Friday, December 10, 2010

All Done with Gill Vineyard

My most important viticultural project of the year is Gill Vineyard, on the mountainous west side of Paso Robles. It has over four acres of hillside clone 877 Syrah, of which I am a big fan, but has never had planned canopy management or been leaf thinned until this year. Results were spectacular; the wine's fantastic, though I'm a little afraid to tell you the finished alcohol. It really doesn't show 'hot' at all.
It's 35 proof.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Not your average business card -

Then again, it's left unvarnished so I can write cryptic notes in the cloudspace.
"WZ2.5 1/7/11 WTF?"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bill Hoppe, 1956-2010

Wilhelm Hoppe, born in Hawaii, was a graduate of Hyde Park CIA before working at several top European restaurants and hotels, and was "the first great Central Coast chef" according to a local writer. He was loved and occasionally feared by almost everyone who knew him, and he was my best friend. I'm very upset, and I don't drink alone.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wine and Zeppelin imagery

Since 1991, every Zeppelin wine label has been the result of my imagination, improved by that of my friends and paid label designers, who are often the same people. Every few years, somebody somewhere makes a Red Zeppelin wine, usually excusing their obvious plagiarism and trademark violation by saying that they got TTB approval for the label. Amazing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cage dancing to Dread Zeppelin!

Band boys and gatekeeper girls . . .

Four of my favorite people who had never met before; Dario and Bobby came from Denver, Denise and Jennifer from Las Vegas.

the Siren, the Swanky, and Susan?

Sorry, Susan, I don't have a nickname for you- yet.

Welcome to California, Twinny.

Gatekeeper Twinny will not be constrained by petty regulation; extracting fundage is her only mission. (Well, not only - parenting Panda is full time as well.)

Cagemasters and gatekeepers . . .

When I'm Swilly Idle, the boundaries change. Redheaded Phedre, the cagemaster, is clearly pleased.
Below: the Siren and the Panda.

The great Dario Rosa on guitar

Three of the four nights featured our friend Dario Rosa and band (that's Cayucos local Tracy Morgan on drums). I first saw Dario in Telluride in 1999 in a band best described as Desi Arnaz on acid; his current style might be a bit less Latin, but it's even more fabulous.

Wet Zeppelin II

This is how the party starts: he jumps out of the Zeppelin just offshore, and surfs on in.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Signed by various musicians, of course. Or you can buy a virgin shirt, and stalk the star of your choice.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

WET ZEPPELIN II, August 11-15, 2010

Yes indeed, five nights (and one day) of mayhem at the Wildest Winery Party in the World. The musical lineup is not dissimilar to last year's debacle (Wet Zeppelin I, aka Altamont by-the-Sea) but this time Dread Zeppelin will play outside their hotel rooms. We will have several different venues, in SLO, Los Osos, and of course Cayucos, though not including the insecure Vets Hall. (Honestly, how did they come to hire Sleepy Gonzales to mind the back door?)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

RockNRoll Wine at Caesar's Palace

Scary picture, eh? I don't think I'm mentioned in Gibbon's "Decline and Fall" but doubtless my ancestors contributed.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hugh Hefner's monkey and Red Zeppelin Vinidiction -

That sounds like the opening line of a joke, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bunnies in the Cellar

The wine flowed like blood, and the blood flowed like wine.

The Ninth Annual WeHo (West Hollywood, ahem) LGBT (you do know what that stands for, right) Awards were held at the Playboy Mansion on March 8, 2010 -and I was asked to pour the Pink Zeppelin, among other selections of my swill. Naturally, I accepted.

Two big pink boys, no?

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Wildest Winery Party in the World

"The Wildest Winery Party in the World" will be held August 11-15, 2010, at Cayucos and beyond. Referring to it as the wildest in the world seems a seamy, unseemly boast - but I've never heard word of its rival; certainly not from anyone who was at "Altamont-by-the-Sea" last year.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Seventh Heaven Vineyard in the spring . . .

That little dark green patch to the right of the avocado orchard in the middle distance is our test planting of Pinot Noir. The slope behind it, and to the right (uphill) is all plantable, and there's another area out of sight downhill and to the left, below the Lenet's house, that has a smaller planting. That's Cayucos Creek Vineyard, so named by yours truly. It is not a tributary of the Armagosa, if you were wondering . . .

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Band practice

Band practice