This past Friday, the Parker Sanpei team got out of the office for some hands-on research and education. We recently signed up to take the WSET certification course, and we couldn’t think of a better way to study than spending a Friday afternoon wine tasting.
We had two stops planned for the day, Stephen Ross Wine Cellars and Refugio Ranch Vineyards. We had not visited either tasting room before, so we went in with open minds and left with new knowledge, great memories and even a few bottles of wine.
Our first stop was Stephen Ross Wine Cellars. We were greeted at the door by Paula Dooley, who led us into the impressive winery in the back. The winery serves as a custom crush facility where winemaker Stephen Ross Dooley makes wines for his own label, along with wines for a few other labels.
After we toured the winery, we went back to the tasting room to start our tasting. The first wine was a crisp, well-balanced Chardonnay. From there, we moved on to a Rosé of Pinot Noir, a Syrah and finished with two Pinot Noirs. The Pinot Noirs are both sourced from different vineyards with very different climates and growing conditions. Paula explained how much the terroir influences the wine, and the two Pinot Noirs were beautiful representations of where they come from. Each wine we tasted at Stephen Ross Wine Cellars was delicious, and we left with a few bottles of the Rosé of Pinot Noir.
Our next stop was Refugio Ranch Vineyards. Refugio Ranch has a well established tasting room in Los Olivos, and just opened a tasting room in San Luis Obispo in December of 2016. We were eager to see the new location and try the wines, and we were not disappointed!
Our tasting started off with a Malvasia Bianca, an aromatic white Italian grape that is not widely grown on the Central Coast. Refugio Ranch Vineyards has a few acres of this variety planted, and we loved it! We progressed through a list of more mouthwatering whites, a Rosé and a few blends. Our tasting room host was very knowledgeable and was more than willing to answer the barrage of questions we threw at him throughout the tasting. We enjoyed every wine we tried here and ended up purchasing a few bottles to bring home.
Follow along as we continue to swirl, sip and savor our way through the many wineries in San Luis Obispo County and beyond!