First Crush

Published September 7, 2012

Another meeting with famed winemaker, Gray Hartley of Hitching Post Wines, was kind of like an esteemed ride along. We started the afternoon hand de-stemming and hand crushing grapes to check their sugar reading on a refractometer. It was my first crush!

First Crush (Pinoit)

Then, we packed over 30 cases for a few deliveries. Winemakers do hand deliveries? For a good return customer, yes. Hitching Post makes hand crafted wine so you’re not dealing with some corporate junkies.

We were off on our way to deliver 10 cases of wine to the Hitching Post restaurant in Casmalia and 20 cases to a customer in Santa Maria. When we arrived at the customer’s business address, the place was a railroad office surrounded by fields. The front gate said “No Tresspassing” and our contact wasn’t answering. So we spun around the block a few times, and returned to an open gate.

When the winemaker approached the tattered office building, he tells me there’s something I’ve got to see in the foyer. It’s a pig. Yes an animal, living there in this office building entry. He thought he was a dog; came out of his doghouse to greet us and say hello but the place was definitely his turf. Office workers say the pig was there when they showed up so they keep him as a pet. His name is Wigly.

What a trip!

More from my appellation adventures in this region.


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