August 6th, 2008 11:31 EST
The Historic Rotta Winery
Continuing on my drive to Cambria along the 46 west to the coast in Paso Robles I stopped at the Historic Rotta Winery. This winery is famous for several reasons. The first is because it was among the first 3 wineries to establish in Paso Robles way back in 1856. Eventually in 1908 the vineyards were sold to the Rotta family and it has been family run ever since. As a wine drinker, when it comes to quality of the wines I drink the later is much more important! Finally the Rotta name is the oldest surviving family winery name in the Paso Robles area.
The winery recently underwent a total remodel. They took great care to preserve many of the equipment and wine barrels that have been on the property for decades. When I met with the tasting room manager, she took me on a tour taking great detail to tell me about the history. One of the most fascinating parts of the tour was the story about Mama Rotta. Nearly 100 years ago you didn`t just have customers driving up, so Mama Rotta installed a bell at the front of the property, when people rang the bell, she would come out and fill up there jug. That is right, I said jug, you know those one gallon glass bottles. In fact in the tasting room they had several of the jugs and bottles that Mama Rotta her self may have filled.
Fast forward 100 years and the Rotta family winery is being run by one of their grandsons, Michael Giubbini. What is amazing about Michael is that he has been able to run this historic winery while being a 30 year fire captain with the California Department of Forestry.
The Rotta winery covers about 20 acres. They currently only focus on red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Black Monukka " a dessert wine, Zinfandel Port, but white wines will also be appearing on the list as well.
I have begun to recently feature their wines in our wine club so I am generally familiar with their wines. As usual I picked two wines to taste. The first was the Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine had a very intense color, with a berry smell on the nose. You get the French oak aromas and vanilla flavors on the mouth. This is an excellent wine and priced very attractively. I also tasted the Black Monukka dessert wine. This is like no other dessert wine I have tasted. I got the aroma of a cognac at first and almost didn`t want to try it. The best description I can give you is that it has a sherry flavor profile. Anyways I persisted and the result was a taste that was so distinctively good I must insist that you try it!
(SOP readers use coupon code "SOP" to get 5% off your next order)
Rocco owns and runs a Bacon of the Month Club called The Bacon Freak Bacon is Meat Candy Club as well as a Wine Club called the Coastal Vineyards Wine Club