California winery honors cowboy culture
During the early 1800s, Spanish California was a peaceful and carefree place of fandangos and fiestas, where the vast grasslands were fenceless and the hospitality was bountiful. It was the land of the first cowboys, the vaqueros, a hearty breed of skillful and daring missionary-trained horsemen who tended the regional herds.
In homage to the cowboy culture, Jim and Elaine Pollard opened their winery in Nipomo, California, under the name Vaquero Cellars in 2005. A member of the Vaqueros de Los Ranchos and the Rancheros Visitadores, Jim has a history rooted in San Luis Obispo County, having been raised by his grandparents under the Old Spanish culture. “I always liked good wine and I love horses. It’s been my way of life,” he says. Together he and his wife chose a fitting label, which depicts a painting of a vaquero by a California artist who was a friend of the Pollards and renowned for his portrayals of the early cowboys.
After less than a decade in operation, Vaquero Cellars has become an award-winning producer of premium wines that stand apart with their unique blend of Spanish influence and Western sophistication. The array of grapes include syrah, pinot noir, cabernet franc, and Sangiovese. The pinot noir goes down as smooth as silk, with a delicious fruity aroma that lingers on the palate, while the syrah delivers rich berry and plum flavors with hints of cedar and tobacco. 805.310.9090, www.vaquerocellars.com