While adhering to traditional winemaking methods, veteran winemaker Kevin Willenborg implements modern technologies to make his estate wines with minimal intervention.
Kevin is known for his great attention to detail and for working with the vines so that they express the true potential of the grape. Together with our vineyard team, he employs sustainable techniques to achieve the highest quality possible. Kevin explains: "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."
Kevin's goal is to grow wines that completely translate the Paso Robles terroir into the bottle and let the true fruit qualities shine through in the wine. For this reason, he uses both subtle and discrete traditional as well as modern winemaking methods, in order to enhance the full expression of the grape. Furthermore, barrels are carefully selected from cooperages that are known for subtlety, and only low and medium toast levels are employed.
We are proud to say that 2018 was the first vintage crushed, made and bottled here at our state-of-the-art winery.
A NOTE FROM WINEMAKER KEVIN WILLENBORG
We broke ground and started construction of our winery at our Huerhuero Vineyard in the Spring of 2017. It was a fitting milestone to mark our 20th anniversary, and will no doubt be the foundation of our next 20 years in Paso Robles. It was a long time coming, but we discovered that the upside to waiting so long was the ability to take advantage of latest cutting-edge technologies that will help us make even better wine.
The state-of-the-art equipment we have installed has not only enhanced wine quality, it has elevated our energy efficiency. Some of this equipment would have been unthinkable just 5 or 10 years ago, and a lot of it mirrors the mindset behind our sustainable vineyard practices. For example, the winery is partially powered by a solar array, and innovative logic controllers greatly reduce energy consumption. The winery actually uses less energy while generating its own power, ultimately minimizing its carbon footprint.
One thing I now can't imagine living without is our optical grape sorter, one of just a few in Paso. When our fruit is harvested and destemmed, each grape is sent through the optical sorter, which discards any compromised fruit with remarkable speed and accuracy. This literally gives me the 'best of the bunch' to make wine from. Sounds pretty hi-tech, and it is - but not to worry, we don't rely wholly on technology. I'm still physically checking each tank every day throughout harvest. The synergy between tradition and technology is right on.
Here's to many more vintages in this smart and beautiful winery!