In my last newsletter I told you about 'Volatus', my daughter's winery. Now I want to share this article written by a Supertramp fan who recently visited it.
"FANCY SOME SUPERTRAMP WINE?"
By RAMZI MUSALLAM
I took the opportunity on a recent visit to California to drop into a relatively new winery that is producing some wonderful wines with a unique connection to Supertramp. Volatus winery was set up in 2004 by Victoria and Hal Schmitt. Victoria’s dad happens to be Supertramp’s long term drummer Bob Siebenberg and her brother is Jesse Siebenberg, who played on the ‘Slow Motion’ album and subsequently toured with the band.
Hal Schmitt is a former naval aviator flying F-18s and spent his latter years as an instructor with ‘Top Gun’. His love of wine goes back years and he spent many years learning the wine business through helping an established local wine maker and very shortly after deciding to strike out on his own with the help of his brother he met Victoria and started his own label which takes its name from the Latin for ‘to fly’. While Hal takes care of many of the technical details Victoria heads up marketing and design, taking the lead on creating the graphics and imagery used on the bottles as well as managing their new tasting room on the west side of Paso Robles.
Hal and Victoria share a passion for photography and also have their own photography school and when they escape their wine business spend time photographing the beauty of the Paso Robles wine country, teaching clients photographic techniques, or traveling the county with their wine and photography tours.
Recently they established their own tasting room at Volatus, which is open from 11:00 to 17:00 every Sunday to Friday. On occasion Jesse pops over from his base in nearby Ojai to play with bandmates on the lawn while Victora and Hal entertain clients and friends. If you are lucky Hal will fire up his pizza oven and rustle up one of his special pizzas to accompany tastings of some of the wines. We were lucky enough to try a couple and partnered with the two ‘Supertramp’ wines and can happily testify they were fantastic!
The two reds feature crossed drumsticks and pay homage to Victoria’s father, Bob. These are the ‘Long Way Home’, which is a smooth 100% Tempranillo (the major grape used in Rioja), and the ‘Bloody Well Right (or is that red!)’ which is 100% Tannat, one of the healthier wines with elevated amounts of antioxidants. This wine is a very dark purple with a bright magenta rim
I can’t recommend these lovely wines enough. There are others of course, most of which have names taken from Hal’s flying career, and also a very nice Rose which is currently fantastic value at $90 for a case of twelve bottles. Sadly, despite their name Volatus wines aren’t yet flying over to Europe but that could change in time. In the meanwhile you could just take a Jumbo across the water to California, have breakfast in America and drink some bottles of ‘Bloody Well Right and ‘Long Way Home’!
And if you time your visit for the kick-off of Harvest Fest weekend on the 18th October 2019 you can see Bob and Jesse perform with their band, The Heavy 29s performing classic surf-folk rock sounds while a hog roast dinner is lovingly prepared by two Central Coast barbeque masters. It will be a fantastic evening of great music, fabulous food and fine wine. Contact Victoria for more details.
More information on Volatus can be found at their website https://www.volatuswine.com/
Victoria and Hal, along with their Supertramp wines.
(Original article at THE LOGICAL WEB)