Claypool Cellars is where Les Claypool and crew working with winemaker Shad Chappell lovingly hand-craft and produce small lots of wine, including Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, known as The Purple Pachyderm, sporting the very cool, Les-designed elephant logo, his artistic rendering of how the wine is big, well-balanced with a beautiful, magnificent nose. Sometimes there is also Pink Platypus, currently sold out, a rose of RRV pinot, delightfully tasty- especially during the warmer months. Here, in their Fancy Booze Caboose, actually a real, retired SP caboose, Fancy Wines for Semi-Fancy Folks are tasted in this comfy railroad car, decked out with circus memorabilia including some great posters- and of course, M & M’s to add to the tasting experience. The Gravenstein Station houses this inside railroad right in downtown Sebastopol, just off the main drag. Special happenings showcase the wines and add to the fun of this very much a labor of love artistic endeavor of wine and hospitality- when I visited, I met Les and Chaney Smith Claypool, as well as Monika Michalak, adding to the personal vibe. Nice folks, great wines, convenient location; and of course, the history of Primus to add to all that….this is a winery with a great sense of humor, a way with entertainment and compelling wines.
Here’s looking at you, kids.