Brecon Estate wins Winery of the Year by wine publication
–Brecon Estate Winery was named “Winery of the Year 2016” by Purely Domestic Wine Report, a prestigious independent review publication for wine industry insiders by Doug Wilder.
This latest acknowledgement tops a stellar rise for Brecon Estate’s team, which opened its Vineyard Drive tasting room to much anticipation a mere two and half years ago and has since amassed over 70 Golds/Double Golds and a handful of Platinum medals from the top tier wine review publications and competitions. Brecon has been at the forefront of producing world-class Paso Robles varietals including Petit Verdot, Albarino, Mourvedre and Syrah.
In Spring 2015 tasted the wines from Brecon Estate for the first time and found them all to be beautiful examples. I was most impressed by the 2014 Albarhio, scoring it 96 points. For me it was one of those bolt out of the blue moments from a new producer. The other releases from last year by winemaker Damian Grindley received solid scores as well. I just finished tasting this year’s releases over the summer and find as much to like as ever.
The path to wine for the Welsh-born Grindley intersected with his passion for caving. While a winemaking student at University of Adelaide, a vineyard where he was working hired him to map the caves beneath their property to make sure the limestone domes were strong enough to support farm equipment. Below ground, he found quite a bit of steel pipe row anchors that slid through like slippery soda straws. He also discovered that a rich calcareous soil concentration was under a block that nobody else was interested in so he approached the vineyardist, bought that fruit and made a wine. He has been making wine from limestone soils ever since which was one of the main motivators to create Brecon. In a recent visit, Damian expressed that in addition to the dirt the location of the Paso Robles estate vineyard is “Goldilocks,” far enough inland away from the ocean chill, and coastal enough to avoid the higher temperatures further east.
The estate (formerly the home of Norman Winery) is planted to over 20 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon (from 1949) a well as nearly 40 year-old Cabernet Franc that are now dry farmed. New plantings of Petit Verdot and Malbec may see a neighboring block of Carmenere in the future. The other varieties are sourced from Edna Valley and Monterey,
Why Brecon Estate matters
It is already widely known that Paso Robles is a favorite destination partly due to its location halfway between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, drawing visitors from both regions to the home of some of the most sought-after producers in the country and a growing number of small projects coming along in their wake that may have a tough time getting exposure. Brecon represents a rare hybrid – new and relatively small, yet already producing some of the most interesting wines in the area with a vibrant award-winning architectural environment that is comfortable, relaxed and welcoming to guests, and a successful model of direct sales only. Listed below are the Brecon Estate releases reviewed over the last 16 months:
- 2014 Albarino Central Coast 13.5-percent $26.96
- 2015 Albarino Central Coast 14.2-percent $30.92
- 2015 Albarino True Acacia Head Central Coast 13.5-percent $28.92
- 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon/Petite Sirah Central Coast 14.8-percent $52.92
- 2013 Mourvedre Paso Robles 14.5-percent $48.92
- 2014 Mourvedre Adelaida District 14.8-percent $49.93
- 2013 Petit Verdot Paso Robles 14.8-percent $41.94
- 2014 Petit Verdot Tempelton Gap 14.5-percent $56.90
- 2013 Petite Sirah Monterey 14.8-percent $46 92
- 2014 Syrah Adelaida District 14.8-percent $54.94