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Winegrower's Blog

Brian Talley, Vintner
May 19, 2014 | Brian Talley, Vintner

A Great Day

One of my favorite days of the year is just around the corner. Sunday, June 1 will mark the 21st Annual Marianne Talley Fun Run which serves as a key fundraiser for the Marianne Talley Foundation as well as a celebration of my sister’s life.  Marianne was born a little more than a year after me and was an avid athlete all of her life, a high school league champion in swimming and a finisher of the famed Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.  She passed away suddenly in 1993 after a brief workout with one of her personal training clients.  We established the Marianne Talley Foundation to support college bound students from Arroyo Grande High School and have now granted more than $200,000 in scholarships since that time.  We established the Fun Run in 1994 to financially support the scholarship program, but also to bring together many of my sister’s friends in the running and fitness community for a day of celebration.

Since the beginning, the event has been special day for our family, but now it’s bigger and better than ever.  The most popular feature is the 5K, both because it’s a distance that many people feel comfortable running or walking and because everyone who beats me gets a special t-shirt that says “I Beat the Vintner.”   This will be the third year we’ve had a 10K, a popular fun run distance.  We also have a 1 mile walk and a 1 mile youth run for those 13 and under.  After the run, we have an awards ceremony, a great raffle and this year we’ve added a bonus raffle with $10 tickets and a chance to win some special prizes including a complete dinner for 8 at Ventana Grill.

I hope you can join us on Sunday, June 1.  For all the details, including registration information, go to the Fun Run page of our website.  For questions, email Race Director Marian Fiorentino,  I hope to see you race day!  BT

Belinda Christensen
May 9, 2014 | Belinda Christensen

Have You Had Your Veggies Today?

If you are reading this blog, you probably know at least a little something about Talley Vineyards.  But you might not know that the Talley family has another operation right across the road from us, Talley Farms.  For the last few years, Talley Farms has offered membership in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), called Talley Farms Fresh Harvest. Each week, Talley Farms Fresh Harvest puts together a beautiful box of fresh, local vegetables and fruit grown by Talley Farms or by one of our neighboring farms.  These lovely boxes are delivered to convenient locations throughout the area where customers can pick them up.

So, what do the Talley Farms Fresh Harvest boxes have to do with a winery blog?  Well, if our blog is meant to reflect what is important here at Talley Vineyards, then it is about time we write about veggies.  Among Talley Vineyards employees, there are frequent conversations about the contents of last week’s box, what we most enjoyed and how we prepared each item.  And there is always much anticipation for each Thursday when our new box is delivered.

Last night I unpacked my Talley Farms Fresh Harvest box and immediately began snacking on the delicious raspberries and sweet blueberries. They never even made it into the refrigerator!  For last night’s dinner I finally mastered the art of grilled artichokes.  Fresh artichokes cooked on a hot grill, adding just a hint of smokiness, are perfection.  I’ve realized there are two tricks – one is to not overcook the artichokes before grilling and the other is to use the best ingredients possible. 

The Talley Farms Fresh Harvest avocados have spoiled me to the point where I will never eat a store bought avocado again.  The bell peppers, both green and red, are huge, delicious and picture perfect.  I’ve even found ways to enjoy the kale, a vegetable that has never been my favorite.  I love Thursdays and learning what is inside the Fresh Harvest box of goodness.  Add a glass of Talley Vineyards wine and it makes for a perfect meal every time!

Michele Good, Director of Business Operations

Let the Good Times Roll!

This past weekend we held our annual Estate Subscriber Program “Thank You” parties.  The events over the weekend are an opportunity to give back to some of our most loyal and long term fans with some great food and exceptional wine.  A few of the attendees have been Estate Subscriber members since we first started the program back in 1998!  When I helped run the tasting room and wine clubs back then, I signed up a few of these members and it is always a pleasure to see familiar faces from my early days.

The weekend started on Friday for our Elite tier members, as they were treated to a fantastic dinner at Novo Restaurant in downtown SLO.  They were joined by Alyssa Ball and Belinda Christensen, our Winemaker Eric Johnson, Vineyard Manager Travis Monk and of course Brian and Johnine Talley.  The Elite tier members enjoyed some wonderful older vintages of Talley Vineyards wines in magnums with outstanding food prepared by the fine folks at Novo.  The group had a great time and created some new friendships that are sure to last.

The fun continued on Saturday with a New Orleans themed event for all of our Estate Subscriber members.  The day featured the musical styling’s of Valerie Johnson and her King Bees and local restaurant Bon Temps Creole Café provided tasty muffuletta sandwiches, red beans and rice, jambalaya and blackened salmon.  Snap Cubby photo booth added to the festivities by providing Mardi Gras masks and hats to enhance the photo experience.  The pictures I saw come from the photo booth were fun and funny and clearly proved members “Had a Time” while here.  

We had ordered up some beautiful weather for the party, but unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.   The spring winds, which are usually manageable in the 10 mph range, kicked up a substantial notch.  The blustery elements made our Bead Toss Game much more difficult, but many of our guests braved the winds and correctly calculated the trajectory for tossing the Mardi Gras beads, winning themselves a magnum of Estate Chardonnay. Of course, guests were also excited to try the current release of the Single Vineyard Chardonnays, a preview of the newly bottled Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs and many different older vintages from magnums and jeroboams.  All in all, it was a great day, no one blew away in the wind and we were able to let some of our very best customers know how much we appreciate them.

If you would like to find out more about how you can join the fun next year, please check out our wine club page or contact Alyssa Ball at and she can guide you through our Estate Subscriber Program options and help you join the party.

Time Posted: May 2, 2014 at 3:08 PM