On the road with the Wine Wrangler: Mitchella

Visiting Mitchella Vineyard

Darren and Angela Mitchell could say wine discovered them. They loved Zinfandel particularly Twin Hills and Mastantuono. What they didn't expect was their casual wine indulgence would steer them into a path of winemaking. As it frequently happens, by chance, they tasted a bottle of 1987 Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon. Just like that! Life as they knew it took a colourful turn.

Rare wine is an expensive habit. One whose craving you cannot quench with anything other than wines made in detailed craft. Darrel soon became frustrated at just how much it demanded, both in time and money. Somewhere along the line, he considered it a sensible idea to learn just a bit more about wine and its production.

He took classes at Cuesta Community Collage, taught by Zinfandel maestro, Charles Poalillo.Then another at UC Davis, Allan Hancock, the Aspen School of wine Cal Poly and Copia.Perhaps realising what most of us, wine lovers do; the more you know about wine, the less you actually know.

The Mitchel's got a vineyard of their own and in 1997 planted 20 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Fired up with new learning and a zeal to make fine wines he could enjoy; they moved into the farm house.Telling themselves it was only for a few years, till the vines were at the caliber they envisioned.

Now, almost a decade later, they have transformed the vineyard into a fine wine producer with its own home-away-from-home tasting room (which they still live in by the way). Years spent updating, plotting, tending and handcrafting these small lots have bore fruit with such quality that the limited release wines speak for themselves.

We should say, as a disclaimer, that Mitchella wines are justly hard to come by.The couple chooses to sell in the vineyard or to select retailers like the Paso Robles Wine Club. They are adamant at not producing more than 5000 cases a year!

The Wine Wrangler will deliver you to their Tuscan Style tasting room crowning the Huerhuero Creek. You can sample their artisanal wines paired with elegant cheeses and other gourmet treats.

Sample either of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Grenache, Mourvedre and Portuguese varietals Tinta Cao and Touriga Nacional that go into vintage Port-style wines.