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Riverstar Vineyards is family friendly and family run 

–Stepping into Riverstar Vineyards tasting room, Candice Reinertson will most likely greet you (after being greeted by Nikki the winery dog). Candice’s bubbling personality, instinctively lets you know a special experience at this small production, boutique winery is about to begin. Welcome to Riverstar!

Riverstar Vineyards (once part of the Hearst cattle ranch landholdings) has been a family owned vineyard since 1986, having recently been acquired by the Reinertson family, to continue the tradition of being a family-operated winery, extending a relaxing, pleasant wine tasting and winery experience to their guests.

Located in a less traveled part of Paso Robles’ Wine Country, among gently rolling hills and vineyards, Riverstar is one of thirteen wineries making up The Pleasant Valley Wine Trail near San Miguel, and makes for a most “pleasant” start to your visiting this area.

Sip among the vineyards

There are 60 acres of planted vines among the 80 acres total. Growing cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, petite sirah, zinfandel and sauvignon blanc, Riverstar prides themselves in their estate wines. However, in order to truly reflect the region, they also source from select local vineyards, in order to truly mirror the region’s diverse personality of terroir and variety.

The current tasting menu consists of two whites, four reds and an estate rose. Riverstar is also proud of their black monukka, an uncommon varietal resembling a tantalizing sherry like dessert wine. Enjoy your tasting in the spacious tasting room at the bar, or outside on the veranda, gazing at the vineyards. Bring a picnic lunch and order a bottle, or have your tasting with lunch. A wine and cheese pairing is also offered; enjoy six gourmet cheeses (provided by Vivant Cheese) that complement the wines, and vice versa.

Family fun events

Beginning in May and running through October, Riverstar begins their Summer Concert Series. One Saturday a month there are local bands, and you may find the BBQ fired up, or local gourmet food truck for your dining pleasure. Bring your kids, dog and blanket or lawn chair while you sip wine, listen to music, eat, and enjoy the surrounding vista. Combined with their own events, the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail also has a list of events, so pick and choose from some of the upcoming happenings and have a ball!

  • June 10, The Belmores, with food from Choco’s Mexican Grill
  • July 8, Jan & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, with food from the Riverstar BBQ
  • Aug. 5, The Blimp Pilots, food from the Riverstar BBQ
  • Sept. 9, Burning James & the Funky Flames, with food from Choco’s Mexican Grill

In addition to the above Riverstar events, visit any (or all) of the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail wineries during the following theme weekends:

  • June 10-11: Taste of Tuscany; a weekend of Italian treats and fabulous wines.
  • July 8-9: “Red, Wine and Blue.” Americana at its best. BBQ, lawn games, music and wine slushies!
  • Sept. 16-17: Blending Along the Trail. Enjoy visiting the trail’s wineries and indulging in the exceptional blends that make this area so special.

Come stay awhile

Make Riverstar your base for a weekend or several days, with family and friends. Riverstar features two distinctive lodgings available for your stay:
The Ranch: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room with TV and a BBQ overlooking the vineyards.

The House on the Hill: Come with family and friends and stay in this 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home, with pool and a view of the vineyards “as far as the eye can see.”

And, as an added benfit, Riverstar can recommend a local chef to prepare breakfast, a picnic lunch, or gourmet dinner for you and your party.

Stepping into Riverstar Vineyards tasting room, Candice Reinertson will most likely greet you (after being greeted by Nikki the winery dog).

Wine club and more

The best way to assure yourself a supply of Riverstar wines is by being a wine club member! Offering special discounts on wine, merchandise, and lodging, in addition to free tastings for yourself and (up to 6) guests, you will receive invitations to special events, pick up parties and in the future barrel tastings and vineyard tours will be offered. There are three levels of membership, and members have the opportunity to semi-customize their shipment!

Looking forward

Riverstar is excited to be celebrating their one year anniversary. Candice says of their plans, “we are excited to be working with winemaker Steve Martell. Our goal is to grow the best fruit possible, and Steve is focused on making the wines in a way which respects the fruit, creating rich, full-bodied reds and crisp, clean whites.”

It is a tight-knit family, focused on extending a family-friendly environment to all who visit for their wines and hospitality and producing quality wines.
So hit the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail and make Riverstar your destination for wine, family, food, relaxation and fun. Be certain to check the website often for happenings and events. And, welcome to the family!

Riverstar Vineyards (TR open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Monday) 7450 Estrella Road San Miguel, CA 93451

–Don Sonderling 

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