The Juice

Producer Profile: Calcareous Vineyard

calcareousOne of the newest members to join our Paso Robles CAB Collective is Calcareous Vineyard. Located off Peachy Canyon Road, Calcareous Vineyard was established in 2000 by father-daughter team Lloyd Messer and Dana Brown on one of the highest limestone plateaus on Paso Robles’ west side. Their 342-acre calcareous-soil vineyard fulfilled its promise and soon produced small, complex lots of Bordeaux, Rhône and Burgundy varieties.

Since then, the Calcareous Estate has picked up two other vineyards: Carver Vineyard, in the York Mountain AVA, a sub-region on the western edge of the Paso Robles AVA, which is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; and Kate’s Vineyard, where Calcareous sources its Zinfandel, about 1/2-mile southeast of their tasting room.

Though Lloyd passed away in 2006, Dana and sister Erika perpetuate the Calcareous vision and have called the beautiful hilltop tasting room “Lloyd’s Lookout.”


tasting room

Like so many in the wine industry, Winemaker Jason Joyce started at Calcareous cleaning tanks and moving equipment. Working his way up the ranks, he became Assistant Winemaker in 2007 and Winemaker in 2010. His industry blog, “Chalk Talk,” is a window into his distinctive take on life first, wine second.

“Franz Lebowitz famously said ‘Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.’ Whereas most people that align themselves professionally with wine simply bristle at this notion, I whole-heartedly agree. I can’t think of a worse group of dinner companions then a group of skeptical wine experts humming a mantra of aromatics and phenolics to each other all night. I like to think of wine as a portal to almost any topic one finds fascinating. The more one learns about wine, the more one is exposed to the fundamental ideas behind it.”

Jason Joyce, “The Content is the Message,” Chalk Talk, May 16, 2013

2010 Calcareous Lloyd Bordeaux Blend, Paso RoblesCalcareous wines are produced using small lot fermentations, extended maceration, no use of chemical fining, premium cooperages, and minimum racking as the wine ages. Calcareous wines comprise four labels: white for estate wines, gold for York Mountain appellation wines, black for the reserve tier, and an estate showcase Bordeaux blend made in miniscule amounts called “Lloyd.” Additionally, the Calcareous winemaking team produces another brand called Twisted Sister, which uses fruit from partner vineyards which meet the company’s farming standards.