Central Coast Winery Run (Morro Bay)

One of the favorite runs enjoyed by the MidCal MINIs is the Morro Bay / Paso Robles Run. In years past, the group would head over to the coast and enjoy the twisties on Highway 46 as they made their way to Morro Bay. Once on the coast the group would enjoy a great meal and then head back home, once again taking advantage of the twisties. Some of the MINIs would make a long weekend out of the run and spend the night in Morro Bay or other surrounding communities. This year, on August 27, 2011, the group decided to spice it up at bit and rather than heading straight to Morro Bay, a very enjoyable lunch and afternoon was spent at Rotta Winery. Upon arriving at the winery the MINIs were greeted by host and winery owner Mike Guibbini.

Rotta Winery, in Templeton California is located west of Hwy 101, just south of Hwy 46, at 250 Winery Road. Features of the trip included: a Winery Tour, free wine tasting (all fees waived for MCM folks), 10% discount on all wine purchases, and a catered box lunch for all participants ($10.00 per lunch, which was wonderful by the way). An added feature was a live band warming up for the evening wedding of Mike’s niece at the winery. After a great afternoon, a few of the MINIs headed over to Morro Bay for the night and took in some local sites and events as well.

Rotta Winery, founded in 1908 by the Rotta Family, is the only remaining family owned “original” winery in San Luis Obispo County. Mike Giubbini, grandson to the Rotta Family and Mark Caporale of Napa, have combined their talents to “bring back to life” the historic and rustic winery. Today, Rotta Winery, just as in days of old, specializes in premium red and white wines along with flavorful and distinct dessert wines.

Rotta History

The original vineyard and winery were started in 1856 by a Frenchman named Adolph Siot, who later sold the successful winery to Joe Rotta in 1908. In the 1920s, Rotta then sold it to his brother Clement Rotta, who bonded the winery after Prohibition in the 1930s and forged the name “Rotta”. Today, the Rotta label and winery are being revived by one of their grandsons, Michael Giubbini, who remembers long, happy days of working in the vineyard as a child when he visited his grandparents from his home in Menlo Park. The 20-acre Rotta estate vineyard has 15 acres in Zinfandel and five in Cabernet Sauvignon. In reviving the Rotta Winery label, Mike is also re-establishing a link with history by working with winemaker Steve Pesenti, whose grandparents and parents were neighbors of Giubbini’s. For now the Rotta label is focusing on red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Black Monukka– a dessert wine, Zinfandel Port, but white wines will also be appearing on the list as well. All of the fruit for the label will be sourced from local vineyards, especially those from the Westside. Both Mike and Steve are strong believers in the potential of the Paso Robles area, and particularly the Templeton region where their ancestors farmed.

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