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Was That the Winemaker on Bass?

June 23, 2008

I thought I knew the D’Anbino Vineyards & Cellars folks. But my “aha” moment happened when my family’s three generations enjoyed the party at their Paso Robles tasting room – complete with a comedy act (long time friend Tony Russell who also handled some lead singing), fabulous cabs and syrahs, and a special appearance by the D’Anbino Family Band.

Carmine Rubino (half the name sake of D’Anbino) played bass and doubles as the winemaker. John Andrea (other half of the D’Anbino namesake) played a fab sax and puts his creative carpentry skills into place for various vineyard projects. Michael (John’s son) jammed on keyboards, and together with wife Sharon (who doubles as soulful singer), conceptualized and decorated their beautiful tasting room. Robert (Carmine’s son) handled percussion, and Grant (Carmine’s son-in-law) added his funky guitar skills to the band.

I would expect their wines to be great because I know Kathy Andrea’s personal commitment to creating a holistic farm system where all the workers are engaged in the farming decisions.  Between soil conservation practices and clever biological additions to improve their soil quality, their innovative techniques epitomize sustainability in practice and has landed them a prestigious place as a pilot grower in the certified sustainably grown project. (And you should see the lovely gardens where the workers and their families grow their own food.)

But how is the D’Anbino Family band so great? With a couple of Grammy’s and Emmy’s in the case, a gold record from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, and recording/producing history with the likes of Sarah Vaughn and Joe Cocker, I was reminded that these guys were musicians first, playing a part in musical Americana over several decades.

I’m guessing that this unique family venture is a local, undiscovered treasure. But enjoying the party with my own family and smiling so much that my cheeks hurt, reminded me to take time to slow down and groove to the music more often.

Fabulous Wines, Innovative Farmers, and Family Fun ––  the D’Anbino clan defines A+ SIPpers..

So support the D’Anbino’s. Visit their tasting room to check out the fun music-themed wine ware and memorabilia and enjoy their wines, and set a date for one of their parties. They have special guests scheduled throughout the year, but make sure to check out the D’Anbino Family Band’s return on October 18. (Check out a clip of the band with long-time friend Tony handling lead vocals.)

Working for the Central Coast Vineyard Team, Kris O’Connor scours the region for members’ wines and stories, trying to taper off her technology addiction. She’s always looking for a fun excuse to break away to enjoy experiences with friends and family that don’t require an internet connection.