Monday, November 12, 2018

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar

A Calendar that Shows Off Paso Robles Wine Country

It's been years since I created a Zazzle calendar to show off our Paso Robles and Templeton Gap wineries and vineyards. Finally, though, I've produced one for 2019. It includes shots of some of my favorite wine country scenes. I hope some are your favorites, too. In this post I'll show you the photos I've included with some information about each.

This may be just the gift for one of your friends this year. Those with gift shops can get lower prices on larger quantities for resale. Here's the cover. I took this shot looking out at the vineyard behind the Rotta Tasting Room in Templeton. It was taken in late March, 2014. Get your copy of the calendar here. 

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar - Cover

January: The Covered Bridge at Halter Ranch

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Halter Ranch Photo

I discovered this covered bridge in a roundabout way. In 2014 I was walking through Studios on the Park as I often do.  I happened into the studio of Carol Timson Ball. She wasn’t there herself, but Katherine Moldauer whose turn it was to man the studio, was able to answer questions.  As I looked at Carol’s paintings of local scenic places, I offhandedly said to Katherine, “That covered bridge isn’t in this county.” Katherine replied, “Yes it is.”


She answered, “At Halter Ranch.” She explained it was a winery at the end of a country road I happen to live near the other end of. I couldn’t believe I had a covered bridge just a few miles away and I didn’t know it.

We simply don’t have covered bridges in this part of the county. What for? There’s hardly ever any rain and our rivers are dry by late spring. Of course, Katherine didn’t explain that the bridge has only lived here since 2009. Naturally I decided it was time I see the bridge for myself, so the next day we visited Halter Ranch, where I took the picture you see above.

February: Zenaida Tasting Room

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Zenaida Photo

Although Zenaida has beautiful vineyards, I chose this photo because it also has gorgeous oak trees. It's hard to choose just one photo to represent a winery. See some other photos of the Zenaida vineyards here.

March: Maintenance in a Bethel Road Vineyard

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Spring Maintenance Photo

This vineyard has had more than one name in the past. It was once JanKris and later became known as Veris. Then Veris was sold and now, after a long time in transition, the vineyard appears to be part of Bethel Road Distillery. I've been watching for the transition and usually see a closed parking lot when I drive by and no evidence this is open except their Facebook page. Meanwhile, I miss the old Veris Tasting Room with its majestic oak tree in front and its lovely gardens and vineyards. There are still vineyards on the property. See what it used to be in my pictorial history of the Veris Cellars . It's my tribute to what was once one of the loveliest settings for a tasting room in this area. It looks kind of sad now.

April: Tooth and Nail Castle and Tasting Room

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Tooth and Nail Photo

Paso Robles Wine Country is constantly changing. The Tooth and Nail tasting room, pictured above, is another example of that.

 Previously it was Eagle Castle, another winery that closed. The castle was vacant for a couple of years. I live near the castle and watched Eagle Castle go up.  It was a bit like a museum and housed many antiques. The tasting room was lively on the occasions when I was there. I was sad when it closed. I saw it sit vacant for many months and then gradually transform into Tooth and Nail. The antiques are gone. Some say the Eagle Castle wine wasn't good enough and that's why it didn't survive. I don't drink wine, so I'm no judge of it. I know it won some awards. I loved the castle and that's why I wrote this pictorial history of the castle itself as I've watched it through the years.

May: Pomar Junction 

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Pomar Junction Photo

One thing that makes Pomar Junction is distinctive is its connection with the railroad. Part of the reason for its name is that the Merrill family who owns it have railroad engineers it its lineage. That's also part of the reason you will find an actual boxcar and caboose at the small "depot" beside the vineyard at Pomar Junction. The photo I used in the calendar is a cropped version of the photo above that focuses primarily on the railroad cars. See some of my other shots of these railroad cars at Pomar Junction here. 

June: Peachy Canyon Gazebo and Picnic Area

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Peachy Canyon Gazebo Photo

Whenever I seek a serene environment, I head for Peachy Canyon tasting room and its beautiful park like grounds in Templeton. I love the oak trees, a couple of which are towering over the gazebo in the picture. Sometimes I see squirrels playing in them. The gift shop inside the tasting room always has something new to see, and I enjoy finding and saying hello to the Maine Coon cats. I found this one near the red valerian near the parking lot.

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Peachy Canyon Maine Coon Cat

July: Classic Cars at Sculpterra Winery on Independence Day

C2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Classic Cars at Sculpterra Photo on July 4

The Independence Day Party hosted by Dr. Warren Frankel at his Sculpterra Winery is our go to place on the afternoon of July 4. So far it's always been free and family friendly. Those who attend learn why we celebrate the day and meet many of our local elected officials who usually say a few words. The photo above that appears in the calendar is one of the many classic cars that some people show off at the party. Those who drive the classic cars seem to get the best parking places, closest to the action. I took this photo at the 2013 party. You can see my illustrated blog post on the 2014 party here. 

August: A Templeton Vineyard with Sunflowers in the Foreground

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Vineyard and Sunflowers Photo

I'm not sure who owns this vineyard. It may be one of the private ones, but I don't for sure. Those sunflowers caught my eye and I couldn't resist taking the photo. I believe I saw this scene on Las Tablas Road in Templeton.  For the calendar I cropped off the lower fence rail. I couldn't do much about the wires.

September: Harvest Time at Doce Robles

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Doce Robles at Harvest Time Photo

It's always hard to choose just one photo to represent Doce Robles. I probably take more pictures there than at any other vineyard because it's such a great place to photograph sunsets. It's also a safe place to park if you head west on Highway 46 West and the sun is in your eyes making you too blind to drive safely. If you visit Doce Robles, don't be surprised if German shepherds greet you before you get into the tasting room.

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Doce Robles German Shepherds

Niner: Heart Hill in Autumn

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Heart Hill in Autumn

Heart Hill is a natural heart shaped oak grove. Niner Estates planted vineyards around it. In autumn it becomes a spectacular sight when the leaves put on their autumn colors. There's no way I could leave a photo of Heart Hill in autumn out of this calendar!

November: Harvest Display at Turley in Templeton

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Turley Autumn Display Photo

Turley always has an attractive seasonal display near its entrance during the autumn holidays. These displays, like this one, usually feature colorful pumpkins and squashes.

December: Castoro Windmill in the Sunset

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Castoro Windmill in Sunset Photo

December is the sunset of the old year, so I thought this was appropriate. Besides that, I love the way this windmill looks in the sunset. I cropped this photo a bit for the calendar page so it would fit the format.

More about the Calendar's Features

The back cover of the calendar contains a list of all photo locations in case you want to identify them. There wasn't room to write everything on the photos themselves. If you decide to customize the calendar with some of your own photos, don't forget to change the descriptions on that back cover.

You can choose between many different sizes and wire binding colors. I made mine white. Order your copy of the calendar here.

Some of these scenes are also featured on posters, postcards, and other products in my Zazzle California Wine Country Memories and Gifts store.  Here's a sample, with some variations:

It is easy to customize the options to get what you want on this calendar. I intended it to be only a twelve month calendar, so I have only included photos for twelve months. You can choose a one or two page layout and chose a different set of holidays to include than the default. Although some photos I have posted here have my name on them, that is not the case as the photos appear on the calendar itself.

Which calendar month photo did you like best?

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Feline Friends

Friendship Takes More than One

The City Daily Photo theme this month is "friend." But it's hard to be a friend in isolation. I have chosen today to feature some of the cats I have seen befriending each other and my own best feline friend.

Peachy Canyon Tasting Room Feline Friends

Peaches and Herbie hang out at the Peachy Canyon Tasting Room on Bethel Road and Highway 46 West in Templeton. I often see them separately, but on this day in March I saw them together, helping each other as friends do. They are Maine Coon cats and I always look forward to seeing them when I visit.

This short video shows how they help each other and what good friends they are.

I have featured Peaches and Herbie in my Zazzle Store, as well as my now departed and much missed feline friend. I'll tell you about her next.

Sarah the Tuxedo Cat and her Sidekick Garfield

Sarah and Garfield belonged to my neighbors who live in a mobile home on the other side of our driveway, across from our house. They are two of the five cats my neighbors owned at the time. I like to make friends with neighbor cats on my property, and I set about  trying to woo Sarah. I followed her into the oddest places with my camera, speaking calmly to her and not getting too close at first.

First I tried to befriend her when I found her on her porch. When I approached her she was resting, but as she saw me she got up, prepared to run away. I snapped her before she could.

There was a refrigerator the neighbors had ready to haul away, and she jumped to the top of that. I followed with my camera.

She would not let me get too close.

About three weeks later I snapped her photo as she rested on top of the water softener inside its cabinet. Someone had left the door open. She was making me work hard in this relationship.

After close to a month of wooing, cat treats in hand, she finally allowed me to get close and pet her. Then she began to hang out on an old chair on my porch almost every day. She was always there to greet me when I came home in the evenings. She actually was probably waiting just as much for the cat treat she knew she'd get. Whichever, I always looked forward to seeing her there, until she was no longer there. I heard coyotes howling the night before I didn't see her anymore. It hurt my heart. Her owners left their cats out at night, except for their kitten. I never felt quite the same way about coming home after that.

Garfield soon caught on that Sarah got cat treats when she hung around my porch, so he began to show up, too. You can read more about my history with them and see some more photos of the two of them here. 

See my other feline friends from the past.

See how other City Daily Photo Bloggers have interpreted this theme.
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