Our winery is driven by a dedicated team of individuals united by a common goal — to make and share remarkable wines and memorable experiences by way of first-class hospitality.
Hans Nef – Owner
We lost Hans Nef, our founder and majority owner, to a tragic swimming accident in the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa in November 2019.
A rare visionary and brilliant entrepreneur, Mr. Nef was a highly successful civil engineer, real estate developer, investor and active board member of several companies. His foray into the wine business began later in life, but if you asked him, he was just hitting his stride. After an extensive search for the perfect place, Hans Nef chose Paso Robles, planted his first vineyard here in 1997, and founded Vina Robles in late 1998. It quickly became his passion project.
The Nef family home is in Switzerland, but the patriarch visited Paso Robles often, bringing groups of friends, and his entire family along whenever possible. He is sorely missed.
Hans–Rudolf ("Hans") Michel - Owner
As a young man, Hans worked on a diversified family farm near Zurich, Switzerland. He graduated from the Technical College of Agriculture in Zollikofen, Bern with a degree in Agricultural Economics, having already gained diplomas in Commerce and Agriculture. In 1982, he came to the United States to work for a farm management company, and later started his own agricultural consulting and management firm. Hans met Hans Nef in the early 1990s, and they eventually partnered in laying the agricultural and business foundation of Vina Robles. “I want Vina Robles to be known for producing distinctive, high-quality wines, and for providing excellent service to the guests who visit our hospitality center,” he says.
Kevin Willenborg – Winemaker
Kevin Willenborg is a versatile winemaker who has over 28 years of extensive experience working in key regions such as Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Sonoma, British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, as well as California's Central Coast. A graduate of University of California at Davis, his fast paced career started with an internship at Chateau Petrus in 1984, which provided him with a great introduction into the industry's traditions and philosophy. Ever since, he has enjoyed shaping world class wines from ground to glass. "Each wine has its own life. That life begins with the planting and development of the vines. It is then transferred from the earth through the vine as the grapes are harvested, crushed, fermented into wine and eventually bottled. The role of the winemaker is to respectfully steward this life with care and attention to detail.”