Via Vega Winery
Larry Gomez on Via Vega Vineyard and Winery
We are a family operation featuring 11 wine grape varieties from our 15 acre parcel. From Vineyard to Bottle it's all done here. We keep it Real.
Located in the heart of Paso Robles, California.
- We keep it real.
- Meeting / Conference Facilities:
- Wedding Facilities:
- Picnic Facilities:
- Dog Friendly:
- Winery Tours:
- Wine Tasting:
- Art or Architecture:
- Organic / Biodynamic:
- Wine Club:
- Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:
As kids, my brother and I started hanging around my Uncle Tony’s vineyard in Napa. We were drawn to the peace and toil of farming with no clue of its economics. Brother Rick went straight to Uncle Tony’s vineyard after high school and took over the farming. I went to Cal Poly to study Fruit Science so there would be a spot for me. In the mean time we learned the 1980’s version of the pitfalls of wine grape production, and understood the industry for what it was at the time. We were producing Riesling and Pinot Noir on the Napa Valley floor, along with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Between frost protection and harvest parties and Uncle Tony yelling at our mistakes, they were the best of times.
As the Napa valley grew up in the world and the varietals we had in the field proved misplaced, Uncle Tony had had his fill. Replanting to Cabernet Sauvignon and years out of production were out of the question. The vineyard was offered and sold in 1986. Rick took a job as Vineyard Manager in Solano Co., and I headed to graduate school to study enology and for my M.S. in Agricultural Chemistry.
My professional winemaking carrier started in Brandy production at the winery where Rick grew grapes. Then after graduation, to Monterey Co. as Assistant winemaker for Lockwood Vineyard in 1991. I worked at Lockwood until the 1998 vintage where I was hired as Red Winemaker for J. Lohr Winery in Paso Robles. Rick soon followed as Manager of one of the J. Lohr vineyards. At this time I purchased 20 acres not more than a mile from my desk at Lohr. The piece had a promising soil make up and I started working. The task of taking a bare piece of dirt to the vineyard and winery it is today is going to be in my final highlight film when my time is done. In 1999 I planted a vineyard with 11 varietal blocks each with clonal variations and started the wait for third leaf.
After four vintages with J.Lohr, then two at the Wildhorse Winery, I completed my Via Vega Vineyard and Winery and crushed my first harvest in 2002. A twist of fate brought me back to Lockwood Vineyard as Winemaker from 2004 through the 2011 harvest when the brand was sold.
Our family is now firmly planted here and we invite you to enjoy the flavors and the charm of this place. It’s where we have ended up in the wine business.
Lucy, our senior dog, has been Larry's faithful assistant since she found him on the Crush Pad at J. Lohr during the crush of 1999. At that time, she was about a year old and apparently surviving on field grapes. She has continued to eat and drink around the winery ever since. WE have to say, she is the best friend a winemaker could ever have and the best dog anyone could ever wish for. These days she does not care so much for tending bar. You can also find Lucy on page 103 of the Winery Dogs US book.
SALLY aka Rocket Dog:
Sally is a much loved stubborn Dapple Dachshund. She was found for us by one of our very first wine club members. Unlike Lucy, she does not know how lucky she is to live the life of a winery dog. She is obsessed with getting out to chase little critters around the vineyard. She will try to convince you that she needs to go outside - but don't give in to those sad eyes. If you open the door without holding the leash, she will RUN. We would like to apologize to all of our guests who are abruptly greeted with "Don't let the dog out!" And THANK YOU for assisting in keeping her inside.