San Luis Obispo, California
When navigating the Central Coast wine country, savvy tourers set sail for
. "Navigate.Explore.Discover" perfectly describes owner Craig Stoller's philosophy. Those who follow are not disappointed.
After graduating from Cal Poly and learning the family business at Sunridge Nurseries, a well-established company that cultivates grape rootstock, Craig's father literally sent his son afield to navigate his own course. "My dad handed me a stack of wine country maps and customer lists," says Craig. "He told me to go learn the country, go meet the people." The more Craig explored, the more he fell in love with the industry.
In 2003, Craig and his wife, Nancy, found a 114-acre property in Templeton where they began to grow clones developed at UC-Davis and ENTAV selections (a French governmental authority responsible for the selection and preservation of the best French wine grape clones). Soon they were underway and making their own wine. Their varietals include Viognier, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Syrah, and Merlot. But it is Zinfandel that is the flagship wine of the Sextant label.
After a trip overseas to explore the wines of Europe, Craig and Nancy started a second label, 10knots, dedicated to producing the Rhône varietals they found so enticing. In 2007, the couple purchased 25 acres in the Edna Valley. The purchase included Windemere Winery, noted for its award-winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and a small winemaking facility on Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo, which is now their tasting room. A second tasting room is in the works overlooking the Edna Valley.
Last year, Craig and Nancy began entering their wines into competitions and are receiving positive reviews. Robert Parker, Jr. rated the first three Zinfandels he tasted 88, 89, and 90. Sextant, 10knots, Windemere--three great reasons to navigate, explore, and discover Sextant Wines.
What to Buy:
'07 "Wheelhouse" Zinfandel , Paso Robles Sextant's flagship wine; cherries, dark chocolate, raspberries, red plums $20
'07 "Holystone" Zinfandel , Paso Robles Aromas of cherries, black currants, violets; flavors of raspberries, pomegranate $27
'07 "Night Watch" Zinfandel -Petite Sirah Blend, Paso Robles Aromas of blackberries, cherries, violets, hint of leather; black currants, ripe plums, raspberries on the palate $49
'07 Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands Citrus, peaches, butterscotch; elegant finish $27
866.833.WINE; Fax: 805.542.0132
3536 S. Higuera St., Ste. 250
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Tasting Room Open Thurs-Mon 11-5
From 101 N take the Prado Rd./Elks Ln. Exit. Turn right. Then turn right onto S. Higuera St. Tasting room is on right.