The tasting room experiences all over this state are considerably different. But tasting rooms in certain areas share certain characteristics. It may be a leap but these characteristics could be representative of the region’s personality or the heartbeat of their community.
Can you tell yet that my first tasting room experience here in SLO town was unique? Autry Cellars is in an industrial building adjacent to the train tracks, below the fly zone where planes fly over with their landing gear down, surrounded by vineyards with a view of the Santa Lucia foothills and the tip of the Cuesta Pass. Steve Autry, your host, can wax poetic on just about anything from aviation, sound waves, neo physics, music, and winemaking. Obviously, this leads to quite an educational wine tasting experience. Needless to say, this also leads to tremendously scientific yet creative wines.
Autry Cellars does not pour a single bad wine. They don’t even pour a mediocre wine. They start with delicious and just get more delicious. Their Pinot Noir has a finish about as long as the landing strip at the SLO County airport next door. You won’t believe the alcohol content on this wine because of its Bing Cherry and strong balance of spice and earth. Their Malbec has the plum, cherry, and licorice that are hallmark flavors of this grape yet the meaty structure and mouthwatering hint of dark chocolate linger. Their cool climate Syrah has dark smoke and mocha on the nose with blueberry and plum jam yet it is not jammy due to the coastal influence here. If you find great wines like this from a micro boutique producer like Autry, buy now. With a production of about 1000 cases, selling out takes on a literal meaning.