Then\r\nHearst Castle is an architectural wonder and home to one of the most outstanding collections of European art and antiquities in the United States. But the 56-bedroom, 61-bathroom, Spanish Colonial-Moorish spread in San Simeon was once just as famous for hosting lavish parties.\r\n\r\nDuring its heyday in the late 1920s and through the \u201930s, actors, writers and luminaries such as Winston Churchill would flock to the mansion on California\u2019s Central Coast owned by billionaire and media tycoon William Randolph Hearst.\r\n\r\nTo match the opulence of the setting, Hearst would impress his guests with wine from his prized cellar, favoring French vintages like an 1878 Nuits-St.-Georges or bottles from Ch\u00e2teau Cheval Blanc or Domaine de la Roman\u00e9e-Conti.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Hearst beverage menu also was likely to include some top-shelf Alsace and German Rieslings, as well as a range of California wines, particularly those from Beaulieu Vineyard. They\u2019d be served alongside Hearst Ranch-grown beef and other locally sourced foods at dinner, the fine dining preceded by a cocktail hour and followed by ample drafts of National Dry Pale beer.\r\n\r\nDrinks, more than food, were the forte of the castle table: Meals were quirkily served with bottles of Heinz ketchup and French\u2019s mustard. Ludwig Bemelmans, author of the Madeleine children\u2019s book series and himself a globetrotting gourmand, recalled the food as somewhat forgettable, but stressed that \u201cthe Moselle wine was superb.\u201d\r\n\r\nDespite the bevy of bottles and Hearst\u2019s outrage over Prohibition\u2014his newspapers offered $25,000 to whomever could come up with the best way to defeat it\u2014he hated overindulgence. So, he had rules on imbibement, reluctantly accepted by revelers frolicking in the castle\u2019s famous Neptune pool.\r\n\r\nThose who became visibly intoxicated\u2014including Errol Flynn one year\u2014would be asked to leave and dropped off at the train station in San Luis Obispo. Moreover, all the fine wine and liquor was secured behind thick iron doors, about which Wilfred Lyons, a former employee quipped, \u201cMr. Hearst would lock up his cellar, and you couldn\u2019t get into it. I mean, even the butler had to order ahead.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\nNow\r\nThe Hearst family donated the castle and its surrounding 127 acres to the state of California in 1958. Reopened as a state park, it\u2019s a popular place for private parties\u2014from weddings to the annual Central Coast Wine Classic.\r\n\r\nBut the Hearst taste for entertaining continues, as the family still owns more than 82,000 acres of adjacent land on which they host elegant bashes and charitable fundraisers for the family\u2019s cancer resource center in San Luis Obispo, or Best Buddies International, a support organization for people with disabilities.\r\n\r\nToday, the family\u2019s strongest ties to its epicurean history are through its thriving grass-fed cattle operation and Hearst Ranch Winery.\r\n\r\nWine club parties take place at exclusive Hearst Ranch buildings, including the refurbished shoreline warehouse that once sheltered materials used for building the castle. The tasting rooms are also housed in historic structures owned by the family\u2014one is a modest spot on Jack Creek Ranch, along Highway 46 on the eastside of Paso Robles; the other is on San Simeon Bay below the castle, in Sebastian\u2019s General Store.\r\n\r\nThere, beneath the whale harpoon guns and surrounded by memorabilia from seven Hearst generations, guests can sip Hearst Ranch Winery wines, produced by Jim Saunders with the help of Paso winemakers Soren Christensen, who worked at Hope Family Wines and Alta Colina, and French-born Guillaume Fabre, who started boutique winery Clos Sol\u00e8ne.\r\n\r\nThough the 19th-century Burgundy may have been locked away, these much more accessible bottles from Hearst Ranch Winery now sustain Hearst Castle\u2019s liquid legacy.\r\n\r\n\r\nHearst Ranch Winery, a Spotlight on Paso\r\nHearst Ranch Winery came about when Paso Robles developer Jim Saunders, who\u2019d been growing and making wine for years, met Steve Hearst on a tour of the family ranch. He gave Hearst two bottles etched with \u201cHearst Ranch Winery.\u201d Saunders maintains it was a joke, but Hearst believes it was a strategic ploy.\r\n\r\nThe two became fast friends. Saunders received permission to license the family name from Hearst, and the winery was born. Today, varietal bottlings include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Tempranillo and Chardonnay.