Sculpterra Winery is Family Friendly
Having children along need not keep parents from wine tasting. Paso Robles has a few family friendly wineries that have plenty to keep children happy and occupied as parents do the tasting. My personal favorite of these is Sculpterra.
Sculpterra Owner Dr. Warren Frankel Cares about Families
He showed how much he cared for his own when he moved his medical practice from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County to Templeton in 1970. In 1979 he bought a 90-acre ranch in Paso Robles on which to raise his children. Trust me, There couldn't be a more beautiful place to raise children than the location Dr. Frankel chose. He and his wife Kathy also have room to keep the horses they like to ride and plenty of room to ride them through the vineyards and orchards.
But Dr. Frankel cares about more than his own family. He and some other doctors got together to found His Healing Hands, a medical ministry that sends medical missionaries on short term missions to almost every corner of the world to bring medical care to the poorest of the poor. They are often on the scene after a major disaster like Hurricane Katrina. I personally know people who have participated in these short term missions with Dr. Frankel, and I've met Dr. Frankel himself at Sculpterra. When you buy wine at Sculpterra, part of the profits go to support His Healing Hands. Read more about Dr. Frankel here.
Dr. Frankel loves his country and the people of Paso Robles. He is a concerned and active citizen. I often hear him express his views about local issues on our local radio stations "Morning Exchange" and "Sound Off" programs. Every year he also hosts an Independence Day party at the winery for the community. In the past he has treated those who attend to free hot dogs, popcorn, pizza, apple pie, bottled water, and wine. Read more about these parties on my blog post, Independence Day at Sculpterra Winery.
What Does Sculpterra Have to Offer Kids?Sculpterra's sculpture garden is full of renowned sculptor John Jagger's gigantic sculptures in bronze and granite. (Miniature versions of many of them are for sale in the tasting room.) If you are anywhere near the tasting room you probably will be able to see at least one large sculpture near you. There is also usually a place within view of the sculptures where parents can sit and drink their wine as children explore the paths that lead to the sculptures.
This sculpture by John Jaggers is my favorite of all of them.
|"Sweet Dreams" by John Jagger at Sculpterra|
I can imagine "Gentle Giant" wowing the younger generation. It, like the other sculptures, is huge. They make even adults looking at them feel small.
|"Gentle Giant," by John Jagger at Sculpterra Winery, Photo © Barbara Radisavljevic|
The Work of Resident Artist Dale Evers
I've always loved what our local artist Dale Evers did with an old car door. I first saw the dog in this door outside Dale's Paso Robles studio. You couldn't miss it as you walked by.
Then one day when I was at Sculpterra after almost a year's absence, I saw this right between the parking lot and the path to the tasting room entrance. Look familiar?
Of course, that's only one piece of Dale's work on display at Sculpterra. Every time I visit Sculpterra I find more of it. He works in metal and much of his work is very delicate. So it is with the butterfly chimes below. I was really surprised to find them at Sculpterra because they used to live nextdoor to our Templeton house at ZinAlley winery. Here's how they looked there.
Now they live at Sculpterra in Central Park West.
Central Park West
Here are the chimes in their new home.
Central Park West has all kinds of activities for children and adults who like to play games. Of course, everyone likes to push the chimes to hear them ring. There are also two stone chess tables, a bocce ball court (on the other side of the picnic tables), a cement foosball table, and a custom made table tennis table. Parents can sit in the comfortable chairs to drink their wine. The very top photo in this post gives you another look at the game tables from a different perspective. Equipment for the games can be checked out in the tasting room.
|Sculpterra Mural, "Legacy of California Wine in Art"|
Another part of Central Park West I hope people will show their children is the "Legacy of California Wine in Art." (See above.) Artists Bob Bentley and Steve Kalar collaborated to present this mural of the history of wine in California.
Art is Everywhere at Sculpterra
Besides the sculptures and art panels scattered around the area near the tasting room, there is plenty of wall art by local artists for sale inside the tasting room. One art wall is reserved for each month's featured artist. I was last there in December 2018, and the Artist of the Month was Drew Davis. I had actually found him painting in front of the tasting room that day and we talked for a bit. You never know what or who you will find on a visit to Sculpterra.
|Artist of the Month Wall Featuring the Work of Drew Davis, ©Barbara Radisavljevic|
|Drew Davis, Photo ©Barbara Radisavljevic|
A Visit to Sculpterra Is Educational
Look at the mural shown above and talk with your children about California's history as you look at the individual pictures on it. It begins with the missions and so far ends with the arrival of the railroad.
As you walk through the sculpture garden, talk about the artists and their work. Talk about sculpture as an art form. Do a bit of research before you go and learn enough to teach your children. Help your children notice the characteristics of the sculptures. Ask how the sculptures make them feel or how they think the artists may have felt about their subjects. Note the expressions on the animal faces.
Like most wineries I visit, Sculpterra grows herbs in the gardens surrounding the the tasting room. See if your children can identify them. Point out the various birds and beneficial insects the garden attracts.
If you're really lucky, you may even get to watch an artist work. And on Sunday afternoons there are usually free concerts outside.
Find out when harvest will occur in the fall and plan to observe it. On some of my visits to Sculpterra I have watched Dr. Frankel's son Paul, the winemaker, at work and he doesn't mind answering questions. In this video he explains how they handpick the grapes at Sculpterra. This short video is one of a series that may be good preparation for your family to watch before they visit Sculpterra.
Everyone in Your Family Will Find Something to Enjoy
See also my article on HubPages: Sculpterra Winery: Where Art, Wine, and Music Mix for more about Sculpterra and links to the videos I made there on my first visit.
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