What they’ve created can feel a bit like an oasis in over priced and often, standard tasting room. There are winery dogs, which are always fun to have around. There’s also plenty of seating outside, bocce ball courts as well as, a corn hole.
The tasting room is shared with Kaleidos Winery, itself a smaller producer and the two do a nice job at giving guests the opportunity to not only drink some wine, but to pair dessert wines with actual, desserts like cupcakes and yes, chocolate!
Another positive: their Willow Creek Cottage. Changala Winery is ahead of the game a bit here already up and running on Airbnb for $250 a night, which unfortunately for many of us, still counts as an outstanding deal in wine country.
Of course, without good wine though, nothing else matters. There’s a lighter touch evident here from start to stop, but it’s the varietal and blending choices that gives us some insight into the happenings at Changala Winery. They make a Cabernet Sauvignon–Syrah blend which you won’t often find. They also grow Touriga Nacional as a stand alone bottling, also blending it with Cabernet. Unlike much of Paso, you can find plenty of Rhone’s, but also plenty of Bordeaux varietals which is a longer discussion in and of itself, where Paso goes from here is up to some debate (Cabernet tends to grow amazingly in town and there’s a ready made market in a way that Syrah can’t touch)
How Changala Winery fits with Uncorked Ventures: It’s always nice to find smaller, family owned and operated wineries in well known wine regions. In this case, Changala Winery features a tasting room only open Friday through Sunday which gives the entire operation and air of size and exclusivity, without being pretentious. As part of one of my 90 point wine clubs, I think Changala Winery would be a great fit.