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Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on January 24th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 46 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 46

Spotlight on: Red Carpet Winery

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Pink, sugar-dusted raspberry truffles accompany a moonshine-and-brandy-infused port at the Red Carpet Winery tasting room in Pismo Beach, which opened in December 2012.


TWO CITIES:
David Addamo and his daughter Nicole sit in the recently opened Pismo Beach tasting room for Addamo’s new winery, Red Carpet, which has a sister tasting room in Old Orcutt.
PHOTO BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

It’s the last taste from the fleet of five wines showcased in both of David Addamo’s recently opened Red Carpet tasting rooms; the other opened in July 2012 at the Red Carpet Winery in Old Orcutt in a building Addamo shares with Cottonwood Canyon Winery winemakers. They held their grand opening celebration in December.

A lightly oaked, slightly sweet chardonnay begins the flight, followed by a spiced-up, fruity pinot noir and a velvety smooth syrah. A splash of the heavier, more economically priced Fifty Shades Syrah, complete with a pair of lips on the label, comes just before the port.

At each wine’s source is the same concept: hand-picked Santa Maria grapes made in small batches to a high standard.

“[It’s] designed to accommodate our wine club, our tasting room, and a few restaurants,“ Addamo said. “Versus trying to make wines of mass production that fit a price point in the economy.”

And Addamo knows a little bit about mass-produced wine. His first winery and vineyard, Addamo Estate, was producing 10,000 barrels of wine and distributing it from Los Angeles to San Francisco. He said it took the passion out of winemaking for him.

“And the fun and the passion is back into wine for me,” he said. “Because I am no longer in the stress of distribution and price points.”

Addamo didn’t skip a beat after Addamo Estate Winery filed the $12 million bankruptcy in 2010. Addamo Estate was purchased by billionaire owner and CEO of Greka Energy, Randeep Grewal. The oil company executive took over the winery last June and changed the name to Ca’ del GreVino. Addamo continues to help GreVino winemaker Justin Mund make wine and was able to release his first Red Carpet vintage in 2011.

“I never got off my feet,” Addamo said. “It’s not in my nature; you got to keep going forward.”

It wasn’t the winery itself that caused the vineyard and winery he started in 2000 to file for bankruptcy, he said, but an unsuccessful venture into real estate. It’s one of many ventures he’s attempted in his lifetime. He said he’s a bit of an entrepreneur and started out as a restaurant owner in Hollister, where he used to be host to food and wine paired dinners.

Food and wine pairing is what sparked his desire for winemaking, and it’s a passion he wants to pass on to his children.

His 23-year-old daughter, Nicole, the oldest of five, moved back from Hollister to help her father out with his new winery and is running the Pismo Beach tasting room.

“It’s a lot smaller than the Addamo [Estate],” Nicole said. “I think it’s a lot funner when it’s smaller.”

She plans on helping to pick the next harvest of grapes in the fall and learning as much as she can about the way her father makes wine. For Nicole, watching her father enjoy the winemaking experience is what really stands out for her.

She used the port as an example. They only bottled about 100 cases, which comes out to about six barrels.

“He topped them all off with brandy and had a lot of fun with it,” Nicole said. “It’s really cool to see how he does it.”

The Red Carpet Winery and tasting room in Old Orcutt is at 3940 Dominion Road and open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Pismo Beach tasting room is at 1300 Price St. and open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The grand opening celebration is set for Friday, Jan. 25, from 3 to 7 p.m.

Biz Spotlight was written and compiled by Staff Writer Camillia Lanham. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.