Crooked Road’s Creative Flow

Winemaker Ryan Ralston Teams Up with Guitarist, Businessman, and Artist

“It’s artistic synergy,” says winemaker Ryan Ralston of the dynamic team behind Crooked Road Winery. Reminiscent of a fin de siècle creative co-op, the partnership weaves together the musical, technological, artistic, and winemaking abilities of its four talented members. While Ralston is adept at layering textures and intricate flavors, flamenco guitarist Chris Fossek contributes melodic accompaniment, businessman Kyle Tracz offers technological and business expertise, and visual artist Carlos Mascherin adds marketing savvy and aesthetic style to the multi-dimensional group.

“We continually inspire one another’s work,” explained Ralston, “and collaborate to keep our individual approaches fresh.” The four became the new faces of Crooked Road Winery in May and currently produce about 1,000 cases of Bordeaux and Spanish varietals with estate fruit from Starr Ranch in Paso Robles. Though the name originally referred to Starr Ranch’s winding driveway, today it symbolizes the circuitous path the group’s members have taken to reach this inspired cooperative. “We’re believers that the best path between point A and point B is never a straight shot,” said Ralston. “It’s meandering, edifying, and organic.”

Crooked Road’s wine tasting events also reflect adventurousness. The group hosts “rogue tastings,” spontaneous social gatherings at diverse locations. This summer expect to see them on hotel rooftops, restaurant patios, and vacant buildings. Word of the gathering’s time and location spreads via social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter and guests find their way to the festivities. The inaugural event, May 21st, drew a crowd of over 400. “The purpose of wine is to bring people together,” believes Ralston.

Crooked Road’s upcoming tasting event July 3rd at the Bay Roadhouse (202 State Street) promises to do just that. The passion-fueled celebration of art, music, and culture will pair perfectly with Crooked Road’s dynamic wines. Inspiring indeed.

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