Kiamie Wine Cellars
We proudly work with a handful of premium wine grape growers in the Paso Robles appellation, all of whom have longstanding reputations for growing the most premium wine grapes in the Paso Robles AVA. It is our goal to make distinguished blends that represent the quality of the vineyard and fruit from which it is made. That is why Kiamie's proprietors, Aram and Greg, have grown so fond of the Adelaida and Templeton gap sub-appellations. A small part of the AVA, which they feel, makes the best and most award-winning wines.
Located in the heart of Paso Robles, California.
- Wines of expression and uncompromising quality.
- Meeting / Conference Facilities:
- Wedding Facilities:
- Picnic Facilities:
- Dog Friendly:
- Winery Tours:
- Wine Tasting:
- Art or Architecture:
- Organic / Biodynamic:
- Wine Club:
- Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:
The grandson of New York real estate mogul Sam Kiamie, Greg Johnson first became interested in wine while in college. In fact, he was so interested that he left school and worked in a New York wine shop full-time. He immersed himself in the world of wine, refined his palate, and learned all he could about retail sales. His family eventually convinced him to join the family business in Manhattan, but he continued to work in the wine shop on the weekends.
After a few years, Greg realized that the wine business was truly his passion, and began formulating a plan to move to California and start his own winery. He convinced his business associate and good friend Aram Deirmenjian to join him, and they were off.
They discovered Paso Robles after ruling out Napa Valley and Mendocino, and Greg took up a job driving grapes from Paso Robles up to Napa for VitaLuce. He met Steve Glossner at Halter Ranch while picking up grapes, and they spent hours together discussing wine and the business in general.
Greg is now applying both his wine knowledge and practical experience, making Kiamie Wine Cellars a reality.
When Greg is not working in the cellar, or out selling wine, he can be found riding his mountain bike. Greg lives in Paso Robles with his old black lab Max, a city dog who is happily retired to the beautiful countryside.
Aram - Proprietor/National Sales:
Aram Deirmenjian comes from a family with a 30-year history of California grape growing and in fact, grew up working in the vineyard. After attending college, he left California for New York working in project management for a division of Honeywell. He eventually established his own life safety systems firm. Business boomed after the events of 9/11, but his life outlook changed simultaneously, as did his wife Patti’s, and they looked outside the city for a less stressful lifestyle.
An apple farm in Vermont seemed to be the perfect answer, so Aram sold his share of the firm to his partner, and he and Patti made plans to leave New York. During this time, Aram’s client and good friend, Greg Johnson of the Kiamie family, came to them with a plan to move to California and start a winery. They realized that their end goal of a better lifestyle would still be met, Aram could draw on his early vineyard experiences, and they'd be closer to family.
Greg and Aram traveled all over California, and happened upon Paso Robles when driving from Aram’s family’s vineyard to Napa Valley. Aram was surprised to see a thriving town and wine industry where he remembered only a highway interchange before. They decided this was the place, packed up and moved to Paso Robles. In order to get a new hands-on understanding of the business, Aram took a job at Halter Ranch. He worked in the vineyard with Mitch Wyss, in the tasting room with Leslie Wyss, and in the cellar with winemaker Steve Glossner.
Aram is now fully enjoying living in California, and is working hard to put Kiamie Wine Cellars on the wine industry map as a premier Paso Robles winery.
Aram and Patti live in Paso Robles with their dogs Jack and Duke. Aram enjoys snowboarding and golfing, and has vowed to take up gardening again, just as soon as he can make the time.
Rose and Cliff - Proprietors:
Mother of Greg Johnson, Rose Meltzer grew up with her parents, Sam and Carmen Kiamie, in Westchester NY. Rose’s father was the youngest of nine children, and the only one born in America. He earned a distinguished service medal in the military, as did two of his brothers, and he later contributed to the success of the Kiamie family business.
As intelligent and accomplished as her father, Rose is both a chemist and classical pianist, with degrees from Columbia University and The Julliard School. She retired and moved to California in the early 1990s with husband Cliff, and took up bridge. She hadn’t played since high school, but easily picked it back up and excelled. Rose began entering Open Tournaments, and is currently the only person in history to have won five World Championships.
Cliff is currently a VP with Apple Computer in Cupertino. Prior to that he had several executive level positions with Cisco Systems spanning an 11-year career. In 1999 Cliff was CEO and President of Digital Fountain, a networking start-up company. Cliff began his career at IBM where he worked for 16 years, the last 10 at the IBM Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Kiamie Wine Cellars contracts all of our white fruit from this vineyard. The Derby Vineyard, formerly known as the Rosette Vineyard, is located in the heart of the Templeton gap where temperatures are are cooler due to the coastal air from the Pacific Ocean (approx. 20 miles). Throughought the growing season the maritime influence moderates the heat and provides cool evenings for the fruit to regain its balance of acidity.The calcareous soils of this vineyard provide nice minerality to the Viognier and Roussane fruit that we use entirely for the Kiamie White Kuvee program.
Acres Planted: 34 in 1998
Varietals Planted: Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Counoise, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah
Varietals Grown for Kiamie Wine Cellars: Viognier, Roussane
Predominant Soil: Nacimiento series which consists of moderately deep, well drained soils that formed in material weathered from calcareous shale & sandstone.
Halter Ranch Vineyard:
Halter Ranch Vineyard sits amidst the beautiful 900-acre ranch on Adelaida Road on the west side of Paso Robles. The vineyard was initiated in 1996 and has since been expanded to its present 250 acres. The vines occupy the steepest, most south-facing slopes on the property, which reach an elevation of 1,800 feet and provide excellent water drainage and sun exposure. These slopes are also rich in limestone, a feature of many of the world’s finest vineyards.
While Paso Robles generally is a warm growing region, vineyards on the west side of Highway 101 enjoy a markedly cooler climate due to their proximity to the Pacific Ocean and its cooling breezes. This ensures our grapes ripen slowly and evenly, developing ripe, concentrated fruit flavors while retaining healthy levels of acidity. Because Halter Ranch receives plentiful winter rainfall, the need for irrigation during the growing season is minimal, ensuring small berry and cluster sizes, which also promote full flavor development.
Kiamie Wine Cellars sources fruit from 3 of the 19 grape varieties planted on this vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot). Our fruit comes from blocks 21, 31, 32 and 40A. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon was made entirely from fruit sourced at Halter Ranch Vineyard. The combination of the well-drained soils, low-yielding clones and high-density plantings (which force the vines to compete for water and nutrients), results in small crops of intensely flavored fruit, the prerequisite for making superb wines.
At Halter, the emphasis on quality in the vineyard is complemented by the commitment to environmentally responsible grape-growing practices. Farming sustainably means relying whenever possible on organic methods of fertilization, weed removal, pest control and mildew protection. Sustainable farming not only respects and protect the land and the people who work it, it also results in wines that more eloquently express their provenance.
The Messina Vineyard (also named Jada Vineyard) is located on Vineyard Drive in the heart of the Templeton Gap. The site was chosen for its calcareous shale soils and cool coastal influences. The vineyard was established in 1999, when Jack and Robyn Messina purchased the land with their sights set on making olive oil. They quickly decided to diversify and plant grapes as well. The first vines were planted later in 1999 and the fruit was sold to a handful of premium wineries in the area. In 2005, Jada began using their estate fruit for their own wine label; however, continues to grow fruit for Kiamie Wine Cellars and other select wineries in Paso Robles.
Kiamie Wine Cellars sources Bordeaux varieties of Petit Verdot and Merlot from the Messina Vineyard.
Total Acres Farmed: 58.07
Year Planted: 1999
Soils: Clay calcareous
Spacing: 8 ft. by 6 ft.
Vine Row Orientation: Northwest / Southeast
Training: Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP)
Elevation: 1110-1300 feet.
Rolph Family Vineyards:
The Rolph Family Vineyards are situated west of Paso Robles in the rolling hills of Adelaida. The soils are moderately deep, well drained and formed in material weathered from calcareous sandstone and shale. Soil types include Nacimiento silly clay loam and Rincon clay loam.
The Rolph Family Vineyards successfully grows Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon with added dry farmed acreage in Petite Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Terra Bella Vineyards:
Terra Bella was 180 acres of rolling cattle land when it was discovered by Jack Hopkins in 2000. Upon purchasing the property in early 2001, Mr. Hopkins began the somewhat arduous task of turning it into rows of voluptuous vines rising from the lower elevations at 1600 feet to the upper hilltops at 1900 feet. There are five blocks of Syrah and one block of Grenache. The rootstock is 1103P with Tablas Creek Clones of Syrah and Syrah Noir. The Grenache is also 1103P rootstock with Alban Clones.
The development was designed to preserve all native trees on the property which eliminated some plantable areas, but preserved the beauty of the property and the integrity of the natural surroundings.The vineyard is farmed using organic and non-toxic practices and materials in keeping with the Hopkins' philosophy of protecting the environment. Blessed with calcareous soils, the morning fog and ocean breezes off the Pacific just 30 minutes to the west and full sun much of the growing season, the climate is perfect for the intensity of fruit Kiamie Wine Cellars strives for.
Varietals Planted: Syrah and Grenache
Varietals Grown for Kiamie Wine Cellars: Syrah and Grenache.
2006 R'Own Style Blend, 89 Points,
2006 Meritage, 90 Points,
2005 Kiamie Kuvée, 91 Points,
2006 Kiamie White Kuvée, TWO AND A HALF STARS,