Doug and Nancy Beckett are the co-founders of Peachy Canyon Winery in Paso Robles, featuring Zinfandel. Photo by Frank Mangio
Community Taste of Wine

Taste of Wine: Meet Peachy Canyon and Benziger from the Wine & Roses Tasting

For 33 years, the venerable Wine and Roses event has graced the wine events calendars in San Diego.  It’s the longest running event of its kind here and it has benefited Camp Oliver, a disadvantaged youth summer camp in nearby Descanso, where more than $2 million has been donated.

This year it was held in a luxurious intimate atmosphere, the elegant Darlington House in downtown La Jolla, now open for meetings and events. The Egyptian and Andalusian patios, surrounded by blooming gardens, fit some 25 wineries that were carefully selected.

Selections poured ranged from nearby Temecula to the legendary Napa Valley, and most wine countries in between.

Paso Robles and Sonoma are high on my list of excellent wine appellations.  Large and rangy, they have hundreds of wineries.

We’ll spotlight two from Wine and Roses.

Peachy Canyon winery was born in 1988, founded by Doug and Nancy Beckett.

These dedicated owners make nothing but low production sustainable wines.  One of the best known wineries in Paso Robles, it’s just off Highway 46 west, a blessed terrain with the right amount of heat spikes and foggy cool-downs, and where Cabernets can thrive right alongside Zinfandels.

Zin has for a long time been Peachy Canyon’s go-to wine varietal.  Their 2014’s are out now and are showing a wild vibrancy with deep plum and mushroom flavors leading to a long textured finish. Visit for brands and prices.

Another winery at the event was Benziger and its limited production sister, Imagery.  Both are minutes away from each other near the city of Sonoma, Calif.  Benziger is well known for its Bordeaux style wines on 85 terraced acres.  Imagery produces rare and small production varietals from far-away places, and is only available for purchase at the winery.  Wines like the 2013 Lagrein and the 2013 Teroldego from northern Italy, 2015 Alberino from northwest Spain and my favorite, a 2013 Petit Verdot from France, all produced in Sonoma.  This robust Petit Verdot is cellar-worthy for several years, with 18 months of oak aging ($42).  Visit

Cape Rey Resort rocks on with a new season of fun

Cape Rey Resort in Carlsbad is becoming the fun capital of North San Diego with well placed party themes, including live bands, small bite gourmet food, beer and wine and beach town fashion, all done around a playful pool and an ocean view fire lounge.  Their End of Summer Celebration lit up the night, with a partnership by Stone Brewing Company, in a beer garden atmosphere.


Lane Thompson, Stone Brewing sales rep and Jillian Holmes, Chandler’s Restaurant bartender, at the Cape Rey End of Summer Celebration. Photo by Frank Mangio
Lane Thompson, Stone Brewing sales rep and Jillian Holmes, Chandler’s Restaurant bartender, at the Cape Rey End of Summer Celebration. Photo by Frank Mangio

Next up is a fun Halloween trick-or-treat party Oct. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m.  Come in costume with the little ones.  All night happy hour at Chandler’s with discounts on wine and beer.  Details at (760) 602-0800.


Wine Bytes

North County Wine Company in San Marcos is planning a Halloween Weekend Wine Party Oct. 29 with an annual costume contest with three prizes for best dressed: gift cards for $50, $30 and $20. Cost is $15 for a half glass each of three great reds. Free snacks.  Check in at (760) 653-9032 for costume times.

Coasterra Restaurant on Harbor Island San Diego presents a Dia de Los Vinos Social, Nov. 1 6 to 9 p.m.  Tickets are $59.95 for six wines from six Baja wineries, with food stations of Baja-style cuisine, all on the Harbor Float at the restaurant.  Call (619) 814-1300 for details and RSVPs.

Capri Blu in Rancho Bernardo has a Chateau Montelena Napa wine dinner Nov. 2 at 6 p.m.  This is the famous winery whose Chardonnay beat the French in 1976; $65 per person.  Book your place by calling (858) 673-5100.

The 4th annual Ramona Art and Wine Festival will be held Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hand painted wine barrels will be auctioned off at the festival, being held at Begent Ranch on Highland Valley Road in Ramona. Various price levels.  Call (760) 315-1579 for ticket and auction information.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web. View his columns at and reach him at  Follow him on Facebook.