We recently learned that there is a new wine cave called "Cellar Mates" going up in Paso Robles wine country, and we caught up with Becky Zelinski, owner of First Crush Winemaking, to find out more about it.
Travel Paso: So First Crush Winemaking is moving into a wine cave? That sounds amazing, tell us about it.
First Crush: We're very excited. The cave will be amazing. When guests walk into the tasting room, they will feel like they are walking into a wine cave. The owner of the building builds caves and rock features so we are fortunate to be receiving the benefits of his talents to create this unique tasting room and winery concept. First Crush is the anchor winery in a new cooperative wine tasting cave called "Cellar Mates - collaborative wine tasting cave". Cellar Mates will be the first and only collaborative winery and tasting room in Paso Robles. We will have four boutique wineries represented who will be able to produce their wines and pour at the cave, giving visitors a really unique tasting experience. Each winery produces different styles of wine to offer a well-rounded experience for guests.
TP: Four wineries in one cave sounds like a blast! Tell us about the other wineries.
FC: So far, two wineries are confirmed: First Crush and another boutique Paso Robles winery called Cross-Lynn Estates. There are several wineries that are interested; however, due to construction being slowed down by some county building requirements and then harvest coming on us so fast, we've all decided to wait until harvest is over to finalize the details for the other participants. But I can tell you that whoever they are, they will be wineries that produce fines and want to be part of an amazing experience.
TP: First Crush has become synonymous with the "make your own wine" weekends and fun wine education, will you still be offering those?
FC: Absolutely! We will continue to offer our fall Harvest Crush Encounters, as well as our year-round blending seminars, wine tasting workshops and classes. Our new location will allow us to develop new programs and events, and is conveniently located close to town so we're very excited about that. For instance, we're introducing "STOMP" this year. This is going to be an annual grape stomping competition and party held during Harvest Wine weekend. All of the info about everything we do is on our website. Also, the demand for our Harvest Winemaking Experiences has been growing as the word has gotten out about how fun it is to make your own wine, so people can sign up at Cellar Mates or online for those, as well.
TP: What is your favorite thing about Cellar Mates?
FC: Being the first to offer something new and unique to our burgeoning wine region, and also having my own home where I can host great events and classes.
TP: Where exactly is the new location?
FC: Cellar Mates is located at 2975 Limestone Way in Paso Robles. It's approximately 1 mile north of the Templeton Main Street Exit and east of Ramada Drive. It's in an upscale industrial location, which promises to hold more exciting places like Cellar Mates in the future.