Wild Coyote Estate Winery
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.
While he had always wanted to retire to Taos, New Mexico, Gianni realized he couldn’t grow grapes there. In 1995, deciding to bring Taos to Paso Robles, Gianni 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, but then there is Gianni’s signature wine, his “House of Reds” blend. It 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 that greets you. The repeat visitor and those who stay at the B&B know that the wine is only one piece of the tapestry that is the entire Wild Coyote experience.
Enter the pueblo style tasting room through beautifully hand carved doors, and admire the wonderful collection of Southwestern art and artifacts. Adding to the collection are stone sculptures by Gianni and paintings by his wife Kati. Sample an assortment of expressive estate wines that have been produced by Gianni, from vine to bottle. Growing the best grapes possible, Gianni’s award winning wines will captivate you. 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.
Gianni and Kati do everything. They not only supervise the entire operation on site, but are also 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. They or another family member will generally serve you in the small intimate tasting room, and be more than happy to talk about wine, winemaking, the land, spirituality and philosophy. It can get crowded on busy weekends, but that only gives you the opportunity to make new friends. Take your time between tastes, as you should, in order to fully enjoy the experience of wine tasting Wild Coyote style.
Even 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. B&B guests know that as the sun sets, sitting in your casita, you can hear the howl of the coyotes that still share the land.
Kati is as passionate as her husband for creating a spiritual hideaway with an atmosphere of love and tranquility. The five romantic private casitas that overlook the vineyards and skyline reflect that spirit. Beautifully designed and decorated in Santa Fe style, these rooms offer panoramic views with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, the sounds of Coyotes, and a stunning display of stars (no, not Hollywood, much better, Mother Earth and her magnificent sky). Come for a memorable stay, become one with nature, you may never want to leave.
Current production from this boutique winery approximates 3000 cases and all sales of Wild Coyote take place in the tasting room or through the wine club. In addition to the House of Reds blend, there are currently 7 single varietals, representing each of the grapes grown on the land. There are also two dessert wines. Try sipping some Dream Catcher after dinner as you sit out under the stars. Special events are held for wine club members including BBQ’s and pick up parties; everything, of course, prepared on site—no outside catering.
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 sole that he happily shares with his guests. Experience the wine, the atmosphere, and the spirituality that is their life’s work and passion. If you leave with an appreciation for all that they have created, then Gianni and Kati will know they have been successful.
Wild Coyote Tasting Room is open daily, 11:00am till 5:00pm. Located at: 3775 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles. For additional information on the winery or bed and breakfast lodging Call (805) 610-1311. Or visit the website: www.wildcoyote.biz
By Don Sonderling, San Luis Obispo County Visitors Guide