Immediately after getting a VIP bracelet to allow us to wander around the Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival with our crystal wine glass in hand, looking very lonely and neglected, because it was empty, we found our first wine to sample. The gentleman touting and pouring the wines, asked a very simple question “would you like to try a Bordeaux varietal made in Paso Robles?” I must say even my Bride was intrigued. Not to mention they had the perfect six-pack wine carrier, which was perfect for the “swag” that was offered at different tables, and we were off to a great start.
In 2016, a dream was born by a sister and her younger brother. They even created a tasting room in Downtown San Luis Obispo. Sarah Brewer is an entrepreneur and owner of multiple SLO based business and a self-proclaimed winery muse. Jeff Huskey, began his career in the local SLO wine industry and graduated with a degree in Wine and Viticulture, with concentration in Enology. Together they had a dream, then a goal to create a winery, but in their words “something meaningful.”
We started the evening festivities with glasses of Ragtag Wine Company Malbec Margarita Vineyard Santa Margarita Ranch AVA Paso Robles 2018. Santa Margarita Ranch AVA was established in 2014 as one of the designated sites within the much larger Paso Robles AVA. The region basically is the valley floor from the Salinas River to the Santa Lucia Range, named after the historic Spanish mission outpost of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Margarita Ranch is the southernmost vineyard of the new AVA. The fruit was harvested, destemmed and inoculated with a classic Bordeaux style yeast strain. Upon completion of the malolactic fermentation the wine was aged for seventeen months; twenty percent new American Oak, twenty percent once used French Oak and sixty percent neutral barrels. There were fifteen barrels produced, ten barrels bottled and two-hundred-forty-three cases made. A nice deep color for a Malbec with notes of blueberry, currants, raisins and cloves. On the palate it was a nice big wine with blueberries, currants and spices; a chewy wine with full tannins, nice acidity and a good medium count finish of terroir. The evening was just getting started.