An email from Cambria Estate Winery in Santa Maria, California triggered very enjoyable memories of our visit to the winery several years ago.
All of the wines produced at Cambria are estate grown. Large productions of Cambria wines are for distribution; small productions are served in the tasting room
As enjoyable as the wines were, we also continue to remember a small group of performers who began to sing among themselves. After they concluded, we introduced ourselves and learned that this small group was from the Los Angeles region and had formed the group “Ready, Willing & Mabel.” Mabel refers to their 1938 RCA microphone.
In my article about Cambria Estate Winery, I wrote, “Visitors to the tasting room will discover that the Cambria wines available for tasting are the smaller wine productions. The large production wines are put into distribution.” At the time of our visit, the vineyards covered approximately 1,600 acres with a concentration of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Smaller plantings include Syrah, Viognier and Pinot Gris.
Safety Protocols at the Cambria Tasting Room
- Fridays thru Sundays wine tastings are available only by appointment; for an appointment email [email protected] or call 805.938.7318.
- Seated Outdoor Patio Tastings Only
- No picnicking onsite
- Face coverings required as visitors arrive, depart and are inside.
- Hand sanitizing stations are available
- All team members have daily healthy screenings
Since travel is not easy during the COVID-19 pandemic, wine enthusiasts who want to try Cambria wines can order directly from the winery.
The winery is offering a Tepusquet Four Pack which includes 2016 & 2017 Syrah/2018 Viognier and 2016 Pinot Gris for $91.01. The wines will be shipped with complimentary temperature-controlled ground shipping.
The email from Cambria included a recipe from Jill Russell, Cambria Winemaker for Tepusquet Paella which follows:
| INGREDIENTS |
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 ounces mild dried chorizo sausage, sliced into thin half-moons
3 cups short-grain rice, such as Spanish Bomba rice
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen green peas
3 lemons, sliced into wedges
1 pound large (21-24 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails
1 pound mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
1 pound littleneck clams, rinsed and scrubbed
| METHOD |
1 Preheat the grill: Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat (375ºF).
2 Steep the saffron: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the saffron and salt. Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for at least 15 minutes.
3 Cook the sofrito base: In a 12- to 14-inch stainless steel skillet, cast iron pan or Paella pan, heat the oil. Add the onion and red pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and chorizo.
4 Assemble the ingredients by the grill: On a table next to the grill, set the rice, tomatoes, infused stock, salt, peas, shrimp, mussels, and clams.
5 Begin cooking the paella: Add the rice, and cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the rice is coated with oil and lightly toasted. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and peas. Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Close the grill cover and simmer the rice without stirring for 15 minutes, or until the rice absorbs most of the stock. If the mixture looks dry, pour about 1 cup of hot water over it, but do not stir.
6 Add the seafood: Nestle the mussels and clams into the rice with the hinge sides up so they release their juices into the rice. Arrange the shrimp around the shellfish. Arrange the lemon wedges in a circular fashion. Cover the pan with foil, close the grill and cook for 6 to 10 minutes longer (depending on the heat of your grill), or until the rice and shrimp are both cooked through and the mussels and clams are open. (Discard any shellfish that remain tightly shut once everything else is cooked.)
7 Check to see if the bottom is browned: Slip a spatula under the rice and check to see if you have achieved the elusive golden brown socarrat. If not, set the pan over the heat, uncovered, for a few minutes to lightly caramelize the bottom.
Cheers and Please Stay Safe!