This adventure in winemaking began in 1999 . We planted a small vineyard in Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia Bianca on the Central Coast of California. Shortly after we planted, a neighbor planted a 30 acre vineyard, mostly in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. As we became more involved with our own winemaking, we tended to spend time in the neighbor’s vineyard. We began to share information, problems, and at least most of the time, solutions.
This part of the California is known for Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. A little farther north and inland, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown, and to the south Viognier, Roussanne and more Pinot Noir. Since 1999, the same area has increased production until it is now home to some incredibly large vineyards.
Wanting to learn more about the art and science of winemaking, we asked to work, gratis, at a nearby winery. We did that for two seasons, and made our own wines as well. The wines kept improving, and we kept learning.
In 2004, we were asked to become the winemakers for the neighbor mentioned above, and agreed to do so. Seemingly overnight our home winemaking hobby was a pretty full time job. This kept us busy as we made 4200 cases of wine that year.
In 2006 we were asked to help design a new winery, where wines would be made for a number of people as well for as ourselves. We accepted. During that year we not only made wines for others, but established De Angelis Wines. De Angelis Wines is a small production label, where each wine is crafted by hand. The fruit for our wines is sourced from our own small vineyard in San Luis Obispo County, as well as the Santa Barbara area, and the Sacramento Delta. The total production of our 2006 wines was 355 cases. Production in 2007 was 535 cases of our wines. We increased production in 2009 to 735 cases. In addition, we also managed to make approximately 12,000 cases for other folks at the winery. Our latest work in wine making was completing a 2011 harvest, followed by accepting invitations to design, and help build, two new wineries, and to be the winemakers and/or consulting winemakers at both. So in what area do we make all these great wines? That area is Paso Robles, CA.
This story is not terribly dissimilar to others who have gone from home to professional wine makers. We did this fairly quickly. One reason is that one of us has a doctorate in chemistry, so that part was easy. The other reason is that we are probably – when one combines our ages, either the oldest, or one of the oldest pair of winemakers on the planet – 136 years young. This experience is very important as we make wine, manage our vineyard, and manage the winery in general. Additionally, we still do quite a bit of the work ourselves. This is often to the chagrin of our young, impressionable, but terrific staff.
We hope you will explore our site, and after that will contact us about purchasing some of our wine. NOTE: Soon a new wine will be added to De Angelis Wines. We recently grafted over all of our vines to Dolcetto – an Italian variety that will bring a lighter and more fruity wine to our collections. The two year wait will be worth it!