Does the Claypool name sound familiar? For anyone into rock music, yes. Les is lead vocalist and bassist with alternate rock band Primus, and so his label includes a Russian River Pinot Noir called Purple Pachyderm (for a link to the Primus song Southbound Pachyderm) plus a Pinot Noir Rosé called Pink Platypus. The west Sonoma County resident, by the way, also wrote the theme song for the TV show South Park.
... the top-hatted Primus bassman himself is known to occasionally host weekend customers at the Claypool Cellars tasting room, which is crammed inside an old Southern Pacific railroad caboose stationed in a Sebastapol parking lot.
The vibe: It's impressive how much energy can be packed into a tasting room that spans barely 10 by 40 feet. Yet the old Southern Pacific caboose is filled with vintage model train cars that used to be Chaney's father's. The toys are tucked into a custom-made display case that looks like a train car, complete with rivets and casters. It doubles as the tasting bar.
The experience: Visitors walk up metal stairs, through the narrow door capped by a neon circus-style "Claypool Cellars" sign ringed with light bulbs around a cartoon of an elephant balancing on a ball.