignon is continuing to ferment in oak and concrete tanks. We expect great wines from the 2015 vintage and can't wait to share them with you. Look for the 2015 whites in about a year and the 2015 reds in 2017.

Adelaida Toast
 

 

 

 
Time Posted: Sep 1, 2015 at 4:57 PM
Mary Hall
 
August 3, 2015 | Mary Hall

Meet the Ladies of Adelaida's Wine Club

Adelaida Cellars

Annette Dennigmann & Morgan Kavanaugh

 
Wine Club Manager, Annette Dennigmann, has been with Adelaida since November of 2008. From then on, working at Adelaida has become more than just a job. It was through her time at Adelaida that she met her husband and eventually they were even wed by a coworker! Annette has watched Adelaida's growth over the last seven years and is extremely grateful to have been a part of it. When asked what she loves most about her job she will always say, "The Club Members!”, reflecting on the great people she has met here at Adelaida and looking forward to meeting many more. When she is not busy shipping Adelaida wine all across the country, she enjoys time with her friends, family, and most of all, getting love from her grand babies.
 
Annette always strives to do her best when accommodating our Club Members and she has an amazing assistant who shares the same passion for customer service. Morgan Kavanaugh joined the Adelaida team in the Fall of 2013. As our Sales Coordinator she works closely with Annette and all things wine club. Whether managing orders or chatting with Club Members, Morgan is always ready with a smile. Having received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara, Morgan has also taken an interest in our sustainability program and played an important roll in filing for our recent certification through the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. When not at work, Morgan loves exploring the outdoors and enjoying the wonderful wines of the Central Coast. 

 

Time Posted: Aug 3, 2015 at 10:41 AM
Mary Hall
 
June 10, 2015 | Mary Hall

We Have Fortified Our Team

 

We have strengthened our team of experts with the addition of Brianne Engles, our new Assistant Winemaker, and Glenn Mitton, Winery and Vineyard Ambassador who became a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers.
 
Engles brings local and global winemaking experience, from the Napa Valley to the Barossa Valleynow to the Paso Robles winery,and works alongside winemaker Jeremy Weintraub. Her skills in the cellar and work in the laboratory add to the sophistication and commitment to wine quality exemplified by the estate vineyard winemaking team. Her past experience in serving as an assistant winemaker and practice with blending is a strong addition for Adelaida.
 
“Engles will work with me in all aspects of production from the vineyard to the bottle,” said Weintraub. “We will work closely together to ensure we grow the best wines from the estate. I am excited to have her as an integral part of the winemaking team.”
 
A California Polytechnic State University graduate, Engles brings more than 10 years of hands-on experience to and most recently served as the enologist at Quintessa Winery in the Napa Valley.
 
Adding to the list of winery announcements is Mitton’s certification. With more than 20 years experience in the wine industry, Mittonrecently earnedhis credentials to become a certified sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Mitton, who hails from the United Kingdom, worked in wholesale wine sales and owned a fine wine shop before he moved to Paso Robles in 2008 to experience the production aspect of the wine business. Mitton worked two harvests but found his passion in working directly with customers. He worked at JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery before joining Adelaida in 2014, where he leads private wine tastings and the winery’s Tour, Taste and Tailgate (TT&T) Tours.
 
Mittons quest for a challenge began by earning his credentials through the Wine &Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and in 1999 he acquired level 3. Mitton believes that reading, tasting and enjoying wine is what it’s all about, but he also believes in challenginghimself to test his memory when the moment matters.
 
“I am very proud of the team at Adelaida Cellars,” said general manager Jessica Kollhoff. “Engles’ experience and enthusiasm strengthens our winemaking team and Mitton’s credentials in wine education allow us to connect with our customers on a deeper level.”
 
 
 

 

Time Posted: Jun 10, 2015 at 11:24 AM
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