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Review: The Farm Winery, Paso Robles, CA

The Farm Winery


The dream started years ago when friends, Santiago & Mercedes Achaval from Argentina and Jim and Azmina Madsen from San Diego, met at a B&B in Paso Robles, CA in the 1980s. Santiago was smitten by the wine bug and decided, “Someday I am going to make wine!” With no formal training Santiago decided to start making wine and is now a renowned winemaker. After the last of their children flew the coup, Jim and Az had an empty nest. Restless, they returned to the B&B for a visit. It sparked the wine bug for Madsens. They made a call to their dear friend, Santiago, and in 2009, The Farm Winery became a reality. The Farm Winery is now on its fifth season of winemaking. The vineyards are located in the Adelaida District in Westside Paso Robles, with windy roads, massive oak trees with busy woodpeckers, free roaming cows, deer and turkey grazing, and more wildlife and landscape to mystify your inner being.

Veal chops from Whole Foods Market.
Veal chops from Whole Foods Market.
OC Food Diva

The Big Game celebrates the rivalry between the Rhone and Bordeaux regions. The grapes used are Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Syrah. It’s layered, complex, and mouth-filling. There is truly a flavor in it for everyone. Tasting notes: sweet cherry and very light oak aromatics; Black currant, blackberry, oak, mint, and dark cherry flavors experienced along whole palate. Food pairings: Veal a la Madsen (recipe to follow), grilled lamb, and T-bone steak. Thumbs up!

Veal a la Madsen (recipe courtesy of The Farm Winery)

Serving size: 2

  • 2 veal chops
  • truffle oil
  • truffle salt
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • 2 onions

Fresh veal chops, brought to room temp. Rub the veal chops sparingly with truffle oil. Wash and dry the tomatoes. Set the BBQ grill to high (I used the Foreman Grill and it worked well. Just watch your cooking time, 1-2 minutes for medium rare). Place the veal chops on the grill and season with truffle salt (depending on your truffle salt, taste it before you season. The truffle salt I bought could be used more liberally for the perfect truffle flavor). Place the tomatoes on the grill as well (If using the Foreman Grill, check the tomatoes at 2 minutes as they will caramelize and get mushy very fast). Lower heat to medium. Once you turn chops over, season that side with truffle salt too. If you like onions, place whole onions directly on the grill too and when ready, just split open and enjoy (If using the Foreman Grill, slice onion into thirds or in half and grill for 4 minutes). Paired perfectly with The Big Game.

Cardinal is the quintessential story of the Cabernet plant. The vineyard has its own energy which makes the plants and the fruit what they need to be. Tasting notes: cherry aromatics; Blackberry, black currant, vanilla, dark chocolate, and licorice flavors through the palate. Food pairings: Slow-Cooker Brisket with Fruits (recipe from Great Food! by Great News! Cooking School), pork with apple/apricot chutney, venison with cherry demi glace. Thumbs up, way up!

Touchy Feely is a Rhone wine. The Grenache gives it femininity and its minor Rhone brother adds some weight for body and structure. Tasting notes: Cherry, berry, and bitter aromatics; Tart raspberry, cherry, cranberry, and licorice flavors experienced on the palate. Food pairing: Swiss cheese, Gouda, lamb, beef; does not pair with soft creamy cheeses like brie.

Paso Robles was named Wine Region of the Year for 2013. The Farm Winery has their recipe just right – 90% vineyards and custom farming and 10% winemaking or “mistake avoidance”.

For more information:

The Farm Winery
805.400.FARM (3276)