The Juice

CAB Collective Vintners Featured at VinDiego Wine and Food Festival

We at the Paso Robles CAB Collective are delighted to be involved in next weekend’s VinDiego Wine and Food Festival.

Friday, April 4th & Saturday, April 5th
Liberty Station – San Diego, CA

Members of the PRCC will present a panel discussion moderated by Jonathan Cristaldi of Tasting Panel Magazine and The SOMM Journal titled, “‘CAB is King’ Seminar with the Paso Robles CAB Collective,” Friday, April 4th from 1:30 to 3 PM at the Liberty Station Marriott Courtyard.

Paso Robles was awarded “The 2013 Wine Region of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and this seminar will showcase why. VinDiego is proud to present this exclusive Paso Robles CAB (Cabernet and Bordeaux) Collective seminar, presenting world-class Cabernet and red Bordeaux varietals from the distinguished Paso Robles wine region. Vintners will share their superior quality, classic and age-worthy wines while discussing the history and future of Cabernet and red Bordeaux varietals from Paso Robles. This private VinDiego event puts you face-to-face with acclaimed winemakers: Michael Mooney from Chateau Margene, Daniel Daou from DAOU Vineyards & Winery, Justin Baldwin from JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, Tyler Russell from Calcareous, Don Brady from Robert Hall Winery, Steve Peck from J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines and Mike Sinor from Ancient Peaks Winery. Join us in sampling their award-winning and nationally acclaimed wines. This seminar is limited to only 80 attendees and will SELL OUT.


To purchase tickets or to learn more, please visit We hope to see you there!


Welcome Our New Members

With a staggering 28 member wineries, we at the Paso Robles CAB Collective are thrilled to be growing by leaps and bounds. Since January, we’ve added 10 new members to our ranks – an increase of 36 percent! Our new members include the  following stellar Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-varietal producers:

We are consistently humbled by the quality of producers attracted to this organization. Welcome, friends!

Producer Profile: Bon Niche Cellars

Glass Logo10One of our newest PRCC members is Bon Niche Cellars, owned by Joyce and Wally Murray.

Bon Niche, roughly translated from the French as “a very good place,” is truly on the outskirts of the Paso Robles AVA, far from the path of wine tasting buses and limousines. But despite being on the fringe geographically, Bon Niche and its owners, Wally and Joyce Murray, have been in the spotlight with several awards and honors for their powerful yet plush, well-structured, velvet-tannin wines. In fact, when the Murrays released the first Bon Niche Cellars vintage in 2010, every wine entered into competition received an award, including a Four-Star Gold Medal for both the 2010 Voûtes (Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon) and 2010 Chemin (Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot) at the Orange County Fair.


Like so many producers in our area, the Murrays landed in the Paso Robles AVA after a long hunt for the right vineyard property on which to stake their winemaking vision. Purchased in 2005, the Bon Niche estate boasts rich soils, hot days and cool nights in which the Murray’s Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc thrive, though Bon Niche wines are also sourced from nearby vineyards to make both varietal and blended wines in a Bordeaux style, “with a touch of Rhône.”

Bon Niche Cellars began in 2005 when Wally and Joyce Murray started their quest to find vineyard property in the Central Coast of California.  The result of the search was a beautiful slope with a spectacular view of the distant hills.  The rich soil, hot days and brisk nights were perfect for the French varietals that grow so well in the Paso Robles terroir.  The Murray’s vineyard was quickly planted with Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.  Combined with fruit from nearby vineyards both straight varietals and artisan blends are primarily Bordeaux style with a touch of Rhone.

While Bon Niche’s far-flung location is prohibitive to opening the tasting room doors on a regular basis, tastings are available by appointment.  Bon Niche Cellars is located at 2627 Golden Eagle Way in San Miguel, CA 93451. Contact them at 805.286.7798 or

PRCC Mid-Winter Weather Report

“The current rainfall season, which runs from July to June has yielded scant precipitation in town. There was a trace of rain in October, .27 inches in November, .30 inches on December 3, giving a pre-storm total of .57-inches, according to city records. The Paso Robles Water Divison has recorded an average annual rainfall total of 14.33 inches since 1942.”

 “Paso Robles graced with rainfall,” Scott Brennan, Paso Robles Press, Feb. 3, 2014


As an organization that represents Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux-varietal producers in Paso Robles, the weather and its oddities more than interest us – often, they consume us. So just imagine how consuming the Central Coast’s recent warm, dry temperatures have been to us winemakers and vineyard managers!

We asked some of our members about their take on the drought, how it affects their vines and wines, and what they’re doing with the cards Mother Nature has dealt them.

“At Paso de Record Vineyard, we are currently irrigating to build the soil moisture profile and checking for bud swell to time pruning. We like to prune as late as possible to avoid frost damage in the spring but because of the warm temperatures we anticipate having to prune sooner than usual. Due to the dry conditions, we are also discussing how we are going to modify our farming methods for possible lower-than-average yields.”

Tricia Record Swartz, Owner, Record Family Wines


“Do you think it will ever rain again?

When we started our project after what we thought was many hours of research to insure success, we believed we were moving forward with our eyes wide open.  In the first years we were met with adequate or in some cases more rain than we needed. Those were the times we couldn’t get in the vineyard to work because of our ‘normal’ rainfall.

We were stunned when the rains virtually stopped three years ago believing that this was an anomaly,however the result over the past years, and the current outlook, has caused us to take steps to conserve and protect our precious water supply.  Now we pray for rain regularly.”

Wally Murray, Owner, Bon Niche Cellars


“The drought will test the water holding capacity of our clay soils; but perhaps provide an opportunity for some remarkable wines.”

Jack Messina, Owner, Jada Vineyards & Winery


“We are hopeful that it will be a wet spring, we have opened up the ground and prepared the soil in our Estate vineyard to catch every drop of rain we can get. We are using sustainable farming methods including some Biodynaimc farming practices to bring our vineyards back into balance after such a dry couple of years. This year we are spreading organic compost in the vineyard to compensate for any loss of organic matter from cover crops that we might get due to low rainfall.”

David Galzignato, Winemaker, Jada Vineyards & Winery

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



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