A Taste of the Old Country
Martin & Weryrich Winery is bringing Italy--or at least its grapes--to Paso Robles.
Martin & Weyrich Winery
Paso Robles, CA
Martin & Weyrich were among the first families to recognize the incredible potential of the future Paso Robles Viticultural Appellation. The year was 1981 and there were only a handful of wineries in the area. But the family had a vision and purchased 83 acres of land on Buena Vista Drive, and they immediately began building their winery.
Their plan was simple: to grow and produce Nebbiolo, the red grape from the Piedmont region of Italy. Before long the winery was also making Sangiovese, Muscat Canelli, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In a few short years, Martin & Weyrich became known as one of the country's premier producers of Italian varietals.
In 1998 David and Mary (Martin) Weyrich purchased the winery from their siblings. Today, along with their eight children, Martin & Weyrich continues to produce an impressive collection of fine wines made in the European style. In addition to their stellar Italian-style wines, Martin & Weyrich produces varieties from France, Spain, and Portugal. Two of the vineyards are located in the Paso Robles Appellation--the Weyrich Family Ranch, just a few miles from the winery, and the Martin & Weyrich Estate Vineyard, located at the winery. The family also owns the Jack Ranch Vineyard in Edna Valley, another wine region renowned for growing some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California.
As with any winery, the wines are only as good as the grapes they use and the winemaker whose talent can bring out the fruit's highest potential. Winemaker Craig Reed has proven this point over and over again during his 20-year history with the Martin & Weyrich family. Like many great winemakers, Craig's passion for wines began in the vineyard. Initially hired to assist with tending the vines of Italian varietals at the Martin Family Ranch, he moved on to the cellar and was then promoted to assistant winemaker. Craig spent the next four years learning the craft hands on, and as a student through University of California at Davis extension courses. Today, Martin & Weyrich makes some of the most applauded Italian varietals in the country.
A love of wine, Italy, and romance has since inspired the Weyrichs to open a luxurious, Tuscan-inspired eight-room and two-residence bed and breakfast on the winery's property. Tucked away in the Paso Robles hills, Villa Toscana charms guests with its spiral staircases, vine-covered trellis, and beckoning outdoor fireplace. There's plenty of room for first-, second-, and third-time honeymooners in the 3,500-square-foot Winemaker's Residence with outdoor Jacuzzi. Each villa suite is named for a different varietal-a bottle of which greets guests upon arrival. The well-appointed accommodations are private, serene and so reminiscent of Italy that it moved one guest to write, "It's here you realize that Central California looks a lot like the wine regions of Italy, and Villa Toscana is the quintessential Italian estate."
With scores of accolades, Martin & Weyrich has continued to progress in tandem with the surrounding wine region to make some of the most celebrated Italian varietals in the country.
What to buy:
'07 Moscato Allegro Orange blossom, honeyed apricot, peach, nectarine $12
'06 Chardonnay, Central Coast, Unwooded Fresh, loaded with citrus, juicy acidity $15
'06 Pinot Grigio, Central Coast Fresh, aromas of melons, figs, pears $15
'06 Pinot Noir, Jack Ranch, Edna Valley Cherry, berry, raspberry, toasted oak, supple tannins $30
'05 Sangiovese Il Palio, Paso Robles Cherry, cranberry, cinnamon, long finish $16
'04 Nebbiolo, Paso Robles Aromas of tobacco leaf, cherry, slight tar, cedar $18
805.238.2520; Fax: 805.238.0887
2610 Buena Vista Dr.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Tasting Room Open Sun-Thurs 10-5; Fri-Sat 10-6
From Hwy 101, exit onto Hwy 46 East (Fresno/Bakersfield). Turn left in one half-mile on Buena Vista Dr.