Sneak Peak Inside Claypool Cellars Caboose

Les Claypool parties in his wine caboose while not on stage with Primus.

51 photos
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Josh Keppel
Les Claypool of Primus fame has taken over an old red caboose as a wine tasting wagon to sample some of his fancy juice.
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At a recent special event, Mr. Claypool was serving up plates of smoked tomato risotto with crispy pork belly, topped with some "weeds from the backyard," he said, as he sprinkled some garnish over the dish. From Les Claypool's herb garden to your belly.
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The first time the public was invited into the caboose was at a special event in February, where Les Claypool was tasked with serving up the grub.
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The Claypool Cellars caboose will officially open mid-July, but there are occasional special events where people can come down and take a sample of Les' personal stash.
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At many of the special parties, guests are given a glass to take home as a souvenir. The May shindig had a different set of glasses from the February party, a little taller and thinner.
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The Caboose is located inside Gravenstein Station, in the cute town of Sebastopol in Sonoma County.
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There is a nice area of tables and chairs outside of the caboose that is the perfect gathering area for the parties.
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A peak inside the caboose, with Monika Panczyk (right), one of the Purple Pachydettes.
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Claypool Cellars partner Slawek Michalak plays Conductor and pours a glass of red.
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"If I could buy only one bottle of wine made by a bass player this year, Purple Pachyderm would be it," said South Park creator Matt Stone.
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For the May party, Claypool Cellars gave out train tickets to attendees who paid $30 each for a few tastes of wine, a full glass and dinner. The ticket was punched after each exchange, which was quite fun.
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Pink Platypus chilling. The taste that started things off.
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For this party, the caboose became a dining car.
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The last time Todd Pironis (left) saw Les Claypool was at one of Claypool's shows in Melbourne, Australia. In town for a few days from Sydney, Pironis surprisingly found himself being served dinner from the bass playing legend.
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Believe it or not, Claypool's partner in wine Slawek Michalak actually held this pose for me to photograph. You can see his eye waiting for the flash. Thanks!
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4th generation Sonoma County wine maker Shad Chappell hangs just outside the caboose. Claypool and Michalak snagged Chappell to head up the wine making duties for Claypool Cellars.
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It even tastes great in black and white!
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Claypool is a very friendly, approachable guy, who is always ready and willing to sign a guitar, bass or pretty much whatever you put in front of him.
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Tables and chairs are set up along the old Southern Pacific caboose.
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The caboose is planned to open mid-July for tastings on weekends, and will be a great stop on the way through wine country.
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There is an incredibly impressive collection of old model trains under the counter-top. If only the caboose was a little bigger, maybe these babies would be chug, chug, chugging their way around the wine tasting room.
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Outhouse, toll booth or crossing guard shack? You decide.
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T-shirts, stickers, and wine openers can be ordered along with bottles of the embossed Pinot.
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The back room of the caboose houses the Claypool Cellars office and stockroom.
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The 1951 Ford panel "Pachymobile," seen at all the big Claypool Cellars events.
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Night music on the opening evening.
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A view of Gravenstein Station at night.
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Two bowls full of gumbo.
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It is not every day you get a chance to get your photo taken with a recently voted top-five bass player of all time. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/photos/rolling-stone-readers-pick-the-top-ten-bassists-of-all-time-20110331/5-les-claypool-0752997
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Winemaker Shad Chappell (right) chats wine in the caboose.
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Claypool Cellars partner Slawek Michalak pours another glass.
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Next door to the caboose, is the Starlight wine bar and restaurant, in an old railroad dining car. Starlight are the ones to be thanked for providing the tasty grub for the Claypool Cellars caboose events.
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A glimpse of the Starlight gumbo. I can highly recommend this!
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Claypool Cellars is a family business, with the wives planning on pouring at the caboose on the weekends starting in mid-July. Slawek Michalak's wife Monika Panczyk gets some practice behind the counter.
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"I am making a special effort to place our wines in restaurants or facilities that I personally endorse," said Les Claypool on their website, next to a list of places across the state to order a glass or bottle with dinner. http://www.claypoolcellars.com/?page=Happenings
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Yup, still signing stuff.
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Matt Carlson and wife Bethany Heine Carlson love attending the parties, as they are both fans of wine, and Primus.
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Here the Carlson's are at the second shindig.
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Beautiful Polish exports Magdalena Vladimirov (left) and Anna Borzycka strike a pose.
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Here's a shot of Robert and Magdalena Vladimirov from the opening party.
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Claypool Cellars CEO Chaney Claypool (left) and fellow Purple Pachydette Lisa Hutchinson.
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Cute little train hair accoutrement in Chaney Claypool's do.
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The second party was a little more mellow than the first, which was packed. Admittedly, I got to the second party only 15 minutes before it was over, so I think I missed the crush of people.
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Monika Panczyk out in front of the caboose.
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Jenna Loceff and Scott T Messenger
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Davit Evans and Morgan Neiman from SF who took four bottles home.
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The parties are actually very family friendly, and a great night out for parents who want to have some fun with the kids. This baby roundup, of kids all sporting purple, was at the opening party.
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At the second party, Francesca Eve Cardoza Hutchison did a lovely Pocahontas impersonation.
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Revelers enjoying some juice.
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The Southern Pacific Claypool Cellars Caboose is ready to invite you in for a special party, or for their public opening in mid-July. For more info, check here: http://www.claypoolcellars.com/
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