A Family Legacy

Ortman Family Vineyards
Paso Robles, California

Nowhere does the adage "like father, like son" express itself better than at Ortman Family Vineyards. The winemaking heritage of the legendary Chuck Ortman and his son Matt goes back more than 40 years.

Today, under the banner of Ortman Family Vineyards, this father-son winemaking team focuses on varietals that excel in select vineyards in top Central Coast appellations, including Chardonnay from Edna Valley, Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills, and Petite Sirah and Sangiovese from Paso Robles. Each of their wines is crafted in the acclaimed "Ortman style," which emphasizes richness, balance, and food friendliness.

Chuck, who started his winemaking career in the Napa Valley in the late 1960s, is regarded as a California winemaking legend. He was one of California's first winemakers to demonstrate the benefits of barrel fermenting Chardonnay, and his prowess with the varietal later earned him the nickname "Mr. Chardonnay" from Wine Spectator magazine. Chuck later founded Meridian Vineyards in Paso Robles, which became one of California's most successful wine brands.

Matt followed in his father's winemaking footsteps, and together they launched Ortman Family Vineyards in 2001. Matt and Chuck saw their new winery as an opportunity for the family to return to its artisan winemaking roots. Ortman Family Vineyards is truly a family affair. Matt handles the day-to-day winemaking operations, while Chuck provides active input in both the vineyard and the cellar. Matt's wife Lisa handles sales and marketing.

The Ortman Family Vineyards tasting room in downtown Paso Robles is part of a unique walking wine tour, which includes more than a dozen tasting rooms along the streets surrounding the picturesque city park. Constructed with eco-friendly materials and featuring a sunny back patio, this cozy tasting room puts guests in the heart of this booming wine country where they can enjoy the wines that now express the Ortman legacy.

What To Buy:
'07 Chardonnay, Edna Valley Pear, pineapple, citrus, butterscotch $24
'07 Pinot Noir, Salisbury Vineyard Cherry, spice, plum, creamy cola $36
'07 Sangiovese, Paso Robles Dried cherry, strawberry, thyme, rose petal, crisp finish $22
'07 SLO County Cuv�e Eddy Blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, mocha, vanilla bean $24

Contact:
805.237.9009; Fax: 206.984.3882
ortmanvineyards.com
1317 Park St
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Tasting Room Open Sun-Thur 12-6; Fri-Sat 12-7

Getting There:
From Hwy 101 exit onto Spring St. Turn right at 13th St. Turn left at Park St.

This story originally appeared on Touring and Tasting