Sculpterra goes all-out for Independence Day celebration
PASO ROBLES — To call Sculpterra Winery’s Independence Day celebration “patriotic” is akin to calling a Paso Summer “a bit warm.” Independence Day—not simply the “4th of July”—is Sculpterra Owner Dr. Warren Frankel’s favorite holiday.
“One of the reasons I started doing this several years ago,” Frankel said, “was because I went to my daughter’s college campus at U.C.S.B., and I think I was wearing [a patriotic shirt], and my daughter said ‘you can’t go on the campus with a shirt like this.’ I realized at that time that people were afraid to be patriotic, so I decided to start doing this because I wanted to give you an avenue by which you can show your patriotism.”
The event kicked off its tenth annual celebration at high noon with an opening prayer from pastor Gus Bess of Overwhelmed by Grace Ministry, and Frankel gave an impassioned speech highlighting the importance of patriotism.
“Today, the New York Times stated that if you have an American flag outside your house or on your lawn, you’re showing your political preference,” Frankel said. “That’s not true. We are all Americans. The purpose of Independence Day has always been from the beginning to unite the people—Democrats, Republicans, Black, White, Rich, Poor—it unites the country under the flag of being an American.”
Laurie Valaau led the crowd of over 1,000 people in the singing of God Bless American and The Star-Spangled Banner, after which attendees were treated to an aerial flyover by a group of local pilots led by Rod Dykhouse.
Free apple pie, ice cream, and popcorn were served up, wine was poured for tastings, and Gypsi Flame Pizza, The Patio Kitchen, and Choco’s Mexican Grill served fresh meals while Monty Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band played classic tunes.
Sculpterra has always been known for the combination of wine and art, including the beautiful sculpture work of John Jagger and Dale Evers, the incredible ironwork of Bob Bentley, and The Legacy of Wine, an enormous iron-framed mural—painted by Steve Kalar and fabricated by Bob Bentley—which chronicles the long and intriguing history of Paso Robles.
In addition to the standard attractions were a fleet of classic cars lined up for spectators to admire, horse-drawn carriage rides through the vineyards courtesy of Harris Stage Lines, and pocket versions of the United States Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitutions available for all to take home with them.
As the afternoon progressed, speeches were made by several prominent local figures, including Chair of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Debbie Arnold, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow, Pastor Gus Bess, Retired California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Peterson, and Chairman of the Camp Roberts Historical Museum Gary McMaster.
The overwhelming theme of the speeches focused on American unity through patriotism.
“People should come out to Sculpterra for Independence day,” said Winemaker Paul Frankel, “to express their gratitude and patriotism towards our country. We are proud to fly our flag, pledge allegiance, sing The Star-Spangled Banner, and celebrate with one another. We are a blessed people, and we are all proud to be called Americans.”