Sculpterra Winery: Where Art, Wine, and Music Mix
One of the Granite Sculptures at Sculpterra
Sculpterra: Where art and wine meet
I visit a lot of wineries and their vineyards and tasting rooms, and I've also been meeting a lot of artists in my travels around North San Luis Obispo County. Many of the tasting rooms are great places to shop for gifts, and most display some form of art work, as well. Many of the tasting rooms have an almost museum quality to them. My former neighbor, the now vacant Eagle Castle is one of those. But of all the wineries I have visited so far, the one that serves as the best example of the marriage of art and wine is Sculpterra.
I first learned about Sculpterra at the Paso Robles Lavender Festival back in July, 2010. when I visited their booth. I learned that Dr. Warren Dr. Frankel started building the winery in 2006 and opened for business in October 2007. He loved sculpture. Over forty years ago in Oslo, Norway he had stumbled upon Frogner Park and the collection of sculptor Gustav Vigeland. He was enthralled by the large, beautiful outdoor sculpture forms he saw there. When he built Sculpterra, he wanted something similar for his tasting room -- a sculpture garden. He connected with sculptor John Jagger, and the rest is history.
Today I'd like to take you on a brief tour of Sculpterra -- inside and outside, through the vineyards and Sculpture Garden and into the tasting room, with its own collection of art. I hope you enjoy your trip with me and, if you are ever near Paso Robles, I hope you will want to visit in person, since no video can duplicate the experience of actually being there.
The photo was one I took during my 2011 trip to Sculpterra. This sculpture is called "Puma."
July 4 at Sculpterra
Independence Day at Sculpterra
It's quite a July 4th party.
Last year Dr. Frankel invited the entire community to his Fourth of July Celebration at Sculpterra. He provided free hot dogs, pizza, beverages, popcorn, apple pie, ice cream, and more for all who attended. People who wanted wine could buy it inside in the tasting room and bring it back to their tables. There was live country music and a time to just talk to friends. Our county supervisor was also present.
Dr. Frankel throws this party because he deeply loves this country and our Constitution. He wants to encourage people to unplug their devices for a few hours and enjoy conversations about things that matter with people in a relaxed setting. We attended again this year -- 2014. I am grateful he has provided us with this opportunity to celebrate our country's birth in such a lovely place.
The professional videos vs mine and others
A Note About Video Quality
After I made my videos, I went back to YouTube to see what others had done. Sculpterra had a few professional slide shows posted there that have some great pictures -- especially if you want to see close-up pictures of the sculpture. But the one thing missing in their presentations besides actual video footage, was people.
When you actually visit the tasting room there are people everywhere, and with them come background noise that happens when there are lots of people. If you see the professional presentations, they are beautiful, but barren. The same people who come to bring life to the scene also make it hard to get great pictures -- especially if you are trying not to put their faces in the pictures. This tasting room, as does most I've been in, has a definite echo, and that, along with people's voices, tends to keep the musicians from sounding as good as they really did sound if you were very close to them. I noticed this in a video someone else took on a different day, as well. Cars in the parking lot also intrude in some of the pictures and videos because you can't get one without the other. In the links near the end I will send you to the Sculpterra web site for really professional pictures of the sculptures I will show you in my video tours.
This picture shows what you will see when you walk in from the parking lot.
This Was the Conversation that Made Me Want to Visit Sculpterra.
I'm talking here to Brett Noel at the Paso Robles Lavender Festival, July 2, 2010. I didn't have time to make my first visit for three months after that. I call it my first visit because I fully intend to go back and take my husband there.
The Approach to Sculpterra
Although this is the first thing you will see as you enter, it was the last thing I recorded. You can see the tour bus coming up the dirt road to the gates and entering through them while I wait with my camera aimed at the vineyard. I then enter through the gate on foot and show you the vineyards you will see as you enter and go towards the parking lot, where I'm walking back to my car. I just wanted you to know what to look for, since Sculpterra is not that easy to find. It's farther out of Paso Robles than I expected it to be, and I was always afraid I'd gone too far. If you're coming from Paso Robles, you're not getting close until you pass the Berry Hill Farm (but someone could always take that sign down, so be careful.) You will finally see the entrance to the private dirt road on your right and a sign. You don't see the gate in this video until you have gone about a block or two on the dirt road.
Walk through the Sculpture Garden and Vineyards Part 1
This is a short tour of the Sculpture Garden at Sculpterra Winery and Tasting Room, with special focus on the sculpture by John Jagger. I have tried to identify what I was seeing as best I could. After looking at the official website I saw I guessed wrong on a few. "Gentle Giant" is a mammoth, not an elephant. "Yahoo," which I and some others who saw it , identified as a bucking giraffe, is really a bucking horse. The unidentified sculpture in the video thumbnail is "Mermaid" I hope that corrects any misinformation in my narration.
Walk through Sculpture Garden and Back Vineyard, continued
This continues my walk around Sculpterra's back vineyard and back through parts of the sculpture garden in front I missed the first time. It also includes a shot of the wine maker mashing grapes in back.
We are about to enter the tasting room, another place where art and wine mingle.
Artist of the Month
There's much more art at Sculpterra than you see outside in the Sculpture Garden. The tasting room itself is full of art in different mediums, most of which you can buy and take home with you. It's a great place to get unique gits for others or art pieces for your own home. It's also worth noting that the art on display is constantly changing. I came in October, 2010, when Terz Tyni was artist of the month. It's her work hanging on the wall here. I will be saying more about her in another article, but she was happy to let me share these pictures of her work.
I met her at an artist reception at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles about a week after I saw her work here. She had just won the blue ribbon at a juried art exhibit "Speed" sponsored by the Paso Robles Art Association. You can see and purchase her work on her web site. Every month there will be another artist featured, so you can see how Sculpterra helps promote our local artists along with its wines. I have a link to the Sculpterra web site below in the links module, and if you click on the their "News and Events" tab, you will see which artists and musicians will be featured when.
What do you like about visiting wineries?
Alcohol doesn't agree with me, so I don't drink wine, but that doesn't keep me from visiting the wineries. I enjoying seeing the art, walking through the vineyards, listening to live musicians, and enjoying the gardens that many wineries have near their vineyards and tasting rooms. What do you like best about wineries?
What do you like best on your visits to wineries?
Inside the Tasting Room at Sculpterra Winery
The music you may hear in the background is provided by Jade Jackson, but she sounded much better than my recorder made her sound. The echoes in the room didn't do much for sound quality, either. You can see the variety of gifts available to buy here, and you can see how the various artists whose work is displayed make this almost like an art museum. I have tried to show you most of what I saw on this early October day.
An Interview with Dr. Warren Frankel, Sculpterra Owner
This is not mine. It was recorded at the Atascadero Wine Festival, but I included it because I didn't have the opportunity to interview Dr. Frankel. It's interesting to note that Dr. Frankel is a founding doctor and chairman of the board of directors of His Healing Hands Ministry, a medical missionary foundation that sends medical missionary teams on short-term trips all over the world. He donates a portion of the wine sales at Sculpterra to that ministry. I will also link to that web site.
More Information on Topics Discussed in this Article
These are the promised links I have mentioned throughout this article.
- Home page for His Healing Hands Ministry
Dr. Warren Frankel is Chairman of the Board for this organization. This is their mission statement, taken from this web site: "The mission of His Healing Hands is to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ by preaching, teaching and example, through short
- This is the web site of artist Terz Tyni
She is a plein air painter, and is known for her use of color. You saw some of her work on the wall at Sculpterrra. She both displays and sells her art here.
- Sculptera Winery -Paul Frankel - YouTube
He tells the story of how he came to be Sculpterra's wine maker.
- Sculpture Garden | Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden
These are the professional photos of the individual sculptures I promised you.
If you like sculpture gardens, you might also enjoy this video
This link was sent to me by a YouTube friend, and I thought it might also interest many who read this lens. It's about Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and focuses on the sculptures.
I hope you've enjoyed your tour. Do you think this is a place you might want to visit if you came through Paso Robles?
© 2010 Barbara Radisavljevic