Touring wine country around Paso Robles, once again I am amazed at the wine tasting buildings that are built at the wineries. The various themed buildings range in size from small and intimate to stadium sized structures. Some of the more opulent are built in a sprawling western style. Others use a castle motif including moat. I suspect much of the assets are a tax write off for the wealthy owner because of the agricultural connection.
Wondering how many California acres are planted to grape vineyards, I searched the internet. According to estimates in 2005, there are about 530,000 acres for wine grapes. Add to that another 350,000 acres of table grapes and raisin grapes. That total acreage is greater than the size of the state of Rhode Island. According to the Wine Institute, there were 2972 wineries in California in 2009. It appears there continues to be a demand for more wine as I noted many additional acres being prepared for grapes.
Using stone and brick in the construction of the winery tasting building seems to be the other common feature of the buildings. Much of the architectural detail is in the doors.
Wine tasting has gotten rather expensive. $10 isn't an unusual charge
for three or four small tastes. Of course you get to keep the logo
etched wine glass -- sometimes. Those wine glasses don't travel well in RVs -- without proper packing. Since my alcohol of preference is Crown Royal Whiskey or Christian Brothers Brandy, there really isn't much appeal for me at a wine tasting. Then there are sulfides which my body doesn't tolerate.