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Niner Wine Estates Appoints New Winemaker

Posted on May 28, 2013

Longtime champion of Niner Wine Estates, Patrick Muran, was recently named the brand’s head winemaker.

“Patrick has been a team member with Niner Wine Estates since its inception,” said owner, Richard Niner. “His influence in winemaking style and technique has been instrumental in developing the brand from the early years at our previous custom crush facility, Orcutt Road Cellars. With Patrick at the helm, the future for Niner Wine Estates looks brighter than ever. We couldn’t be more delighted to see him at the helm.”

Muran was raised in San Luis Obispo County and graduated with a degree in microbiology at UC Santa Barbara before landing his first cellar job at Orcutt Road Cellars in California’s Edna Valley. There, Muran developed a deep appreciation for the art of winemaking, studying the craft under venerated French winemaker, Christian Roguenant, among others. Learning his way through an array of styles and grape varieties, Muran climbed the Orcutt Road Cellars hierarchy ultimately to oversee the winemaking process of nearly 20 brands including Niner Wine Estates, Baileyana, Tangent, Sanford, Carpe Diem, Rosenthal, Cinnabar, and David Bruce, among others. Side-by-side with the winemakers for these brands, Muran absorbed their diverse methodologies and techniques to produce a wide spectrum of wines.

In 2007, Muran took the position of head winemaker for Santa Ynez producer Blackjack Winery, where his efforts centered on small-production Bordeaux, Syrah and Chardonnay, with opportunities to work in both vineyard and winemaking roles.

Muran joined Niner Wine Estates in 2009 as assistant winemaker, where he spearheaded the effort to equip the newly-constructed LEED-Certified facility and oversaw daily operations. Over the course of four years, Muran contributed new winemaking strategies to further enhance the quality of wines produced by the estate.

Muran’s vision for the future of Niner Wine Estates is to create the highest quality estate wines in the most creative manner. “We are uniquely positioned as a vertically integrated company to control every aspect of winemaking,” said Muran.

Niner Wine Estates owns and operates three estate vineyards: Bootjack Ranch, located on the east side of Paso Robles; Heart Hill Vineyard, located on the west; and Jespersen Vineyard located in the Edna Valley wine-growing region, just minutes southeast of San Luis Obispo. Both Bootjack Ranch and Heart Hill Vineyard are SIP Certified and the winery is working to gain accreditation for Jespersen Vineyard.

“By leveraging our unique and diverse vineyard holdings, we have the ability to produce some of the world’s most sought-after wines, all handcrafted with thought, intuition, and vision,” said Muran.

Bootjack Ranch is comprised of 148 vineyard acres, totaling ten different varieties of wine grapes, including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Sangiovese. Heart Hill Vineyard spans 46 vineyard acres and is named for a large grove of oak trees that grow in the shape of a heart on one of its hillsides. With blocks planted in 2007 and 2010, a total of twelve Bordeaux and Rhône varieties are grown including Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Roussane, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Jespersen Vineyard encompasses 42 vineyard acres, planted primarily to Pinot Noir, but also produces other varieties that flourish in the cool climate of Edna Valley, such as Chardonnay, Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache and Syrah.

About Niner Wine Estates

Founded in 2001, Niner Wine Estates is the visionary initiative of Richard Niner, who believes that a blend of exceptional people, vineyards and cutting-edge technologies focused on sustainability is the key to creating world-class wines. Niner Wine Estates owns and operates three estate vineyards over 236 acres: Bootjack Ranch located on the east side of Paso Robles and Heart Hill Vineyard located on the west side, both of which are SIP Certified. The Jespersen Vineyard is located in the Edna Valley wine-growing region, minutes south east San Luis Obispo. The portfolio of award-winning wines has grown to include Bordeaux, Rhône, Italian, Burgundian varietals and proprietary blends: Twisted Spur, Square Root, Super Paso and the flagship Bordeaux blend, Fog Catcher. Winemaker Patrick Muran crafts wines that express terroir and elegance in the state-of-the-art, LEED-Silver-certified production winery, which opened in 2009. Niner Wine Estates is located at 2400 Highway 46 West, Paso Robles, CA 93446. The hospitality center is open daily from 10:00-5:00. For more information about Niner Wine Estates, visit or call 805-239-2233.

Region: Central Coast
Job Function: Winemaking

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