A perfect balance of wine, nature, serenity
Gianni Manucci’s winemaking philosophy is simple: Revere and respect Mother Earth. He learned from his grandfather to be a farmer first, “If you grow good grapes, you’ll have good wine.”
Grapes and farming are in Gianni’s blood. His grandfather was a farmer in Italy, and Gianni knew that one day this is what he would do. But before he could follow his dream Gianni dedicated himself to an architectural career for 25 years. Only after a successful “first” career, did he decide to do what life had intended for him; he became a farmer and created a winery and spiritual retreat that is a slice of heaven on earth.
Bringing Taos to Paso
While he had always wanted to retire to Taos, New Mexico, Gianni realized he couldn’t grow grapes there. In 1995 he decided to bring Taos to Paso Robles and purchased 40 acres on the West Side. He planted 18 of those acres with mainly Zinfandel, Merlot, and Syrah; there are also small amounts of Tempranillo, Malbec, Mourvedre and Tannant. The vineyards are terraced and planted in the old European style. Just about all the wines produced are single varietals. Gianni’s signature wine, his House of Reds blend, is big, bold and vibrant. Perhaps this wine best exemplifies the spirit and philosophy of Wild Coyote – it is a work of art, a unique blend encompassing all the earth has to give from birth of the grape until bottling, to when it passes your lips.
Driving through the gates at Wild Coyote, passing an authentic Native American Tipi, you feel as though you have left the hustle and bustle of the real world behind. There is an ethereal peaceful feeling in this eclectic and esoteric winery that combines Native American art and culture, and Southwestern architecture. You have, if only for an hour or two, entered a unique sanctuary.
The first time visitor may come initially for the wine, but will instantly be enamored and enchanted with the serenity and spirituality. Repeat visitors and guests of the onsite B&B have discovered that the wine is just one piece of the tapestry that is the entire Wild Coyote experience.
Pueblo-style tasting room
Enter the pueblo style tasting room through beautiful, hand-carved doors and admire the collection of Southwestern art, artifacts and the stone sculptures by Gianni and paintings by his wife Kati. Sample an assortment of expressive estate wines; growing the best grapes possible, Gianni’s award winning wines are captivating. Sustainable agriculture is practiced – the grapes are dry farmed, solar power is used, and rain water is recycled. Mother Nature produces the wine under Gianni’s watchful eye.
According to the Wild Coyote website, the couple “purposely designed a small tasting room (family style) so we can get close to our guests and have a meaningful conversation. There are hardly any gifts or gadgets, as we are all about our wines and a unique experience. You’ll be guaranteed to be served by Gianni or a family member only, so you’ll be provided with honest information and no sales fluffs.”
Labor of love
Gianni and Kati supervise the entire operation and are hands on in the design, building, decorating, growing, harvesting, processing, producing, bottling, storing and selling of their wine. This is a true labor of love – labor being the operative word, or maybe the word that is synonymous with love. The name and label Wild Coyote was chosen with care and exemplifies Gianni’s connection with nature; it shows respect for the pack of wild coyotes that hunted the land before it was developed as a vineyard.
The five romantic private casitas that overlook the vineyards and skyline are beautifully designed and decorated in Santa Fe style, and offer panoramic views with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
The wine may start in the field with good grapes, and end up in the bottle on your table, but what is really in every bottle that bears the Wild Coyote label is a piece of Gianni’s heart and soul that he happily shares with his guests. Experience the wine, the atmosphere, and the spirituality that is Gianni and Kati’s work and passion.
The Wild Coyote tasting room, located at 3775 Adelaida Road in Paso Robles, is open daily, 11a.m. – 5 p.m. For additional information on the winery or bed and breakfast lodging call (805) 610-1311 or visit wildcoyote.biz.
— Don Sonderling