30 July 2010


One of the advantages of living in wine country is enjoying the various wineries at leisure. No need to hop from one to the other down the road getting rather blotto in the process.

We just single out a winery for inspection. Is it inviting? In a friendly and free sort of way? Some wineries, as you may know, charge to taste. This practice made popular by the bigger well-to-do wineries reek of crass commercialism. I refuse to taste at these places unless they have a clause that if you buy something then the tasting is free. I almost always buy at wineries.

One sunny weekend morning we took to the backroads to visit Sculpterra. Mainly because I had seen a fellow local picture's on myspace and thought "How bizarre!" That is usually enough for me.

And indeed How Bizarre!

The gardens are full of very large sculptures of animals.

Since I kind of knew what to expect, we strolled around the gardens before entering the wine tasting bar. I would recommend the opposite course of action.

Also there was bee bushes lining the walkways, and the bees were quite happy doing their bee business. Millions of bees buzzing back and forth, all at knee level. I kept on telling The Mister, "This is bee hell !" He suggested a drink.

Inside there was more sculptures. These were for sale too.

Only $5,400 if I remember correctly.

This was a smaller version of the one outside that I didn't get a picture of, but there is a picture of it in this picture.

All in all, this was a fun winery, if a bit gimmicky. The grounds were limited, yet the wine was tasty and the shop was unusual. I would go back with friends and relatives, maybe enjoy a picnic and a bottle of wine on a cloudy day.


  1. Those sculptures are different, maybe they look better after lots of wine:)

  2. "Is it inviting? In a friendly and free sort of way?"

    That's the key, huh? I have do say, when Marty and I went to Napa last summer, we were quite overwhelmed and inexperienced. We didn't know where to go, and we didn't understand the etiquette. And the places we did go definitely charged for tasting. They were nothing like the places characters visited in "Sideways." :) We just didn't know where to find the cool places, and the California book that I had told me nothing useful like that.

    Maybe now that we up here, we should make more of an effort to find local, friendly places, and go for a picnic. I'll embrace any reason to get off the peninsula anyway; it's been overcast all "summer." (Yeah...this is basically the worst summer ever. I pretty much hate it.)

  3. Ahh, well, Napa can be a bit snobby, so for now forget them Amanda. You need to explore Paso Robles region, Santa Inez area (Sideways), and other pockets like what is close to you, the Carmel Valley area perhaps. Maybe we need to comb the wineries ourselves and write a guide book about the friendly places. ((Wow I actually think this is a VERY good idea!))

  4. Sounds fun. Where is this? Message me if you don't want to say on here. I need a referance list of free tasters around here. I agree with you, tasting use to always be free. I was under 21 then though:)


Thanks for sharing!