Page 90 - SLO Visitors Guide Winter 2023
P. 90

Wine Tasting
Locatelli Winery — A small winery’s story
 The evolution
Located along the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, in the northern tip of Paso Robles wine country; Lo- catelli Winery was founded in 1996 when Raynette Gregory purchased the land that is now home to estate vineyards, a hospitality center and a winery with custom crush facilities. The transformation from bare land that once was home to cattle and barley fields was a work of pas- sion and a huge undertaking for the family. Shortly after purchasing the property, Raynette's father, Reuben Gruber, lead the way by playing a key role in planting the vineyard. Forty acres of the hundred-acre parcel were planted with Bor- deaux varieties including cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot. Zinfandel and petite Sirah were also planted
Locatelli's wine portfolio has something for every pallette.
to round out the winery’s portfolio. While waiting for the vineyard
to produce the first grapes, a winery with space for a tasting room was built and Raynette moved her fam- ily to the property. Over the years the five children enjoyed country life with plenty of room to roam and play. As the family grew, so did the business.
The charming, small tasting room welcomed guests eager to sample the estate-wines at this hidden gem. With word of mouth and referrals from local wineries the direct-to-consumer business grew, and the wine portfolio was expanded to include some grapes, such as chardonnay from cooler climate vineyards.
Raynette launched custom crush services to other winemak- ers to better utilize the winery space and equipment available. The custom crush business was so suc- cessful that the original winery was no longer able to keep up with the
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