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Castoro Cellars' 2014 Balena and Cypher's 2014 Grenache Blanc 

There’s a lot going on at this year’s Beaverstock, Sept. 19 through 20 at Castoro Cellars (art, yoga, bands, food trucks, beer, an ancient hollowed-out tree kids can romp around in). By contrast, Castoro Cellars’ 2014 Balena might have even more going on—and that’s saying quite a bit. Under the cork you’ll find a vibrant blend of falanghina, grenache blanc, gewürztraminer, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, and orange muscat. A tribute to the winery’s CCOF Organic Certified Whale Rock Vineyard, Balena (which means “whale” in Italian) is a playful, floral, and tropical white wine—a very big fish in Templeton’s very small pond.

Castoro Cellars’ 2014 Balena—$30 a bottle, Castoro Cellars, 1315 North Bethel Road, Templeton.

There’s absolutely zero oak on this crystalline grenache blanc fermented and aged in 100 percent stainless steel. Maybe that’s why it’s perfect for those heavenly hot tub soaks on cool September nights? It could also be the crisp acidity and tart flavor bolstered by lemon verbena, citrus, and passion fruit. I’m really too relaxed to pinpoint just one quality here. All I know is that—when served cold and consumed after a long day of deadlines—it is sanity in a glass.

Cypher’s 2014 Grenache Blanc$24 a bottle, Cypher Winery, 3750 Highway 46 West, Paso Robles. 

Hot chocolate recommendations are greatly appreciated at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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