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

• 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
September 1, 2015 | Mary Hall

Harvest 2015 is in Full Swing!

August 14th marked the first official day of harvest, and as is tradition here at Adelaida we toasted to the season with 1984 Adelaida bubbly! The cellar is a buzz with the rattling of the sorting table, the smell of freshly pressed fruit and whirl of forklifts moving barrels and bins in what seems like a well orchestrated dance. Pristine new barrels yet to be embellished with crimson grape juice wait patiently alongside our new foudre and concrete tanks. We slowly eased into harvest this year and Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub feels we benefited greatly from the rain we received in July, “The tail end of Hurricane Dolores gave the vineyards arefreshing reprieve from the stressful dry conditions. With ourfarming plan of zero to minimal irrigation, we had been asking the vines to dig deep for water. The timing of the late July rain storm gave the plants a second-wind just as they were entering the critical growth period where color, sugar and phenolics are activated inside the berries. This hydration sustained the optimal development of our clusters, which promised a classic harvest season.“
An early budbreak coupled with a light cropload spurred an early harvest for Adelaida. We are excited about the concentration of flavors and the high acid in the fruit, which promises delicious wines and liveliness. Viognier was the first fruit of the season, followed  by Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir. A small amount of Grenache Noir and Carignan were also picked for our Version Rosé. Having had a fairly moderate summer, we had a two week heat spike that hit mid August which moved things right along. Harvest is a thing of timing, patience, and endurance. The fruit tells you when it’s ready, and it doesn’t always play by the rules.  Fortunately, we have a strong crew, both year round and during harvest. Adelaida welcomed three interns this year. Robin Tolchard joins us from Vancouver B.C. with a BS in Enology from
NMIT Melbourne, Australia. She is a Certified Sommelier and has worked harvests in Australia and Beaujolais, France. Gregg Rothberg from New York, New York, has been in the entertainment marketing business, but his personal passion for wine and Rhône varietals drew him to Paso Robles. This is his first harvest, but this will also be the first vintage for his label, 13th & Third Wines, which will be producing a rosé of Grenache and a GSM. Derrick Holmgren received a BS in Agriculture Business from Cal Poly and has worked  in Australia as well as for Tablas Creek last fall. He will travel to Chile this January, but his future is already growing here in California, having just planted a vineyard with Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Nebbiolo, and Zinfandel in El Derado county.


Time Posted: Sep 1, 2015 at 4:57 PM
Mary Hall
March 6, 2015 | Mary Hall

Vines and Cornerstones: Planting Foundations for the Future

Just like our 50-year-old HMR Vineyard, Adelaida’s roots run deep. As one of the pioneers of the Paso Robles AVA and the Adelaida District, many have witnessed our evolution over the last 34 years.  In the 1970s, the Van Steenwyk family purchased the ranch where Adelaida Cellars is now located. Shortly thereafter, they began spending weekends at the old farmhouse on the property. It wasn’t until 1991 that Adelaida’s first tasting room opened in our current location with a remodel to follow in 2004. With time and hard work Adelaida Cellars has grown. Our seventh Estate Vineyard was planted in 2013 and our production facility was renovated last winter. This January we broke ground on our new Hospitality Center. The tasting room will sit where the oldfarmhouse was once located. Now, Adelaida guests will be able to enjoy the same views that the Van Steenwyk family fell in love with over 30 years ago. We look forward to sharing many memorable visits with you in the future.



Time Posted: Mar 6, 2015 at 12:42 PM
Mary Hall
October 28, 2014 | Mary Hall

Between Two Vines

In a rare, quiet moment during the 2014 harvest season, Annette Dennigmann, our Wine Club Manager, sat down with Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub. Jeremy holds a Master of Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis and has worked on the North and South Islands of New Zealand, in Italy, and in St. Helena California. Now settled on the Central Coast, he has been with Adelaida Cellars since 2012.

Q: What was the first fruit that arrived for the 2014 vintage?
A: We picked a small portion of chardonnay for its bright and energetic potential. Last year we split our 3.8 acre chardonnay block into three separate parcels that differ in slope, aspect, and elevation, enabling us to pick across a range of flavors.
Q: 2014 marks the 50th anniversary for the HMR Pinot Noir vines. How does the age of the vines contribute to the wine?
A: The fruit from older vines produce wines of greater depth and complexity than do their more youthful counterparts. The differences are not quantifiable. You simple know it when you taste it.
Q: We have a new baby on board, the concrete tank. How does this differ from stainless or barrel? What will this bring to the wine?
A: We're planning to use this tank for fermenting and aging grenache noir. Concrete tanks highlight the purity of the fruit inside and also, compared with, say stainless steel, allow for rich flavor development. Unlike oak, concrete imparts no toast character or tannin.
Q: What impact of challenges has the California drought had on this harvest?
A: Incredibly, we haven't seen any negative effects of the drought. Our farming plan now and into the future is to severely ration the amount of water we deliver to our vines, with the dual goal of making more interesting wine and conserving this precious resource. While drought is a major concern for us, our vines so far have weathered it well.
Q: When did you begin your career as a winemaker? What do you like best about your job?
A: I started on Long Island, driving a tractor for a family owned vineyard and then working harvest in the winery. What I loved then is what I love now: tasting fruit in the vineyard, smelling fermenting tanks, getting incredibly sticky, and sharing those long days with like-minded people.
Q: What changes have you made in the vineyards since you started?
A: Beginning 2013 we stopped spraying herbicides and we moved to organic fungicides, such as mineral oil, from synthetic sprays. Being good stewards of the land has always been a priority for Adelaida Cellars. It's essential for the long term success and health of your farming operations.
Q: We have three interns that we added to our already amazing production team for this year's harvest. Could you tell us a little something about them?
A: We have an intern from the University of Bordeaux, France, an intern from the University of Udine, Italy and a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis. The interns are hardworking and serious. Plus they are making us some delicious meals!
Time Posted: Oct 28, 2014 at 4:05 PM
Jeremy Weintraub- Winemaker
January 2, 2014 | Jeremy Weintraub- Winemaker

2013 Harvest Notes

The 2013 harvest was the earliest on record for Adelaida due to low winter rainfall and steady warmth throughout the growing season. Total yields were about average and quality was excellent. At this early stage, with most of the wines still completing their secondary fermentation in barrel, the reds are deeply colored and the whites are showing great richness and vibrancy.

This year was our first farming organically. The dry conditions allowed us to limit the number of passes we made in the vineyard to control fungi, and, even with those drought conditions, we severely limited irrigation to occasions where the plants would have suffered without it.

On August 19 we picked the first fruit of 2013: A small amount of Chardonnay, Pinot noir from 6 rows in the northeastern part of our HMR vineyard, and syrah from our Viking vineyard. Simply put, the fruit was ready to come off the vine. By way of contrast, and as a demonstration of the effect of temperature on harvest date, in the cool 2011 vintage, we picked the first Chardonnay on September 19, the first HMR Pinot noir on September 23, and the Viking syrah on September 21.

Our final pick of 2013 was muscat for our dessert program from Bobcat vineyard on November 11. We made two passes in the muscat, the first being clean fruit with high sugar and relatively more acid (31 brix) and the second with a little botrytis (at 33 brix). The botrytis infection was limited because of dry growing conditions, and we hope to see more in 2014.

We brought in significantly less zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon in 2013, much to our disappointment. The cabernet berries, in particular, were very tiny, and the Viking vineyard, which was planted in 1991, showed its age by not producing as much fruit. But what that vineyard lacked in fruit quantity it made up for in quality.

The zinfandel vines from Michael’s block, named after our stellar ranch manager Michael Whitener, bore the combined effects of drought conditions and dry farming. The fruit struggled to reach its typical sugar levels, and we made several surgical passes throughout the growing season to balance the amount of fruit with the vine’s ability to ripen it. We’re happy that we did, as the wines so far show great finesse and spice.

In between the first and final picks, we saw much to admire in 2013. The red berries had thick skins, which they synthesized as a result of several environmental and cultural factors, including sunlight, temperature, shoot positioning and low rainfall. The resulting wines have great color and extraordinary tannin. The whites grapes benefited from cool nights, which helped retain their acidity, and careful farming, which kept leaf cover over the fruit to minimize sun damage. Our switch to night harvesting in 2013 kept the fruit nice and cool when it arrived at the winery.



Time Posted: Jan 2, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Tony Hermann- Resident Wine Educator

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive at Adelaida Cellars!


Le Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 est arrivé at  Adelaida Cellars!

Adelaida Cellars, maker to the only Gamay Beaujolais Nouveau in Paso Robles, is keeping with the French tradition to release the first wine of the 2013 vintage on the 21st,  the third Thursday of November.    Beaujolais Nouveau is the first wine of harvest, drinkable a mere 7-8 weeks after grapes are picked and is a harbinger of the vintage quality.   Each year, Adelaida releases the Beaujolais on the third Thursday  with a celebratory dinner to follow on Saturday evening.

Nestled in the original HMR Vineyard, Adelaida’s  Gamay, is now in its 49th year.   True to the nouveau style, this Beaujolais uses a method called carbonic maceration, where grapes are fermented as whole intact berries in a sealed environment and without oxygen.   The yeast penetrates the grape skin and acts on the natural sugars in the interior of each grape, producing particularly juicy, exuberant fruity flavors.  This year’s vintage exceeds expectations with its focused, crisp-edged strawberry-blueberry notes.  Serve slightly chilled and pairs beautifully with Thanksgiving classics of roast turkey and cranberry.

With the Beaujolais release comes the vintage celebration on Saturday, November 23rd at Adelaida Cellars.  This year, Guest Chef Donald Wressell will be at the helm.   Chef Wressell is the Executive Chef for E. Guittard Chocolates and former Executive Pastry Chef for the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills.  He has invited Chef Sherry Yard of Spago fame.    He will be presenting his multi-course menu paired with the best of Adelaida wines along with the Beaujolais release.  Tickets are $100/ $80 for wine club.  6:00 PM -10:00 PM  and available at 805.239.8980.  For the menu visit


Time Posted: Nov 20, 2013 at 4:22 PM
Sunni Mullinax
October 17, 2013 | Sunni Mullinax

The University of Cheese and Wine Pairing is happening at Adelaida Cellars

Truth be told, I am a closet cheese-maker.  With two years under my cheese-making belt and a degree in Food Science from Cal Poly, my cheese is still rough and inconsistent.  This makes me appreciate even more the art of fine cheese and the complexities surrounding it.

Through my studies, I have come across many authors on the subject, but none have been more compelling about the complexities of cheese flavors than Laura Werlin.  If you haven't read The Cheese Essentials or The All American Cheese and Wine Book, you are missing out on some incredible cheese insight.

The good news, we are bringing Laura Werlin, national author to Adelaida Cellars on
Sunday, November 10th.  We will be featuring a Cheese and Wine Pairing University with  Laura Werlin. 

Laura is one of the country’s foremost authorities on cheese. She is a James Beard award-winning author of six books on the subject, is a sought-after speaker and spokesperson for consumer and trade organizations, and is a frequent television and radio guest.  She is an expert in cheese and wine pairing and in particular American artisan cheese, Werlin received the prestigious James Beard award for her book The All American Cheese and Wine Book.

The seminar will include Laura’s lively discussion and then tasting of several cheeses paired to Adelaida wines.  With the holiday season upon us, Laura will also add in tips on creating an incredible cheese plate for entertaining.    We will  have her books available for purchase and a book signing too.

Reservations are required for this event as seating is limited.  Tickets are $50 per person and include event and wine tasting to follow.

To reserve your seat, please email

Hope to see you at the Cheese and Wine University!

Time Posted: Oct 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM
Sunni Mullinax
September 9, 2013 | Sunni Mullinax

Adelaida Newsletter Summer 2013

The Summer Newsletter was created throughout the late spring and early summer months of 2013.  With notes from the Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub, insights from Resident Wine Educator Tony Hermann, and from National Sales Manager, Paul Sowerby, a lively review of our cellar wines, it is a work that incorporates the many voices of Adelaida.  Also included is a recipe pairing for Grilled Swordfish, a list of our most recent wines, notes on our new 2011 Pinot Vineyard Series, and a list of upcoming events.

The cover photo is of one of our newest additions, Liam the llama.   He came to Adelaida in March with his big black coat,  thick and matted, from the cold winter months.  His face, warm and friendly, boasts dark eyes and lengthy lashes, giving him the appearance of a big flirt as he greets our guests.   At the winery, Liam's job is to protect the sheep and he acts the part by being on constant watch.  In times of trouble or simply to play, he is always quite the show with his long loose strides and lengthy neck gaining momentum as he removes the sheep from danger.

Click below to see our 2013 Summer Newsletter.  Cheers, Sunni

Time Posted: Sep 9, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Cynthia Bowser
August 28, 2013 | Cynthia Bowser

Harvest 2013 is in Full Swing!

At 2:00am on August 19th our vineyard team started harvesting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from our HMR vineyard as well as a small block of Syrah from our Viking vineyard.  With Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub at the helm, he has been working diligently all year with our Vineyard Consultant, Daniel Fischl and Ranch Managers,  Mike Whitener and Ota Espinoza just for this moment.  The grapes are now ready and we look forward to the results of all of their hard work.  Following is a brief look at some of our new practices, new equipment, and new barrels for the 2013 vintage.

To date we have brought in Chardonnay (HMR Vineyard), Viognier (Anna’s Vineyard), Pinot Noir (HMR Vineyard), Syrah from both Viking and Anna’s Vineyards, Gamay (HMR Vineyard) and Malbec from Viking Vineyard.

New this year, we are harvesting in the middle of the night for several reasons that pertain to our sustainability and quality!  Cool and happy ranch employees.  Second, cooler grapes stay in tact and ensure quality.  Cooler grapes won’t start premature fermentation and last, cooler grapes take less energy to cool down for cold soak prior to fermentation.

New winemaking practice this year- Our Winemaker, Jeremy Weintraub, is executing “pigeage” pronounced peej/AHGE on our Syrah/Viognier blend in order to  delicately introduce Viognier into the Syrah.  Most grapes stay in tact during the whole berry fermentation, while some  juice from both of the varietals are introduced.  This is a tradition borrowed from the Northern Rhône area of France like Cote-Rotie.


This harvest,  we are introducing new Italian winemaking equipment,including the Pellanc de-stemmer and sorting table!

Brand new oak barrels!

You have heard the saying, "Every day is a new day", well, during harvest, every minute is a new day! Stay tuned and we will keep you updated!



Time Posted: Aug 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM
Jeremy Weintraub- Winemaker

It's Getting Hot!

As of June 28, a high pressure system has settled on the entire West Coast, and weather experts are forecasting several days of high heat and possibly record-breaking temperatures. With that projection in mind, and with seeds beginning to harden and veraison on the near horizon, we decided to give the plants some water.

While we employ a technique known as deficit irrigation to control shoot growth and increase grape quality, we want to keep the plants alive. Over the next several days we’ll continue to feed the plants enough water to counterbalance evaporative losses.

These early-season high temps are preferable to those that occur late in the season, as the intense heat induces the green grapes to make sunscreen in the skins, which will provide protection throughout the summer.

When the heat recedes we’ll finish our cluster thinning pass, which we began several weeks ago. This involves culling excessive clusters and those on weak shoots with an aim to balance the fruit load to the age of the vine, its size, the size of the canopy, and the size of the shoots.

Time Posted: Jun 28, 2013 at 4:51 PM
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