Vina Robles Completes 2019 Harvest
November 18, 2019
Paso Robles, Calif.—Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery today announced a successful conclusion to the 2019 harvest, only the second to be received at their now fully built out winery. Led by winemaker Kevin Willenborg, their production team of 12 crushed enough to make 60,000 Vina Robles cases, plus just over 1,000 tons for custom crush programs, in only 56 days. “The season began slowly, and a bit late,” said Willenborg. “Then by mid-October, it was fast and furious right up to the end.”
A fitting milestone to mark their 20th anniversary, Vina Robles broke ground for their new winery in the Spring of 2017, then christened it with the 2018 crush. “When we brought fruit in last year, all of our new equipment was installed and ready to go, but we were in makeshift offices without heat, a/c, or running water,” said Willenborg. “It was a lot like camping, but with rest and relaxation replaced by long hours of hard work! Fast-forward to this harvest, where we have all the comforts of modern offices—even though we’re still working all the long hours, we feel a bit spoiled.”
Designed to take their winemaking program to the highest levels of quality, efficiency, flexibility and sustainability, the Modern Agrarian architectural style winery is chockful of technologically advanced equipment. One of only a few in the area, an optical sorter that discards imperfect berries with remarkable speed and accuracy is the jewel in the winery’s crown. “My goal was to build a first-class versatile winery, outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and tools for optimum winery managerment,” said co-owner Hans -R. Michel. “This allows Kevin and his team to focus on producing wines of great character.”
Other notable features at the new winery include fermentation tanks with integrated pumpover on-demand systems, four separately climate-controlled barrel rooms, a pre-crush cold storage room, covered receiving area, and two crush systems allowing all fruit to be processed at the peak of harvest without compromising Willenborg’s quality standards.
With a constant eye toward minimizing the carbon footprint of Vina Robles, the crush systems are gravity-fed, utilizing the natural slope of the property. The winery is designed for efficient workflow, partially powered by a solar array, and innovative logic controllers greatly reduce energy consumption.
"I am thrilled with all the quality-enhancing modern equipment I now have at my fingertips,” said Willenborg. “But I haven’t become a wizard behind a curtain by any means! I am still out on the cellar floor every day, checking tanks personally and communicating with members of our crew.”
Winery tours available soon, please call 805.227.4812 x120 for information.
About Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery: Growers and makers of expressive, approachable estate wines from Paso Robles, California, Vina Robles owns and farms six estate SIP® Certified Sustainable vineyards in five sub-districts in the region. First class hospitality service is offered by way of unique, memorable experiences with wine, food and music at their core. The vineyards & winery are owned and managed by two Swiss families who have been farming winegrapes in Paso Robles for more than 20 years.
Known primarily for their Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, the Vina Robles lineup includes small lots of a wide range of varieties and creative blends. While adhering to traditional winemaking methods, veteran winemaker Kevin Willenborg implements modern technologies to make his estate wines with minimal intervention at the state-of-the-art Vina Robles Winery. www.vinarobles.com.