By Douglas W. Motley
Collecting awards is nothing new for Crestline’s Sycamore Ranch Vineyard and Winery, and they’ve done it again by garnering eight awards, including the prestigious Double Gold Best of Class award for their 2018 Merlot at the recently held Central Coast Wine Competition.
In addition to their award-winning Merlot, Sycamore Ranch captured a Double Gold medal for its 2018 Ranch Red, Gold medals for its 2018 Primitivo and 2018 Syrah and Silver medals for its 2016 Syrah, 2018 Grenache, 2018 SGM (Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre) and its 2019 Viognier.
“Another validation to what we are doing right at SRV (Sycamore Ranch Vineyard). This competition was entered by the best wineries on the Central Coast. The requirements were that our grapes had to come from the Central Coast AVA (American vinicultural area), of which 98 percent do,” said Sycamore Ranch winemaker and grower Richard Krumwiede.
Along with his wife, Elizabeth, Richard set out on a journey in 2007 to make wine and hard cider. “Our aspirations were modest: Gather with close friends, enjoy good food and make great wine. It was a simple formula and one that we strive for today.” They discovered the ranch in 1999, located in an area known more for its antique cherry and apple orchards. A leap of faith led them to plant Zinfandel and Syrah vineyards.
During a visit to Sycamore Ranch last Sunday afternoon, The Alpine Mountaineer sat down at a canopy-shaded table in the garden with a group of Crestline wine fanciers who were enjoying a six-variety tasting of some the vineyard’s award-wining wines and hard ciders.
Asked what brought him to Sycamore Ranch, Charlie Young remarked, “I met Richard and Elizabeth through mutual friends and decided to check it out. Paige (Amidon) became a member of the wine club, and we keep bringing new friends with us.” Wine club member Paige Amidon added that club members meet at the winery two to four times a year. “It’s a fun thing to do in our community.”
While all of the Krumwiedes’ wines are produced and aged at their three-and-a-half-acre estate in Dart Canyon, grapes used in the process are sourced from vineyards throughout California, including districts located in or near Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Cucamonga, Santa Ynez Valley, Quail Ranch and the Central Coast region.
When asked what he attributes his success to, Krumwiede replied, “Hard work, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.”
In addition to marketing his wines and cider online, Krumwiede said they are also available at a few select locations on the mountain, including Goodwin’s Market in Crestline, The Grapevine and Lakeside Tap Room, both in Lake Arrowhead Village, and The Grille at the Antlers in Twin Peaks.
Due to ongoing state and county COVID-19 restrictions, the indoor tasting room is closed until further notice. “The winery is open and we now offer outdoor tasting at 1:15 and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in our award-winning garden, which is the perfect spot to enjoy the rugged elegance and natural beauty of our scenic location,” Krumwiede said.
Tastings can be reserved in advance by logging onto www.sycamoreranch.com or by calling (909) 338-1725. Tastings are $20 per person and include a taste of the estate’s hard apple cider and six pre-selected wines. However, the tasting fee is waived with the purchase of any combination of two bottles of wine or hard cider. Also available for $8 each are cheese boxes containing four different types of cheese, salami, grapes and a side of savory crackers curated by The Grapevine in Lake Arrowhead.