Monday, February 25, 2013


     Did you hear that loud sigh?  Caterers, hair stylists, make up people, limo drivers, clothing designers, traffic cops, security people, hospitality employees and who knows how many more can take a deep breath now.  The show is over.  I suspect talent agency offices, production companies, managers, publicists, journalists, craft and guild people and actors all have a lot of open space on their calendars for these first few days after the big show. Except for those who maybe hustling new deals.  And executives who study the ratings and the performance of the show.
     Seth McFarlane is one of those multi talented people and he found moments to shine last night.  Some of the writers however did not.  I felt sorry for a few of the presenters, who in the early portions of the long show, had to deliver lines that simply were bad or did not work.  The production numbers and the award presenters without gags, those with class and even dignity, were, to my taste, the best.
     Count me as one who thinks Andy Griffith should have been in the memorial tribute.  True most people know him from television but his performance in A Face in the Crowd is one for the hall of fame and at least he deserved a memory.
      Many acres of the far west side region of the Paso Robles  appellation are striped by new plantings.
    In some areas the crops extend as far you can see. 
   Not everyone is pleased and a big name player is involved.
  Justin Wines, whose Isosceles is considered one of the world's premier wines, is under new ownership.  Justin Baldwin who mentored the winery to an august reputation that drew an estimated 50 thousand visitors a year, sold the operation to Lynda and Stewart Resnick.  
   The Resnicks are marketing wizards.  Their FIJI Water, Pom Wonderful and Paramount Farms are international brands and the Resnicks appear on a track to take Justin to a "new level."
  Justin has a new winemaker, Scott Shirley who comes from Napa Valley where large operations are the norm. The Paso region, which for decades has provided grapes to large Napa wineries, has emerged as California's darling wine region because of the artistry, science, passion and skill of owner operators, small boutique and mom&pop wineries and the kind of personal touch and contact missing in Napa Valley.  
   The Resnicks appear to be planning an increase in volume of production.  Most of Paso's high volume wine makers are on the east side or east of Paso Robles and the 101. It is a delicate thing to maintain the quality while increasing quantity. While that is true for any business, it is especially so in wine making. So lovers of Paso wines and its reputation for being accessible, friendly and less corporate are keeping an eye on Justin.  
    The mass plantings have annoyed some who worry about a loss of Oak trees and the increased demand on water, at least in the early life of the vines.
    Something you hear repeatedly from Bay Area or northern  California visitors to the Paso Robles region is how amazed they are you can often speak with the wine maker, or that wine tasting room people are experts, friendly and add to the social value of the visit.  Even though Justin was considered a "high end" winery, the same was true there.  We trust that while increasing plantings and vastly remodeling the Justin environs, they will maintain the Paso attitude and ethos. 
    Stay tuned.
    See you down the trail.


  1. I worked for Almaden Vineyards in the 70s back when it was privately owned, and then the company was sold to National Distillers Assoc. and the quality went to hell.

  2. The Resnicks are scum. Read about the Fuji scams, the Pom scams, etc