3 things we love about alta colina vineyard + winery

A couple months ago, we were given the opportunity to tour Alta Colina, a gorgeous vineyard + winery owned by father-daughter duo, Bob and Maggie Tillman. Here are three things we love about their business. 

1. Their company culture of kindness + generosity 

We were immediately blown away by everyone's hospitality and warmth. As soon as we arrived, Bob offered to take us on a private tour of the grounds in his truck, so we hopped in the back and took off down the dirt path. He was so generous with his time, showing us all of the best spots on their gorgeous property and explaining the ins and outs of the winemaking process. 

2. The adorable trailer hotel

On the other side of the mountain (the "alta colina") was the trailer pond. The space plays host to a charming trailer camp, where guests can book little vintage trailers from Tinker Tin Trailer Co. for an overnight stay. The trailers are nestled amongst rolling hills and overlook a gorgeous pond and dock. 

3. The wines (especially the rosé!)

After touring the grounds, we headed to the tasting room to learn about the winemaking process and sample some of Alta Colina's most popular wines. With its high ceilings and large windows overlooking the hillside, the tasting room was the perfect place to unwind. All of the wines that Bob shared with us were incredible, and we loved hearing the story behind each. Our favorite? The 2015 Grenache Rosé, which, alas, is sold out on their website. It was so lovely and light and tasted like a summer afternoon. Dreamy

Head over to their website + shop the Alta Colina wines by clicking here. Want more eye candy? Have a little click through the photos below from our afternoon at the winery. 

 
 

featured services | central coast beverage trucks

Add a little special somethin' to your wedding or event with a cute beverage truck or trailer. Here are a few of our favorites on the Central Coast. 

 

1. Sidecar cocktail co. bar catering

One of our go-to spots in downtown San Luis Obispo is Sidecar Cocktail Co., which offers an ever-changing selection of artfully crafted (and hilariously named) cocktails. When we found out that they cater for weddings + events out of a vintage Tinker Tin Trailer, we were smitten. As much as we love cocktails, the icing on the cake was that Sidecar's "food truck" has a thoughtfully curated beer selection. 

 

2. Whiskey + June bar trailer

This husband-and-wife duo converted an old dive bar in Atascadero into a whiskey-lover's dream, now called Whiskey + June. They also have a little bar trailer to add charm to any event. Keep it classic with the beer and wine package, or choose from one of their other sweet package deals and let them take care of the rest. Andddddd exhale. 

 

3. central coast brewing: tactical thirst response unit 

Central Coast Brewing's Tactical Thirst Response Unit is a vintage 1980 Mercedes Benz truck converted into a mobile brewery. The beer truck is equipped with four taps that can be swapped out during a wedding or event. 

 

4. SLO coast coffee

Here's a different type of brew for your wedding or special event. SLO Coast Coffee offers specialty coffees, homemade syrups, organic milks, and Italian sodas on the go. What event wouldn't be made better with handcrafted cappuccinos + chai lattes?

 

cheers,

 
 

featured spaces | Barn Wedding Ideas

Looking for barn wedding ideas? Look no further. Dance till dark under twinkling lights and wide-open skies in one of these gorgeous barns on the Central Coast of California. We're obsessed! 

photo by lindsey gomes

photo by lindsey gomes

This dreamy location is in Paso Robles, California. Playing host to vineyards, barns, silos, and a winery, this location is the perfect mix of rustic and elegant. Swoon.

 

This historical estate in Santa Margarita, California is surrounded by sprawling pastures and rests alongside the pacific coast railroad. Plus, the barn itself is impressive in size, making it perfect for giant parties + weddings. 

 
photo by austyn elizabeth

photo by austyn elizabeth

This romantic (and splurge-worthy) location in San Luis Obispo, California includes three nights in a gorgeous ranch house and suite, so you can be surrounded by your favorite friends + family. 

 

This rustic ranch in Cayucos, California boasts of a pale-blue barn with seaside views and gentle ocean breezes. And how stunning is that open rafted ceiling? 

 

This beautiful barn is nestled within the rolling hills of San Luis Obispo. Even sweeter, this barn is part of a working family farm! Read our interview with the Spreafico family by clicking here.

 
photo by pat furey

photo by pat furey

Stepladder Ranch in Cambria, California is a creamery producing artisan goat cheese + milk. The ranch's bright red barn and stunning views make for a delightful wedding or event location. 

 
photo by mason & megan

photo by mason & megan

This wood-shingled barn in Santa Margarita, California is the perfect space for weddings, parties, and events. The grounds also boast of a heart-shaped pond, gazebo, and outdoor patio.

 

psst... If you're as barn-obsessed as we are, check out more gorgeous Central coast venues here.

 
 
 
 

Featured Space | Spreafico Farms

 
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guest post: naomi + nathania fuad

Spreafico Farms is located just nine miles from the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, nestled between sprawling vineyards along Orcutt Road. Before Naomi and I had even stepped out of the car, Brandon came walking out, waving and smiling warmly with his dog Ruby at his heels. He had come straight from cattle ranching and was ready to answer all of our questions. He chuckled and asked if it was okay for us to just walk and talk; he said a ranchman like himself couldn’t sit pin straight and answer interview questions in a room.  

From the moment we met Brandon, we felt that there was something so warm, homey, and personable about him and the venue itself. Brandon graduated three years ago from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in agricultural business. After graduation, he returned home to help his family with the ranch, and he is now the coordinator for all the events—most of which are weddings—that are held at Spreafico Farms.

Brandon explained that it was his dad, now 74, who built up the ranch back in 1973. While the ranch’s original focus was dairy, they now raise cattle for beef. Throughout the decades, the Spreafico family has expanded what their 620 acres offer. These days, Brandon and his dad work with the cattle and produce red rock, and Brandon’s sister farms fresh produce for daily farmers markets down the California coast, reaching all the way to Los Angeles. Even with so much going on, the Spreafico family continues to run the farm without additional help. Brandon said, “We all do everything together—that’s how he raised us. My dad’s the hardest working man I know.”

We all do everything together—that’s how he raised us. My dad’s the hardest working man I know.

It wasn’t until eleven years ago, when a cousin wanted to use their barn for his wedding, that the Spreafico family decided to start utilizing their ranch as a venue. Brandon’s dad worked on transforming the old dairy barn into a venue fit for a wedding. Not long after, a family friend also wanted to use the barn, and before they knew it, the barn-wedding trend exploded. The family decided to rent out the barn to the public for weddings, and within the first year they had fourteen weekends booked. It’s now their fourth year hosting weddings on their property, booking an average of thirty-two weekends out of the year for couples from all over the nation.

As Brandon led us through all that their venue had to offer—like the newly added bridal changing area and the gorgeous barn—Naomi and I were amazed at how much renovation the family had done to their property to strengthen their new business endeavor. Brandon said, “I’ll take the bride and groom wherever on the property they want to go for photos—oak trees or rolling hills you name it…just seeing how happy the bride and groom are is especially rewarding. It’s the biggest day of their life and they share it with us.” The family also allows the couples to chose whichever vendors they would like to bring in for their wedding. The approach at Spreafico Farms is clearly rooted in hospitality, flexibility, and intimacy.

I’ll take the bride and groom wherever on the property they want to go for photos—oak trees or rolling hills, you name it. Just seeing how happy the bride and groom are is especially rewarding. It’s the biggest day of their life and they share it with us.

The Spreafico family is currently dreaming up ways that they can continue to expand. From opening their own house up for the wedding family to creating personalized décor pieces, the Spreafico family has exciting things in store for the venue.Our favorite part of our visit to Spreafico Farms was the golf-cart ride Brandon took us on to catch the sunset at the ranch’s prime photo spots. We drove through rolling green hills and passed masses of cattle that stared at us with confused faces. 

 

What’s your favorite part of the wedding nights?

The dessert! We’ve seen anything from s’mores pits to miniature cupcakes to massive cakes.

 

What have you learned from your dad in this process?

I used to be super shy. I learned you have to be able to talk to people. He pushed me to go out and talk to people [and introduce myself]…As the owner it makes a huge impact on your clients, and it makes them want to come back. 

 

What advice would you have for the bride in the wedding-planning process?

Don’t stress out too much on the day of! The bride is always so nervous before the ceremony, but she always looks extremely relieved afterward. Also, if you’re going to focus on a décor piece for a barn wedding, let table settings be the big thing. We want our barn to be a blank canvas, and we hope that whatever the bride [envisions], she’ll do.

 

What is something you’ve learned in the process of stepping into the wedding industry?

I get why venues don’t like confetti—allowing it was the worst mistake ever. I will never allow it [again]. It gets on everything from the ceiling to the ground; you’ll never be able to get rid of it completely. 

 

Tell us a little about the San Luis Obispo wedding community.

The wedding community here is so helpful. [There is] not one vendor who makes it alone. Everyone needs to come together, and there are certain individuals who support it so well.

 

Do you have any memorable weddings off the top of your head?

You definitely meet people from all different walks of life doing this type of job. Our last bride was actually the music producer of Dancing with the Stars! They insisted that my dad and I sit at one of the tables to enjoy the reception. We were really touched. At another wedding, we had the head cartoonist of the Simpsons here! 

 

For a bride who’s interested in your venue, what are the general amenities that Spreafico Farm offers in its general package?

  • One whole weekend
  • Huge on site parking lot
  • Heated barn
  • Back patio 
  • Bridal changing area
  • Outdoor ceremony area
  • Drinks bar
  • Day-of assistance
  • Access to the whole property for photos
 

naomi & nathania

 

It All Started with a Sticker Collection

Ashley.jpg

Meet Ashley Tovar, CEO and Co-founder of gatherologie. She is a recent Cal Poly graduate on the move, and she’s ready to face the risks of starting her own company. 

How did your entrepreneurial journey begin?

It started in the third grade, when I began selling stickers out of my sticker collection at recess. Then, one day, the teacher pulled me aside and told me what I was doing was “illegal.” I was so scared, I thought it meant I could go to jail. That day, I sold the collection to another student in order to get rid of all the “evidence.”

Then, in fifth grade, I started a business with my best friend who lived down the street. Our “clients” were our neighbors, and we did things like laundry, gardening, and organizing paperwork. We only charged $5 an hour, but it was exhilarating to be able to go shopping with my parents and buy them or myself something with my own money. 

What inspired gatherologie?

I was a wedding planner for several years, and that experience made me think about how I wanted my "someday wedding" to be. My dream wedding is a simple backyard wedding. Even with having experience planning weddings, I knew it would be difficult to find the space I wanted, because I don't own a home, let alone a home with a beautiful backyard. I just want everyone to be able to find the unique spaces and services they are looking for.

Did you ever dream about your wedding growing up?

Yes, but it has definitely changed as I’ve gotten older. When I was a young teen, I imagined myself planning a lavish wedding, but as I got older I started to realize what I can actually afford. Plus, I would rather invest the money into a house or retirement fund.  

Would you rather have a band or DJ at your wedding?

I don’t know. I could see both sides! If I went with a band, I would want it to be acoustic and jazzy like Haley Reinhart—she has the perfect wedding voice. But I also want a ton of dancing music. I want to get down and dance till the night ends!

What is your favorite show to binge on?

I’m a sucker for The Bachelor. I’ll watch it as soon as it comes on Hulu. I have been watching it since the first season.

What were you like in high school?  

Part of me was driven and involved in everything from sports to philanthropy, but then there was that struggling teen girl. It was rough. If I could go back and give myself advice I would say, “Always be kind, be a good friend, and don’t let your insecurities get the best of you." 

If you could open up any type of store, what would it be?

I love the idea of a cute bar boutique, because I love to drink and shop at the same time. I also dream of creating an online website that has all Mr. & Mr. or Mrs. & Mrs. decor.

What are the three emojis that you use the most?

 

What is your favorite book?

Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov. It’s really about loving yourself first. It’s so funny and relatable. The first time I read it, I realized how awful my standards were. Even though I have a girlfriend, the same information applies, so don't be fooled by the title! 

(P.S.: Yes, I prefer to call my girlfriend, my "girlfriend" and not my "partner." In my opinion, a partner is someone you work with on a school assignment or own a business with, not someone you date.)

warmly,