Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 37
Spotlight on: Pali Wine CompanyTim Perr and Scott Knight, owners
BY CAMILLIA LANHAM
Visitors on the Lompoc Wine Ghetto walking tour can now add another tasting room to their door-to-door winery trail. The Pali Wine Company opened the newest tasting room addition at the beginning of November.
It’s Pali’s third tasting room. The first one is at the winery itself, which is at 1036 Aviation Drive in Lompoc. It’s doused with the activity of the winemaking industry, and is a little less formal than most, according to marketing director Stacey Rosser.
“It’s really like a big industrial facility and we kind of carved out a little corner among the barrels [for tasting],” Rosser said. “It certainly wasn’t really conducive to relaxing and tasting through wine.”
She added that some people enjoy being in the middle of all the action, but the winery’s owners felt it was time to do something a bit more formal. They opened a tasting room in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone about a year and a half ago, and it received a spot on USA Today’s “Best of Santa Barbara” list.
That’s when the folks at Pali decided it was time to establish a more formal tasting room closer to home. Pali was already renting a space for barrel storage in the Wine Ghetto area, so they converted it into a tasting room with recycled flair.
“Again, we carved out a space among the barrels,” Rosser said. “We feel like we make the wine in Lompoc and we wanted to have a presence there. … We want to be a part of that wine trail.”
A gigantic blackboard-paint-covered wall greets tasters as they enter, and although the space has only been open for a couple of weeks, Rosser said the wall is already covered with murals, comments, poems, and Pali logos.
Wood panels line the sides of the bar, which is topped off with shiny scrap metal, and it sits in front of rows of wooden wine barrels. Footrests are made out of melted oil pipe that’s been stamped with the Pali insignia.
“We felt, in this era, [recycling] was an important thing to do,” Rosser said. “It’s just like a hodgepodge, but it looks really cool.”
The room itself is still a work in progress, as are the plans for future events. Rosser got excited talking about the potential events. The owners want to transfer over some of the things that have worked really well in Santa Barbara, such as blending parties.
It’s a sweet idea: The winemaker, Aaron Walker, brings several wines in and customers mix and match the wines to create their own blends to take home.
The blends could be made up of several of the Pali vintages. Though the winery has specialized in pinot noirs and chardonnays since it opened in 2005, Pali has since added a second label, Tower 15, which is made up of heavier wines produced from Paso Robles-area grapes.
Tastings at the winery itself will still continue, but most likely by appointment only. Rosser said the Pali team is excited to be part of the Wine Ghetto, which has an industrial feel to it. Rather than being among the hills and valleys of wine country—where you also have to drive from winery to winery—wine trail visitors come to one place and walk from door to door to taste hand-crafted wines from smaller, non-commercial wineries.
“There’s a whole cluster of them, and I think that’s what makes it fun,” Rosser said. “I think there’s a certain charm to that.”
Pali’s new tasting room is located at 1501 E. Chestnut Court, and is open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit paliwineco.com.
Staff Writer Camillia Lanham wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.