Thursday, September 1, 2016

Villa Creek Cellars Receives Demeter Certification: Nearly Doubles Paso Robles Biodynamic Vineyard Acreage

It's a tiny step forward for Paso Robles, which has fewer than 1.4 percent organic vineyards among its vast Central Coast span, but it's step in the right direction.

For a decade, AmByth Estate's 20 acre vineyard has been the only certified Biodynamic vineyard in the 41,000 acre Paso Robles AVA.

In 2015, Villa Creek Cellars, owned by Cris and JoAnn Cherry, became the second vineyard in the AVA with Demeter certified vines.


Founded in 2001, Villa Creek Cellars has been a surprisingly sudden success story. The Cherry's bought some grapes, intending to make a house wine for their Ville Creek restaurant and wine bar in Paso Robles. Little did they know that their second vintage would bring acclaim and a 93 point score from the Wine Spectator.

After more great vintages and enviable scores from Wine Spectator, Vinous and the Wine Advocate, they built a winery and started to make 3,000 cases a year.

Among their outstanding wines are three from the organically farmed Luna Matta Vineyard, which garnered impressive scores for classic southern Italian wines like Aglianico (94 pts. from Italian wine critic Antonio Galloni) and Fiano. These wines are bottle labeled with "Ingredients: Organic Grapes" on the label. The winery also released a Syrah from the Edna Valley Biodynamic Slide Hill Vineyard, where Qupé's estate Syrah comes from (Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard).

Maha Estate vines for Villa Creek Cellars' new estate wines
But now Villa Creek Cellars will have its own estate wines - from its 14 acre Maha Estate - and will release its inaugural 2015 vintage estate wines in 2017.

The classic Rhone grapes - Grenache, Mourvedre and Clairette - are planted on the 60 acre site, along with Carignane and Petite Sirah.


The property is also home to 30 sheep (who mow the vines in the spring) and 25 olive trees, whose oil goes to the Villa Creek restaurant.


The winery is open for visitors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wines can also be tasted and purchased at the restaurant. For more info, see their web site.


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