Why Visit Halter Ranch?
Halter Ranch is an expansive winery with sustainably farmed vineyards producing a variety of wines on the west side of Paso Robles. I first visited Halter Ranch years ago when, if I’m recalling correctly, their tasting room was in a house near the front of their property. It’s truly incredible to see how far Halter Ranch has come over the past few years. Halter Ranch opened in 2002 with their first vintage released in 2005. The first vintage in the new facility was in 2011.
The vineyards of this far-reaching 2000 acre ranch encompass around 281 acres in total, which include 13 different varietals planted in 77 separate vineyard blocks. The blocks are diverse in soil and elevation, ranging from 1350 to 1800 feet. Varieties planted include Picpoul Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Tannat, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Tampranillo, and Carignan.
The new state-of-the-art production facility and massive gorgeous tasting room are nothing to scoff at. The tasting room overlooks the rolling hills and vineyards of west side Paso Robles and it’s a huge tasting room at that. There are three bars to choose from plus a significant amount of outdoor seating so you can sit down, relax and enjoy the view with a glass of wine. My mom and I stopped in on Easter since Halter Ranch was one of the handful of wineries open on Easter Sunday. We went through the tasting flight. Then bought a glass of our favorite, the 2015 Ancestor, and sat outside to enjoy the views on a gorgeous, sunny Sunday. We were even told that Halter Ranch hosts live music evenings in the summer, so I will definitely be returning for some summer fun!
Complimentary Winery & Cave Tour
One of the coolest parts about visiting Halter Ranch is the complimentary offering of winery & cave tours. Typically, the tour is about an hour long and offered on weekdays at 11am and 1pm or on weekends at 11am, 12pm, and 1pm. Since I work in the industry, the tasting room staff hosting us were kind enough to take my mom and I on an abbreviated version of the tour. It was so cool!
The production facility is quite impressive and our host walked us through all steps of production. The facility is gravity fed with about 36 main tanks with larger capacities. After touring the production facility we walked through about 20,000 feet of barrel caves that were nice and cool. The caves were completely lined with barrels and there was even a rad farmhouse style table hidden in an outlet of the caves underground for winemaker dinners.
Other Offerings at Halter Ranch
Head out to explore the widespread vineyards of Halter Ranch in the winery’s Land Rover. You will visit the property’s Ancestor Oak, soak up the west side views from the highest point on the property, take a tour of the winery and caves, and round out the experience with a wine tasting. This experience is offered seven days a week at 10am for $55 per person ($45 wine club member price).
Barrel Tasting Tour
Halter Ranch also offers a tour of their state-of-the-art, gravity flow winery and barrel caves, followed by a sampling of wines straight from the barrel. The tour finishes with a private wine tasting of their current releases. This special experience is solely offered at 10am on the weekends for $40 per person ($30 for wine club members).
All of the wines on the flight at Halter Ranch were quite easy drinking. The two standouts for me are the 2016 Grenache Blanc and the 2015 Ancestor.
The 2016 Grenache Blanc was delicate and nuanced with just a bit of brightness on the palate from the inclusion of Picpoul Blanc. I definitely picked up notes of honeysuckle, honeydew melon, and pear. This is a perfect, crisp white for hot summer days by the pool.
The 2015 Ancestor was the red on the list that had the most to offer. Well layered, a good structure, and a silky smooth mouthfeel. I purchased a glass of this to enjoy with the stellar view!
Here are the tasting notes provided by Halter Ranch for your review. Head out there and take in this experience for yourself!
The tasting flight is typically $20 per person, waived with a 2 bottle purchase. Cheers!