Ox + Anchor, the Michelin-recognized modern steakhouse helmed by renowned Chef Ryan Fancher and located within the luxury, boutique property Hotel San Luis Obispo, has partnered with award-winning winemaker Paul Lato of Paul Lato Wines to present a world-class winemaker dinner at the restaurant on Tuesday, April 25 at 6 pm.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Paul Lato for Ox + Anchor’s latest winemaker dinner,” said Circe Sher, co-founder of Piazza Hospitality which developed and manages Hotel SLO. “We created the monthly dinner series to give locals and travelers an opportunity to experience a true sense of place, and Lato is a Central Coast legend. His wines are exceptional, and this dinner will give patrons an opportunity to learn about his philosophies, processes and the region’s unique elements that make the wine so special. All of this is paired with a special menu curated by Chef Fancher with very personal preferences from Lato in mind.”
Paul Lato’s story is as exceptional as his wines. Born in Poland, he was a successful sommelier in Toronto, but harbored a dream of becoming a winemaker. After short stints working for Jim Clendenen, proprietor of famed California Pinot pioneer Au Bon Climat, and as a cellar-rat at Bien Nacido, Lato began making his own wines in 2002 with a scant 500 cases of Pinot Noir and Syrah, two notoriously difficult grapes to work with. Two decades later, including a chance meeting with Robert Parker and fortuitously-timed help from Thomas Keller, Paul Lato Winery is now widely considered one of California’s top producers of Burgundian and Rhone varietals. Producing from several superb vineyard sites across California’s Central Coast, Lato’s wines routinely garner mid- to high-90s scores from many of the wine world’s most revered critics, including Jeb Dunnuck and Antonio Galloni. Lato sources his grapes from the finest name-brand vineyards on the Central Coast, from the Santa Lucia Highlands in the north to the Buellton/Lompoc area in the south. Most notable among the vineyards are Bien Nacido Vineyards, Pisoni Estate Vineyards and Solomon Hills. Lato and Bien Nacido Vineyards recently received a perfect 100-point score for Lato’s 2018 il Padrino Syrah – the first 100-point vineyard designate wine from the iconic Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Barbara County.
A Central Coast native, Chef Fancher’s deep appreciation for the local community, winemakers, and purveyors and his creative dishes are exceptional elements of the winemaker dinner series. In preparation for each winemaker dinner, Chef Fancher and the featured winemaker meet weeks in advance for a special tasting and discussion that delves deep into the winemaker’s preferences. He has honed a collaborative and intellectual approach to cooking, in general, after working at world-class Wine Country restaurants, including Barndiva in Healdsburg.
Hotel San Luis Obispo is the perfect home base for wine lovers looking to explore the nearby wine regions of Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles, and Santa Margarita. In addition to Ox + Anchor, the property offers 78 luxurious guestrooms and suites, a 50-foot garden terrace swimming pool and jacuzzi, an eco-friendly spa, an expansive rooftop bar and accompanying lounge, a fresh California take on Italian cuisine at its second restaurant, Piadina, and a spacious fitness center. Environmentally conscious travelers will appreciate the property’s sustainable elements, including reusable water bottles for every guest, refill stations throughout the hotel, and charging stations for electric vehicles.