Castoro Cellars, which has been making wine in Paso Robles since 1983, was started by husband and wife Niels and Bimmer Udsen. Niels studied Ag Business at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. According to Bimmer, “When Niels graduated he wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do but the wine industry seemed appealing.” He started working at Paso Robles winery Estrella River Winery, and says Bimmer, “immediately fell in love with the wine business.”
Niels began making his own wine, which he and Bimmer would sell to friends and family. This eventually led to Niels and Bimmer starting Castoro Cellars, which now produces around 30,000 cases annually. Bimmer says of Paso Robles, “Ending up in Paso Robles was truly a blessing as the region has grown immensely since Castoro Cellars began making wines.”
Bimmer describes the progression of the winery, “In the beginning Niels made the wines but as the winery grew he decided to hire a trained winemaker. Tom Myers has now been our winemaker for roughly 25 years and has known Niels and I for over 30 years. Before working together at Castoro Cellars, Niels worked under Tom at Estrella and the two were also avid climbing companions.”
Bimmer says that while many visitors think of Zinfandel when they think of Castoro, they are also “known for growing and producing a wide variety of wines.” She also says, “We grow just about all of the grapes used to produce our wines, with select grapes coming from vineyards other than our own.” Castoro produces Chardonnay, Fume Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Muscat Canelli, Viognier, Marsanne, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Tempranillo, Primitivo, Rousanne, Barbera, Petite Verdot, Zinfandel and White Zinfandel.
For Bimmer and Niels the way they run their company reflects their own values. Bimmer says, “We believe good wine should be accessible to all people and our wines exemplify this value. We make high quality estate wines at a very affordable price. We are also heavily invested in organic and sustainable agriculture with over 300 acres in our organic program.” Castoro has had the same Winemaker and Assistant Winemaker for over 20 years, and this and the involvement of its founders has helped to make Castoro a consistent presence in an industry that has been growing quickly in Paso Robles in recent years.
Bimmer describes what visitors to the Castoro Cellars tasting room can expect, “A long grape arbor leads the visitors to our Mediterranean style gardens with picnic tables and gorgeous vineyard views. Throughout the year we host special events including evening concerts and daytime music on the outdoor stage. During the winter concerts are hosted in the events gallery.” She also says that with 14-16 wines on the tasting menu at a time, they “truly feel there is something for everyone on our tasting menu.”
Niels and Bimmer Udsen have grown a hobby into a family-owned winey that has been a cornerstone of the Paso Robles wine industry for over 30 years. No wonder their motto is “Dam Fine Wine.”
Castoro Cellars is open daily from 10am-5:30pm at 1315 North Bethel Road in Templeton. Call (805) 238-0725 or visit www.castorocellars.com for more information.