My wife and I had the opportunity to head down to Tolosa Winery this past Sunday to partake in these new tours they are doing, and I must say…I was pleasantly surprised.
You see, we’ve done a ton of wine-type tours and they’ve all been really cool, but often times they lag or they just go for too long. As a human that gets easily distracted, and often, I need brevity! This tour gives you exactly that, it’s an hour long tour (give or take) that takes you from their Heritage Room & Hospitality Center to the vineyards to the unload and sort area to the wine making facility to the barrel room. They cover a really good amount of information in that time and discuss all the ways in which they are SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice, through the Central Coast Vineyard Team). It was super cool and intimate as there were about eight of us on the tour, plus two tour guides.
The Tolosa Tour Scoop
There were four stops along the tour where they featured a fantastic food pairing from Meze Wine Market & Café along with one of their Tolosa wines. Those pairings went as followed:
-2010 No Oak Chardonnay paired with a farmer’s market date stuffed with Spanish sheep’s milk fromage blanc.
-2010 Estate Chardonnay paired with an endive cup with whipped happy acres chevre with honey and herbs de provence dusted with local pistachios.
-2009 Pinot Noir paired with fresh mozzarella topped with roasted local heirloom tomatoes and rolled in speck cured Italian ham.
-2011 Syrah Barrel Sample paired with calmyrna figs dipped in five spice chocolate, rolled in orange graham cracker and topped with bleu de causes (French blue cow’s milk cheese).
Holy wine and food pairings Batman!! All were great but my favorites were…well, all of them to be honest. The first pairing was crazy good…I’m a sucker for a stuffed date (no, there’s no joke in that line).
Some interesting facts about Tolosa learned on the tour:
-All winery waste including grape seeds and skins are recycled, composted, or otherwise recovered.
-Every drop of water that they use in the winery is recovered and biologically processed until all the water is utilized a second time through the drip systems to water the vineyards.
-They use cover crops between rows that reduce erosion, build soil fertility, and provide habitat for beneficial insects.
-100% solar powered: 2,505 solar tracking panels installed in August of 2009. To date, this system’s solar-generated electricity has reduced emissions of carbon dioxide by over 1,772 tons. These emissions reductions are equivalent to planting nearly 365 acres of trees or not driving 3,701,798 miles.
It really is impressive when you see wineries (or any business for that matter) take the environmental issues we face this seriously and actually follow through and do their part. In my opinion, Tolosa is one of those that is doing more than their part…and they have kick ass wines to boot!!
As of right now these tours are offered on Sunday’s through September. They limit these tours to 10-12 people per tour and the cost is $35 for the general public and $28 for wine club members. My recommendation is to sign up for the hour long tour and when it’s over, grab a glass or a bottle and go sit on their amazing back patio. It’s a great spot to hang out with views of the vineyards and watching the planes come in getting ready to land at the SLO airport.
Cheers folks, get out there and adventure. And thanks again to Tolosa Winery, well done!!