CRESTON ó Parrish Family Vineyard, which has a long history in Atascadero, recently won awards for its 2009 reserve wines at the 2012 Orange County Fair and the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
The winery has its roots when Atascadero founder E.G. Lewis asked Earl Henderson to move to Atascadero and plant vineyards.
Hendersonís great-granddaughter, Cecily Ray, said that it was during prohibition, but that home winemaking was allowed. Due to prohibition and the Great Depression, Henderson was unable to have a commercial winery, but sold his grapes to individuals.
According to an Atascadero News article printed in 1927, Henderson planted a total of 540 acres in Atascadero in Camp Two and Camp Five that year. In total he planted approximately 740 acres of grapes that include Alicante, Charbon, petite sirah and zinfandel. Those vineyards, Ray said, are no longer there; the family now grows its grapes on a ranch in Creston.
Not only did Henderson plant the first vineyards in Atascadero, he also got the first post office box for the city of Atascadero. Several bottles of Parrish Family Vineyards carry a photo of P.O. Box 1 on their labels.
Hendersonís grandson and Rayís father, David Parrish, started his vineyard in 1995 and has produced wine since 2004. The familyís tasting room opened in downtown Paso Robles in 2011 at 1220 Park St.
Parrish Family Vineyards team is made up of Ray, her husband, Ethan, who is the assistant winemaker and vineyard manager; Parrish and his wife, Lynn.
At the 2012 Orange County Fairís wine competition, out of 2,762 wines entered Parrish got a gold ribbon in the Proprietary Red Category for its 2009 Reserve Silken Blend and a bronze ribbon in the Cabernet Sauvignon Category for its 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
At the 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition, out of 4,500 wines entered from all over the world, Parrish got a silver medal in the Premium Bordeaux Blend Category for its 2009 Reserve Silken Blend and a bronze medal in the Cabernet Sauvignon Category for its 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
The winning wines will be released at its 2012 Harvest Party in the fall.
For more information, go to www.parrishfamilyvineyard.com. The tasting room is open Thursday through Saturday from 1 to 6:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 1 to 7:30 p.m.For the complete article see the 08-03-2012 issue.
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