Halter Ranch Vineyard, located west of Paso Robles, is a vineyard and winery spanning 2,000 acres, where visitors are greeted by an interesting variety of historic buildings. Across the lawn is a covered bridge that connects the old with the new, crossing over Las Tablas Creek. Past the bridge is the vineyard's wine caves and the new gravity flow winery that lies at the heart of the estate. Innovation and tradition are combined to produce high quality Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines at Halter Ranch in the Central Coast Wine Country of California.
Both red and white wines blended from Rhône and Bordeaux grape varieties are produced at Halter Ranch Vineyard. The winery's primary wines are Syrah, cabernet sauvignon, Grenache Blanc, CDP (a Rhône style, Grenache-based blend), and their Estate Reserve, Ancestor. Reserve level wines, such as Malbec, Tempranillo, and the Reserve Syrah, are created for Halter Ranch's Silver Label Club when conditions are right.
The wine caves behind the winery at Halter Ranch curve into the hillside in the shape of a double rainbow. Three entry portals give access to the wine storage caves, with the main entrance opening directly onto the cellar floor. Containing 20,000 square feet of floor space, the wine caves provide passive cooling during barrel aging of the wines. Cool mass provided by the hillside's limestone as well as the concrete in the floor and walls of the cave stabilize the temperature of the caves at 55°F while maintaining the adequate amount of humidity for the storage of wine.
Once part of a 3,600-acre holding owned by Edwin Smith, Halter Ranch Vineyard dates back to 1880s. Smith, a businessman, moved to the Adelaida area in 1874. He acquired the land that would later become Halter Ranch in 1881, after which he constructed a grand Victorian farmhouse on the site. Smith started dealing in farm livestock and produce, and was heavily invested in silver mining. He was also an horse racing enthusiast and kept a stable of thoroughbreds on his property.
The estate was broken up in the early 1900s. In 1943, the MacGillivray family purchased 1,200 acres and farmed the land for about 50 years. They introduced the first grapevines on the property in 1996. The stunning Victorian farmhouse built by Smith is still a landmark of Paso Robles and remains the cornerstone of the Adelaida District. Hansjörg Wyss, born and raised in Switzerland, bought 900 acres of the ranch in 2000. He renovated the historic farmhouse once occupied by Edwin Smith, and started to expand the vineyard, which now occupies 280 acres. Wyss wanted to pursue a dream of producing world-class wines and believed Paso Robles to be the best place in California to do so.
The Halter Ranch Vineyard sits on the south-facing slopes of the estate. These slopes are rich in limestone, something that many of the finest vineyards in the world have in common. The vineyard grows 13 varieties of grapes across 77 separate vineyard blocks organized mainly by soil type, ranging from clay loam with sandstone and shale deposits to calcareous clay. Sixty percent of the grape varieties are Bordeaux varieties, with the other 40% being Rhone varieties and Tempranillo.
8910 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone: 888-367-9977