Wine & Beer

Looking for a grown-up Halloween? These 6 SLO County haunts have wicked good wines

Let’s be honest — Halloween isn’t just for the kids. Plenty of adults like to dress up, eat, drink and be scary, too.

Lucky for us, a handful of San Luis Obispo County producers make frightfully delicious wines perfect for All Hallows’ Eve.

Here are a few killer bottles to scare up before the big night.

Pick your poison and have a Happy Hallo-wine!

Graveyard Vineyards

6990 Estrella Road, San Miguel

805-467-2043 or graveyardvineyards.com

Paula and Rob Campbell-Taylor were dead serious when they started Graveyard Vineyards, named for the 150-year-old cemetery at the bottom of the hill where their winery sits.

More than a decade and many awards later, they’ve started having fun with the name — especially at Halloween.

Conjure images of graveyards with bottles of Mortal Zin zinfandel and Tombstone red, white and pink. And don’t miss the Edvard Munch-inspired Scream, featuring a ghostly glow-in-the-dark apparition.

As the Campbell-Taylors say, this is “wine to die for.”

Chronic Cellars

2020 Nacimiento Lake Drive, Paso Robles

805-237-7848 or chroniccellars.com

Chronic Cellars salutes the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos with labels depicting fanciful skeletons ideal for Day of the Dead celebrations. Dead Nuts and Sofa King Bueno make a festive couple, while Purple Paradise and Spritz & Giggles blend kindly and spooky.

A past Halloween party lives on with Unteachables, emblazoned with skeleton versions of founding brothers Josh and Jake Beckett and the artist behind their linocut labels, Joe Kalionzes.

Graveyard Vineyards Scream
Scream, a wine from Graveyard Cellars in San Miguel, features a glow-in-the-dark label inspired by Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream.” David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Sans Liege

2995 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, and 870 Price St., Pismo Beach

805-773-2770 or sansliege.com

For a more classical take, look to the reserve line at Sans Liege, wrapped in haunting images from Dante’s “Inferno.” The closer you look at the collages of Gustave Dore’s 19th-century engravings, the eerier they feel.

Shadowy figures adorn bottles of En Gedi and Prophetess. Gripping, unconventional storytelling in the tasting notes adds another element.

Halloween wines
Halloween-themed wines include Moon Shadow and Raven from Shadow Run Vineyards in Creston; Adversary and Call to Arms from Sans Liege in Paso Robles and Pismo Beach; a scorpion-inspired zinfandel from The Fableist in Paso Robles and Scream from Graveyard Vineyards in San Miguel. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Fableist Wine Co.

3005 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, and 5036 El Pomar Road, Templeton

805-246-1431 or fableistwine.com

Sometimes the simplest designs make the boldest statements.

The scorpion adorning Fableist Wine Co.’s zinfandel is downright creepy. Pair it with the axe on the tempranillo and snake on the merlot to deliver a starkly ominous message.

Each wine represents a classic fable — and if that doesn’t strike you as foreboding, remember that those tales get rather dark. Remember the scorpion who stings the frog as they cross a river, dooming both to drown?

Shadow Run Vineyards

2720 La Panza Road, Creston

805-227-0554 or shadowrunvineyards.com

A single raven silhouetted in the sky, shadows stretching out across a dim landscape. You’ll find these classic images reminiscent of a spine-tingling Edgar Allan Poe tale among the offerings at the Evans family’s small operation in Creston.

Quaff the Raven as you quoth Poe’s “The Raven.” Or prepare to set out after dark with Moon Shadow’s twisted tree and lone figure casting spooky shadows under a moonlit sky. Either way, you’ll set the stage for an unsettling evening.

Rabble Wine Co. and Tooth & Nail Winery

3090 Anderson Road, Paso Robles

805-369-6100 or rabblewine.com

Scenes of destruction unfurl across Rabble’s labels, making them a must-have for apocalyptic gatherings. Woodblock prints from the 1500s depict nature’s wrath: tempests, volcanoes, tsunamis, dragons, medieval cities in flames. Harbingers of doom take the form of Medusa and siren mermaids.

Another winery label, Tooth & Nail, showcases struggle with menacing animal prints from John James Audubon. The castle-themed winery provides a suitable setting for Halloween outings.

Sally Buffalo writes about wine, beer and spirits. Reach her at sallybuffalo@gmail.com or stay updated by following @sallybuffalo on Instagram and Twitter.
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