We strive to make interesting red wines with good varietal character, intensity and longevity - wines that complement fine food. We've been particularly interested in the three great Italian red varietals. Through the years, we have been dedicated to only the finest techniques of vinification and viticulture, and to giving excellent value to our customers.
Located on San Marcos Road in the heart of Paso Robles, California.
- We specialize in high quality red wines.
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We believe that the best wines are possible when these conditions are met: grapevines are planted with careful regard to microclimate, fruit is harvested at the exact moment of maturity, and wine is made with as little processing as possible. In other words, careful handling of nature is the key to fine winemaking. We do not fine or filter our wines, and take no shortcuts to put them in the bottle sooner, leaving each for two years in small oak barrels. The resulting wines give all that the grape has to offer, wines that will continue to develop in the bottle for many years.
The three noble red varietals of Italy - Sangiovese, Aglianico and Nebbiolo, have been of particular interest to us. Dave began his work with Nebbiolo, one of his favorite wines, in the mid 1970's, and planted it at the winery in 1980. A grape that requires careful clonal selection, it has been a delight and a challenge to work with. Currently we use what we believe is one of the finest available clones of Nebbiolo, isolated by the University of Turin. Our efforts with Sangiovese began in 1982, when my father obtained some Sangiovese Grosso cuttings from one of the most respected producers of Brunello di Montalcino. We produced the first American varietal Sangiovese from those vines in 1986, and they continue to produce outstanding wines every year. We introduced the third great Italian grape, Aglianico, to the United States in 1992. Sourced from some cuttings imported a century ago, found in an obscure plant library, it has thrived in our vineyard, producing a wine with startling varietal character.
Practices & Techniques
We firmly believe that there is no substitute for patience in the making of fine red wines. We don't take any shortcuts to bring our wines to market sooner - we do not fine, filter, centrifuge, micro-oxygenate, or do anything else to speed the winemaking process.
The techniques we use are mostly a collection of traditional European winemaking practices; they include hand racking, long skin-contact, submerged cap fermentations, several years of barrel aging, and a year of bottle aging. All of our wines are unfined and unfiltered. We do take advantage of modern technology where appropriate: temperature controlled, closed stainless steel fermenters, for example. While the way we make wines is slow, labor intensive and different from most California producers, we feel it’s worth the result.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
For our cabernet and merlot, we use Bien Nacido Vineyard, located in Sisqoc, southeast of Santa Maria, California. Our work with Cabernet and Merlot from this area goes back over 30 years. Significantly cooler than Paso Robles, this vineyard is well known for varieties that require a cooler climate. The sandy soils of Bien Nacido impart a smoky characteristic to the wines that is unique to that site. This vineyard has been recently recognized as one of the finest in the world, and we are proud to be one of their oldest customers.