Holus Bolus & The Joy Fantastic

I'm sitting in San Francisco listening to NPR. All they have been talking about for the past few days is this upcoming extreme atmospheric river approaching the West Coast starting Saturday late and nasty on Sunday. It will be the first storm of the year, and it's a doozy! It sounds dreary and kind of dangerous with the projected wind and amount of rain that is on the way. Bing, incoming email, the subject read "Sunday Barrel tasting at Holus Bolus" well, that sounds like fun! A quick check of the calendar, no shooting for a few days, a quick look at Tock and Hotels.com, oh, this could work! 

I decided to drive down early Sunday AM. The incoming storm woke me up at 2 AM with wind and rain. I hopped in the car at 4 AM and started to question my decision, and this was going to be a bad storm... By the time I hit Salinas, my decision for a spur-of-the-moment road trip was a good idea. I arrived at the Joy Fantastic Vineyard early, which is Peter and Amy Hunken's 5-acre Estate Vineyard. I had plenty of time to fly the drone around in the morning light—what a beautiful coastal valley. 

Holus Bolus is the winery located in the Wine Ghetto in Nipomo, CA. The Joy Fantastic is the vineyard just a few minutes away, both of which are located on the western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County. A small group gathered at the winery, and we were off to visit the vineyard before returning to taste the current releases and quite a few barrel samples. The Joy Fantastic is a CCOF certified organic vineyard originally planted to 3-acres of Pinot Noir, 1-acre of Chardonnay at the very top of the hillside vineyard, and a 1-acre mix of Syrah clones at the bottom. Last year they grafted 1/2-acre of the Pinot over to Gamay.

It was a beautiful morning with a great group of people tasting current releases and some from next year.  Apparently, Peter is a hoarder of older vintages, so I grabbed a bottle of 2011 Syrah which I'm looking forward to trying alongside the 2019 current release.  Keep an eye out for part two from Holus Bolus & The Joy Fantastic story.  Better yet, take a trip and taste for yourself.  Be sure to reach out for some food recommendations too. I'm still going through withdrawals from a couple of my meals!  www.thejoyfantastic.com

Sunday morning vineyard walk

Peter explaining the grafting process from Pinot over to Gamay

Picking bins from the John Sebastiano Vineyard

CCOF Certified Organic and one of my favorites, the Holus Bolus Roussanne

The lower part of the vineyard can be farmed with a 'no till' method, allowing for greater carbon capture, greater biodiversity, and less erosion.

To be continued...

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