This is a monthly roundup of the wine and beer industry’s events and the people who work in the region’s industry.

The Thornhill Companies is nearing the launch of its newest wine brand, Barrel Burner, which will feature chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon priced between $15 and $20 per bottle. The
wines will be available by Sept. 1.

Barrel Burner Wines are sourced from vineyards in the Paso Robles AVA, a region recognized as one of the top in the United States, and one that provides ideal terroir for chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon given its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, said publicist Lacy Fussel.

The grapes for these new wines are sourced from two distinct AVAs within the greater Paso Robles AVA: the Estrella and Highlands districts.

Barrel Burner’s wine program is led by winemaker Clay Brock, a highly acclaimed winemaker and the 2010 Paso Winemaker of the Year. He is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a
second-generation vintner.

The Thornhill Companies, based in Santa Barbara, is owned by the Miller family, which has farmed the Central Coast for five generations.

It owns Bien Nacido Estate Vineyards and wines, J. Wilkes, Ballard Lane, Smashberry and Barrel Burner wines, French Camp Vineyard in Paso Robles and two custom crush facilities, Central Coast Wine Services and Paso Robles Wine Services.

First-ever Solvang Stomp event scheduled for October

Tracy Farhad, executive director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, in July announced the organization’s inaugural Solvang Stomp, a “Footie” Wine Harvest Street Festival.

The event will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, in downtown Solvang on First Street (between Mission Drive/Highway 246 and Copenhagen Drive). 
“Solvang is surrounded by world-class vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms. October is harvest time, which means it’s a fun time to taste new wine and stomp grapes! Solvang CVB is proud to
present this event to celebrate our local wine heritage,” Farhad said.
Solvang Stomp attendees can stomp grapes barefoot in vats, sip tastes from dozens of area wineries, dance to a live band, drink pink in the “I Love Rosé Lounge” and purchase food inside
the festival area.

Among the eateries participating will be Cecco Ristorante, First & Oak and California Tacos. Also featured will be a “Lucy & Ricky Ricardo Look-a-Like Contest.”

A VIP Stompers ticket (limited to 100 guests) includes early admission at 1 p.m. and food tasting and is $100 per person; general admission, from 2 to 5 p.m., is $75 per person.

The event is limited to ages 21 and older only. Tickets:

Presenting the event is the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, with sponsorship support from Visit Santa Ynez Valley and the City of Solvang. Ten percent of net proceeds will
benefit the Santa Barbara Vintners organization. 

Los Alamos plans food and wine event

Eat, Play, Love Los Alamos, the inaugural culinary and wine event scheduled to benefit the Los Alamos Public Library, will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 25, on Bell Street, Los Alamos.

Participants are invited to stroll downtown Los Alamos and sample wines, beers, appetizers, desserts and chocolates offered by 13 local businesses, including Full of Life Flatbread, Bodega Los Alamos, Casa Dumetz Wines, Babi’s Beer Emporium, Vallefresh; Bell’s, Pico, Municipal Winemakers, Bedford Winery, Lo-Fi Wines, Plenty on Bell Restaurant, Bob’s Wellbread Bakery and Decadence Fine Cakes & Desserts. 

The event is limited to those aged 21 years and older. Tickets are $30 per person, and include a wine glass and passport/punch card. 

Only 150 tickets are available and the event is expected to sell out. All proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Los Alamos Public Library, a (501c3) nonprofit.

Buy online or in person at or at Bedford Winery, 448 Bell St.

To enter the grand prize drawing for a one-week stay at a South Lake Tahoe hotel, guests must visit every participating business and get their passport card punched.

Paso Robles winery wins top prize at California Mid-State Fair

The Central Coast Wine Competition has named Paso Robles’ Cass Vineyard & Winery the 2018 Winery of the Year. This is the second honor for Cass, which took home the same award in 2015.
The award was presented July 20 at the Wine Industry Awards & Gold Medal during the California Mid-State Fair.
“We couldn’t be more humbled to win this award from this terrific competition that takes place right here in the Paso Robles community,” said Steve Cass, co-owner of Cass Vineyard &
All 14 wines Cass entered received medals. Cass was awarded a double gold medal, six gold medals, six silver medals and a bronze medal from the panel of 18 expert judges during the
blind-tasting competition, held June 20 and 21.
The complete list of all the results for 2018, and prior years, is available on

— Laurie Jervis blogs about wine at, tweets at @lauriejervis and can be reached via The opinions expressed are her own.

Laurie Jervis

Laurie Jervis, Noozhawk Columnist

Laurie Jervis can be reached at The opinions expressed are her own.