Edward Sellers Vineyards & Wines
Paso Robles, California
The intricately designed 32-point compass rose is a symbol found on Old World maps and every bottle of Edward Sellers Vineyards & Wines. The compass was chosen when Ed Sellers, a passionate entrepreneur, sailor, and pilot, set a new course for himself and started a 30-acre vineyard and artisan winery in West Paso Robles.
Ed and his wife Dani discovered the booming farm community of Paso Robles in 2003 and instantly fell in love. "It's Napa 30 years ago!" Ed exclaimed. As Rhône varietal enthusiasts, the couple was particularly inspired when they learned that the growing conditions of the area closely resemble those of southeastern France. More specifically, they purchased land in the Templeton Gap corridor, which provides rocky soils and a microclimate that is cooled by breezes created by the Santa Lucia Coastal Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean. The days are clear and sunny, with temperatures often reaching into the high 90s. But mist rolls in through the mountain pass by late afternoon, and temperatures drop as much as 40 degrees. This fluctuation is critical to attain the intense flavors in the estate's Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc.
In 2004, Winemaker Amy Butler was drawn to Paso Robles too. After spending several years in the Napa Valley at Stags' Leap and Schramsberg, she decided to make a move, just as Ed and Dani began their search for a winemaker. She still marvels at the potential of the region. "As far as I'm concerned, Rhône varietals are Paso's best," Amy says. "They love the hot days and cool nights, and they make wines of such personality. My favorite part of the process is the blending, when each part of the picture comes together to make a distinctive and beautiful wine."
"Distinctive" and "beautiful" are just two fitting adjectives for the small lot wines in the winery's portfolio. "Popular" and "praiseworthy" are two more. In fact, Edward Sellers Vineyards & Wines was listed in the March 2009 issue of Wine Spectator on the list of 10 Emerging California Rhône Producers. The wines have also received the attention of leading wine critics, including Robert Parker Jr., who recently lauded four Edward Sellers wines. He gave the 2007 Cognito (a blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Grenache) 90 points, calling it a "head turner." The 2007 Vertigo (a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah) also received 90 points; the 2007 Blanc du Rhône, (a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier) earned 88 points; and the 2007 Cuvée des Cinq (a kitchen blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache, Counoise, and Cinsault), which Robert describes as "seductive," received 90 points.
As anyone visiting the Edward Sellers Vineyards & Wines tasting room in downtown Paso Robles will discover, Rhône-style grapes take well to the growing conditions of Paso Robles. And Ed, Dani, Amy, Tasting Room Manager Kendall Carson, and the rest of the crew have taken well to the business of growing fine artisan wines.
What To Buy:
' 07 Blanc du Rhône Lemon curd, toast, floral notes $29
' 06 Cognito Layers of fresh fruit, spicy, earthy $26
' 06 Syrah Sélectionnée Big bold black fruit, smoky, plush $32
' 06 Vertigo Deep plum, berry, cocoa, turned earth, cherry pie $30
805.239.8915; Fax: 805.239.8312
1220 Park St
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Tasting Room Open Daily 11-6
From Hwy 101, take the Paso Robles St exit. Take Paso Robles St about ½ mile to 13th St. Turn left on 13th St. Turn right onto Park St. The tasting room is on the left.