Omar Oliver – The New Kid & his Block


We are now 3 years deep into our unprecedented Syrah experiment! Short white cylinders protect tightly spaced vines spanning up the steep hillside in perfectly straight lines. Each plant roots downward within two meters of 8 neighboring vines. Stacked on top of one another to force competition, the vines immediately penetrate limestone subsoil. In 2013 we started with 50 special Syrah cuttings. 49 grew, and Read More →

Ballard Canyon: Ruben Solorzano’s Wild Empire


Beautiful Weeds In early spring the vineyard lies covered in an array of weeds speckled with bright mustard and purple lupine. La Cuadrilla moves through the chest high forest concentrating only on pruning. Ruben and the team take great pride in the wild appearance of the land. We leave the weeds and planted pea-shoot cover crop until the forecast indicates an end to winter rain. Read More →

Research Trip: The Young Minds of Paso Robles


Today there are so many beautiful wineries dotting the hills of Paso Robles, it’s getting increasingly difficult to decide where to take the Stolpman staff on Central Coast research trips. So in between visiting Saxum and Epoch, we lunched with three young winemakers to learn about the new generation set to take over Paso. Aaron Jackson – Aaron Wines Aaron built his brand on Petite Read More →

Australia Dispatch No. 3: The Other Shiraz – Jamsheed and Timo Mayer


Gary Mills and Timo Mayer aren’t making Shiraz to rebel against the Australian Establishment. They’re simply making the wines they love. Gary honed techniques alongside Paul Draper at Ridge. German Riesling winemaker Timo ignored the modern Australian winemaking movement when he moved Down Under in 1990. Both winemakers turn out complex, compelling Shiraz. J A M S H E E D Gary loves Granite soils Read More →

La Cuadrilla + Limestone


  T H E  L A B E L by Kari Crist, the label’s creator & creative director of Stolpman Vineyards Champagne, Loire, Chablis, Ballard Canyon… What do these guys have in common? Limestone. The calcium rich soil that sky rockets ordinary Vitis Vinifera into rock star status. Limestone. The soil that directed Tom Stolpman to his family’s legacy on Ballard Canyon. Limestone. The only Read More →

Research Trip: Justin Smith of Saxum


If we could only meet one winemaker in Paso Robles, it would have to be Justin Smith. Yes, there is Saxum’s allure: the waiting list and the 100 point score. But there is more to Saxum than the winery’s reputation – owner winemaker Justin Smith’s discoveries and innovations – and his willingness to share them – have shaped the methodologies of the Central Coast’s highest Read More →



Tom Stolpman’s Mandate from Day One: “Hide at least 10 cases of every wine we bottle deep inside the cold room and don’t let me touch them!” Just as Tom predicted: tannins integrated, flavors blossomed, textures fleshed. Luxurious, revelatory wines flourished the only way possible, via patience. We hoarded these wines to a tipping point. Eventually we ran out of space, and I opened flights Read More →

Australia Dispatch No. 2 Pat Sullivan: Victoria’s Poster Boy of a Revolution‏


“Two types of people drink my wine, either Sommeliers in their twenties, or Women in their sixties” – Pat Sullivan, approx. 36 hours into tasting appointment. With a well-worn coral pink quicksilver hoodie, a disheveled pile of curly hair, and a youthful 29 Year Old’s welcoming smile; Pat Sullivan is Victoria’s poster-boy for the Australian wine revolution. A day and a half earlier, we arrived Read More →

Australia Dispatch No 1. Savagnin: Mistaken Identity with Great Potential‏


M I S T A K E N  I D E N T I T Y Similar to the California’s Viognier scandal, Australia suffered through a mistaken identity crises of its own. What was assumed to be Albarino turned out to be the obscure Jura grape, Savagnin. Genetic test results went public just 5 years ago. Today, most producers continue to make light, crisp wines, Read More →

Making ‘Sense’ of Wine


There isn’t a day at the tasting room that goes by that I don’t overhear conversations ranging from deep tannin expression analysis to down home declarations of – ‘I like it!’  Our folks behind the bar are quick to shout out fundamentals of how each wine is produced – from the history of a varietal to specific barrel selection, aging, concrete fermenters – every choice Read More →