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Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery Hires Jim Shumate as Winemaker

Posted on August 25, 2011

The family-owned and operated Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery recently announced its appointment of Jim Shumate to the post of winemaker. Jim has been active in the emerging Paso Robles wine region with Meridian Winery, Templeton Wine Services and most recently as an instructor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in the enology program for undergraduates and graduate students.

“We believe that Jim will enable us to bring our processing in-house to fit with our family’s organizational vision of vertical integration, from vine-planting to farming to crush,” said Dana Merrill, owner of the estate. “As we expand our line of SIP Certified sustainably produced wines, it is critical that we have full control of both the winegrowing and winemaking processes.”

Jim’s strong background in the full spectrum of winery operations uniquely qualifies him for the Pomar Junction Winemaker position. As cellar master, winemaker, and lecturer for the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program since 2008, he was primarily responsible for piloting the new campus winery, instructing students on procedural operations of all winery equipment, and demonstrating lab analysis and interpretation of results. Additionally, Jim co-taught advanced enology classes, operated and repaired all winemaking equipment, and implemented a new bottling line for the campus winery.

From 1999 to 2008, Jim acted as cellar master and consulting winemaker for Templeton Wine Services, a custom crush facility and a division of Meridian Vineyards. As a complete processing facility, Templeton Wine Services afforded Jim the opportunity to work with a wide range of varietals, styles, and volumes – from small, high-end lots to several-thousand case productions. Along his career path, Jim also acted as senior lab technician and senior barrel technician for Meridian Vineyards.

In his new post at Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, Jim will report to General Managing Partner Matt Merrill, while Kevin Riley continues in his role as consulting winemaker to the growing brand.

Owned and operated by the Merrill Family in the Paso Robles AVA, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery showcases eight generations of Central Coast farming through deeply characterful estate wines. With a rich heritage of sustainable practices in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the cellar, Pomar Junction guides estate grapes from vine to glass with a narrow focus on purity of flavor and varietal integrity. The winery name refers to the Merrill Family’s concurrent lineage of railroad engineers as well as to bygone days when the Southern Pacific Railroad was responsible for the development of the picturesque Central Coast. For more information about Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, call (805) 238-9944, or visit The Pomar Junction vineyard and tasting room are located at 5036 S. El Pomar Road in Templeton, CA 93465.

Job Function: Winemaking

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