The Roudons conceived the original dream as a radical lifestyle change, when they moved to the Bay Area in the early 1970's. Roudon met engineer Jim Smith in the early days of the growing computer industry while working together at Silicon Valley's Amdahl and began sharing his plans for a small winery to be established in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. Dreams soon led to action. As the Roudon Smith reputation grew, the two couples eventually took the leap, quit jobs, moved fortunes and families to the Santa Cruz Mountains and never looked back. Today, Al Drewke has taken over ownership of the continuing Roudon Smith saga, continuing to focus on creating well balanced and structured wines that will integrate well with food and develop slowly in bottle.~
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Almond Hill Vineyard is a small family owned and operated Estate Vineyard located on a hillside previously planted in almond trees on the West side of the Paso Robles appellation, mid-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Proprietors Dennis Van Westerhuyzen and his wife Nicole Cavier searched for many years, up and down the California Coast, for some land to plant a small vineyard to keep themselves busy during their retirement years, and also because they both enjoy wine. They bought the property in 1997 The first 2 1/2 acres of Syrah vines were planted in 2000. They were very fortunate to find a buyer for their first harvest in 2002, a great little boutique winery right next door. In 2004 they planted another 4 acres of Syrah and 1 acre of Petite Sirah grafted with budwood from the acclaimed Richard Sauret Vineyard near by.
With the 2001 harvest Paul launched his Sequum brand and released his first vintage of Napa Valley Zinfandel from his 2 acre Kidd Ranch vineyard in St. Helena. In 2002, he added a Cabernet Sauvignon from four specially selected Napa vineyard soils and named it Four Soil Melange. In 2003, the first release of the most recent addition to the Sequum portfolio, a Sonoma Dry Creek Zinfandel called Riverwash, was announced. He plans to add a vineyard designated Kidd Ranch Syrah and Kidd Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon with the 2006 vintage.
Paul continues to consult for vineyards up and down the west coast and enjoys fine tuning the production of his Sequum wines.
I'm hesitant to tell anyone about this gem so I can keep this secret to myself but the zins are so outstanding that I suppose I should share. This is a small production winery that definitely focuses on quality over quantity but their price point is still so reasonable! If I were coming to the Napa Valley and only had time for one winery, I would come here, well worth the extra drive (it's sort of in the middle of nowhere). Appointment only and be prepared for the steep one way driveway.
Eagles Nest Winery is located at the western end of Ramona Valley AVA between the historic gold mining town of Julian, and the city of San Diego. The property is situated high on a hill overlooking the scenic Ramona valley. On a clear day, you can see the Mount Palomar, the Laguna and Cuyamaca Mountains. To the west ans south you can see Mount Woodson and Iron Mountain. Elevations on the property range from approximately 1300 feet to over 1600 feet.Depending upon the terrain, the vines are trained to either a vertical shoot position (VSP) Trellis System or are Head Pruned/Trained. Eagles Nest initially planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Viognier and Zinfandel and other varietals.
Ramey Wine Cellars the tasting room is just a simple conference room, and the wine making area looks like a shipping facility. but the staff was friendly, and the wines are quite tastey. The reds we tried were bold and complicated. The whites were dry and earthy.
Definitely the place to go for more Old World style Pinot Noirs, Syrahs, and Chardonnays, and my favorite wines in the Ghetto. People who prefer more fruit forward, higher-alcohol wines might be better served with other tasting rooms - perhaps Zotovich and Fiddlehead. However, if you like earthy, lighter Pinots and buttery, complex Chardonnays, Arcadian is probably the place for you.
Pianetta winery is located on the vineyard, fourteen miles north of the downtown Paso Robles tasting room. The majority of the grapes harvested are sold to a major premium winery. Their success with Pianetta Estate grapes as well as their encouragement inspired Pianetta to develop a small winery so as to identify the wine from this vineyard.
The first vintage yielded 370 cases of 2002 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Since then, Pianetta has grown to a 2700 case production and added Shiraz, Syrah, a Syrah/Cabernet blend, and a Rose style wine to their Estate wines, as well as Sangiovese, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, and a Tuscan style blend from the Paso Robles appellation.