A Smashing Success!
That was Aprilís Vintnersí Festival at Firestone Meadow this month!
At the vintnersí festival, the weather before hand will always keep you on pins and needles. This year was no exception. Late into Friday afternoon, we were still getting rain showers in Los Alamos, just a reasonable distance from the Firestone Meadow, venue for the festival.
The day of the festival it was cold and windy. There were tents for the festival. They, luckily, hedged their bets because of the chance of rain.
The festival sold out literally in days before the event.
Just before the festival I had written how the festivalís success was a function of such dedicated people as Jim Fiolek, and board members, the likes of Tim Duggan, and Stephan Bedford, and winery volunteers including good friends Don OíNeill from Zaca Mesa and Sherrill Duggan from Buttonwood Farm.
Before the festival Jim Fiolek called me to make sure I understood that in recent years, it wasnít the staff that was dysfunctional. If dysfunction was the problem, it was inherent in the association, not the staff. We all know, we canít blame the crew for the sinking of the Titanic. The catastrophe stemmed from one single person-the person in charge-the person at the top. And so it was with recent festivals.
So onward and upward, as we look forward to future festivals!
The annual Ag Commissionerís report for San Luis Obispo County has just been released. Wine grapes lead the pack again with annual sales of $127 million, beating out broccoli and cattle.
Ending on a sad note, central coast wine visionary and pioneer, Tom Martin, passed away this month. He was 61. He and his family had owned a successful outdoor advertising company, Martin, which they had sold to 3M. The family ended up in the Paso Robles area and had established Martin Brother Winery. I still have fond memories of their 1981 Edna Valley chardonnay. At present, the family owns the Paso Robles Inn, along with many other properties in the area.
Tom was a very gracious person, and had made arrangements for me to stay at the Country House Inn in Templeton for the very first Paso Robles wine festivals in the early 80s. Although I could never call him a close friend, the few times I spent with him and his family, they were good times. A good man!
And speaking of Paso Robles, their annual event takes place the third weekend of May. Iíll bring you all the details to look forward to, so stay tuned.
Times wine columnist, Bob Senn, lives in the Los Alamos Valley and owns the Los Olivos Wine & Spirits Emporium.
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