Paso Robles is home to a multitude of wonderful wineries! On a recent visit, we left the rolling hills for trendy Tin City to explore Field Recordings Wine.
Tin City is home to restaurants, breweries, wineries, and more. Of course, we focused on food and wine; the core needs of all adults. We first enjoyed a delicious lunch at McFee’s Canteen, sitting in their lovely outdoor dining area among the stacked boulders gushing with water. As we munched, we checked out the Tin City map and made our plan for the afternoon of exploring. Since parking spots are quite dear in Tin City, we were hoping to be able to walk our way through the day’s planned winery tour. We walked a mere dozen feet from McFee’s to the entrance to Field Recordings Wine.
We climbed the stairway to their second floor tasting room and were greeted by wine guide Hugo. The tasting room was very trendy, with lots of metal and hard edges in every direction. Hugo seated us outdoors at an umbrella-covered table and set us up with bottled waters and tasting menus. We learned that Field Recordings boasted only 12 full-time employees, yet enjoyed volume distribution through Whole Foods nationally. Field Recordings is also one of the pioneers of producing wine in single serving cans. Additionally, they have ownership interests in beer and cider labels. Quite a lot of productivity out of a dozen people! They purchase the majority of their fruit, focusing on the production, packaging, and marketing of their products.
The Field Recordings Covid protocol included a unique method for pouring wine into our glasses: Hugo poured the wine into a beaker, and we poured the wine from the beaker into our glasses. This meant that there was no risk of contamination from our glasses back to the wine bottle. That also allowed us to adjust the size of a taste to each taster’s needs. Well done! We started with their 2019 Shell Creek Chenin Blanc. Hugo told us that this wine was aged in “cigar” barrels, which are four times longer than traditional wine barrels. This reduced oak contact may have contributed to the light and nuanced apricot and mango aromas and flavors of lemon and butter.
We next tasted their 2020 Domo Arigato, a Romato-style wine that has been used in Italy for generations. Leaving the Pinot Grigio juice on the skins for 45 days resulted in an orange wine that we found both enjoyable and confusing. With aromas of watermelon and lots of fruit on the palate, we thought that this would be a great picnic wine. Hugo then poured their 2019 Festa Touriga National, a sporty wine with tumultuous fruit layers and a tart, acidic finish. Our penultimate taste was their 2019 Alta Gaviota Nebbiolo. We appreciated the slate and leather nose and the coffee and cocoa flavors generated from what Hugo told us were only 5 year-old vines. Our tasting concluded with their 2020 Alta Gaviota Barbera. A fruity nose with cola and caramel flavors let us to a gentle finish with restrained tannins. A good wine to wrap up a tasting!
We had quite a plan for the afternoon, so we didn’t dawdle. We purchased our wine, thanked Hugo for his hospitality, and set off toward another new winery to discover!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?