On August 1, 2007 the Classic Rock band Foghat performed at the California Mid State Fair in Paso Robles California. At the show was then Tally Vineyards winemaker (and long time Foghat Fan) Steve Rasmussen & his assistant wine maker Jose Cuevas. Steve not only loved the show and the music, but thought that the name ‘Foghat’ would be a great name for a wine brand. The Central Coast of California is known for the Fog rolling in to cover the grapes.
Steve contacted Linda Earl, Foghat manager and the relationship between Roger & Linda Earl and Steve Rasmussen began. Rather than just lending a ‘name’ to a ‘product’, the Earls delved headfirst into learning all they could about making wine. They already knew how to drink it and enjoy it. So it seemed a natural progression and a great idea to have a Foghat brand. So the idea for FOGHAT CELLARS was born.
Wanting to be ‘hands on’ and learn every aspect of making great wine, the Earls dove in head first spending time working harvest and learning the ropes. The have spent quite a bit of time out in Central California meeting the farmers and learning from Steve the ins and outs of growing great grapes, knowing when to pick them, and what to do after they have been picked. Steve Rasmussen is very well respected and spent 23 years as the winemaker for Tally Vineyards. He currently owns Slo-Bottling (A mobile bottling company), has been the winemaker for Sierra Madre Vineyards as well as Foghat Cellars and consults with several wineries who value his experience.
The partnership has proved to be very interesting and a lot of fun. We bottled our first wine on May 5, 2008. A very limited amount of a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles! Only 90 cases were bottled so that we could see what people would think of our wines. Well…to say that everyone was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.
The wine is delicious and FOGHAT CELLARS is now an entity to be reckoned with! Roger and Linda have since been out helping pick the grapes, and have been working as ‘hired hands’ in the winery during the ‘punching down’ and pressing phases. (In between Foghat Concerts of course). It is hard work but very gratifying. It is important to know how it ‘feels’ to make the wine and taste the end result. Very cool!
We are rockin’ now…
Our first vintages included 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, the 2008 Chardonnay from Sierra Madre Vineyards, a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Inez Valley and Santa Maria Valley 2010 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We currently offer a 2012 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2013 Monterey Pinot Noir and a 2014 Monterey Chardonnay ( Which is almost gone!). Stay tuned! More to come!