Shadow Run Vineyard and Winery pouring red, white, and rose

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

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150-acre ranch and orchard produces organically grown grapes

–In the picturesque town of Creston lies a diamond-in-the-rough vineyard called Shadow Run Vineyards. The atmosphere of the dwelling flows as beautifully as the vines of colored grapes that pepper the vineyards. Far from the hustle and bustle of in-town wineries or those lining the busy highways, Shadow Run Vineyards is unique to the countryside. The calm produces a euphoric feeling, especially with a glass of Shadow Run wine in hand. The acreage is abundant with sunlight, aromas, flavors, and no city noise. Great wine, compelling conversation, and lots of laughs are the popularities here.

harvest 2013

Winemaker Susan Evans during harvest.

The Central Coast is known for its many wineries and vineyards, but Shadow Run Vineyards is one of only a handful that graces the sunny, fertile region of the Creston area. It is a family-run business, and one feels that upon entering the establishment. Its atmosphere is charming, relaxed, and the conversation about wine is intelligent yet unassuming. Don’t be surprised, upon speaking with one of the family members in the tasting room, to find discussion of grapes and wine flows heartily while increasing knowledge of superb wines soon seems second nature.

Respecting the laws of nature out in the vineyards is key, but an admirable quality to Shadow Runs Vineyards is respecting the laws of nature within as well, such as having the tasting room and winery powered by solar energy.

Winemaker Susan Evans, who learned her craft at UC Davis and Cal Poly, and “most importantly” from fellow winemakers in the Paso Robles region, is the creative talent when it comes to envisioning and then actually bringing to life the unforgettable flavors now synonymous with Shadow Run Vineyards.

“Shadow Run produces approximately 700 cases of wine each year,” says Evans. “Grapes are hand harvested and hand sorted prior to fermentation. Our red wines are defined by an inky black purple color and rich complex flavors; both gifts of our sandy loamy soil integrated with shells from an ancient sea bed. The white wines are delicate, aromatic, and fruit forward. We celebrate the differences in the grapes from year to year, allowing each vintage to be unique, true to itself.” She stresses the best and most fruitful flavored wines are achieved through a proportionate balance of leaf and fruit, proper water amounts, and nutrients.

Shadow Run is a family-run business, and one feels that upon entering the establishment.

Shadow Run is a family-run business, and one feels that upon entering the establishment.

Crucial, as well, to the positive outcome of the wines is the physical muscle and spunk of fellow family members Les Evans and Aaron Hunt. While Susan determines the zest, tartness, and/or sweetness of the wines, Les and Aaron keep the nuts and bolts of the business oiled and running, such as the barrel room, the extensive equipment, the irrigation systems, and “The Beast” which is a stainless steel bladder press that Susan calls “an engineering marvel.” Part of its job is to gently press tender, whole, round grapes without interrupting the necessary oxygen/juice levels paramount to producing outstanding wines. Together, Susan, Les, and Aaron have created superior wines the public can enjoy right on the Shadow Run Vineyards premises, as well as purchasing the exclusive wines for home enjoyment.

Shadow Run Vineyards offers several wines to enhance the wine tasting experience. If white wine tickles the fancy, enjoy Fair Haired Child, a 70-percent estate grown viognier and 30-percent grenache blanc, rich with flavors of creamy vanilla meringue, Meyer lemon, and fresh squeezed lime. If rose wines bring a blush to the cheek, indulge romantic Jolie (every bit as appealing as Angelina), abundant with savory flavors of juicy melon and plump raspberries. If rich red wine is in your blood, entertain one of the many red wine selections, especially the gold medal winner of the San Francisco 2015 Wine Competition – Shadow Run’s 2012 Eclipse – a red wine plush with soft tannins, dark berries, and rich chocolate.

Shadow Run Vineyards lies approximately 10 miles east of Atascadero, 13 miles south of Paso Robles, and 30 miles northeast of San Luis Obispo in the sleepy town of Creston at 2720 La Panza Rd. Tasting room hours are Fri-Sun 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information (805) 227-0554  or visit . Follow the seasons in the vineyard and in the winery by watching Shadow Run’s videos on You Tube.

-Margaux Sky


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