The Juice

Producer Profile: LE VIGNE WINERY

downloadOne of the PRCC’s newest members is Le Vigne Winery, located on Paso Robles’ East Side. Le Vigne’s history began in the 1960s when Owner Sylvia Filippini‘s family bought the property that was then supporting hay and cattle. In 1982, the family planted its first Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines to supplement demand for wineries in Napa and Sonoma. But it quickly became apparent that the newly-planted vineyards boasted suitable soils, climate, and coastal influence to result in high quality wines in their own right.

Seeing this potential, the Filippini Family began estate production of their own wines in 1989. Additional vineyards were planted to Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc in 1998, and later, small blocks of Zinfandel, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Malbec and Tannat. The property is also complemented by 5 acres of Arbiquina olive trees.

le-vigne-winery-nikiara-meritage-paso-robles-usa-10425867The winery’s name, “Le Vigne,” comes from the Italian for “the vineyard” and represents the impact of Italian culture, food, and lifestyle upon the family- Owner Walter Filippini having spent his youth on Lake Como and in his grandparents’ vineyard in Valtellina, Lombardy; later going on to excel in gastronomia, gourmet Italian food retail, restaurants, and becoming a partner in the Italcheese Company. Walter and Sylvia met through Italcheese, and the couple continue to work in that field, owning and operating Peacock Cheese, an import and distribution company handling high-quality cheese and food items from across the globe. Not surprisingly, cheese also plays an important role at Le Vigne, where Fromager Zina Miakinkova uses cheeses from the Filippini’s vast network to pair with Le Vigne wines for guests.

Wines at Le Vigne are categorized into three brands, which are comprised of:

  • Le Vigne di Domenico, the top-tier label which produces limited quantities of wine, only in the best vintages, including the Nikiara Meritage
  • Kiara, a private reserve label with an elegant Merlot, and
  • Sylvester, a collection of easily approachable, value-priced wines found widely distributed in restaurants and retail outlets
Michael Barreto

Winemaker Michael Barreto

With the company since 2003, Winemaker Michael Barreto came to Le Vigne with his own wine brand, Barreto Cellars, when he needed a custom crush facility. Today, he continues to make his own Spanish and Portuguese-influenced wines on site, in addition to a 60,000-case annual production for Le Vigne.

Guests to Le Vigne’s spacious tasting room will find a wide selection from Le Vigne’s wine program, as well as a full-tilt gourmet shop which includes freshly-baked baguettes, international mustards, spices, cured meats, olives, vinegars, thirty types of cheeses, and a menu of house-made panini.

For more information on Le Vigne wines, or to enjoy a tasting at their Paso Robles tasting room, please visit



CABs of Distinction 2014 Dates Announced

logo Final_red_for webWe at the Paso Robles CAB Collective recently announced details concerning the second annual CABs of Distinction event, scheduled for April 22 through 26, 2014.

For a list of participants and happenings, including the brand new CAB CAMP option for sommeliers and qualifying industry professionals – as well as tickets to the Grand Tasting and other events, please see the recently posted press release HERE.

We hope to see you at CABs of Distinction, glass in hand. Cheers!

Producer Profile: HUNT CELLARS

202327Located three miles west of Highway 101 on Highway 46 West, is the Hunt Cellars tasting room, whose Proprietor and Winemaker, David Hunt, is described as both a Renaissance Man and bon vivant. With a varied background in music, home security, and inventions (e.g. the invention of voice mail), Hunt is a trail-blazer in the wine industry, making and blending his wine by the gallon, rather than by the barrel.

In a classic case of lemonade-from-lemons, Hunt claims an extremely sensitive palate as a consequence of having retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disorder that causes gradual loss of vision. Able to pinpoint differences between wines that are nearly-indistinguishable to the average palate, Hunt uses his blindness to his advantage by blending from several hundred separate gallons of wine, by sense of feel, instead of by formula or lab calculation.

David Hunt

David Hunt

While some wines are made from outside vineyards, much of Hunt Cellars’ fruit is harvested from the estate property, Destiny Vineyard, named after his daughter, and meticulously made into award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Bordeaux blends, among others.

For more information on Hunt Cellars wines, or to enjoy a tasting at their 46 West tasting room, please visit