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Cherry family sells historic vineyard to Linne Calodo 

Cherry family sells historic vineyard to Linne Calodo

Owner-Winemaker Matt Trevisan with Cherry Red.

– Matt and Maureen Trevisan, owners of Linne Calodo winery, announced their acquisition of the historic Cherry Vineyard property in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles.

You could call it the ultimate passion project—buying a 170-acre ranch in order to preserve a 2.5-acre Zinfandel vineyard that yields just a half-ton of fruit per acre. The property also includes seven acres of walnut trees. It now transitions from the hands of the Cherry family and into those of a winemaker for whom this land holds a special place.

“Cherry Vineyard was my first love as a winemaker, and we now have the honor of preserving this site as part of the community and history of Paso Robles,” said Owner-Winemaker Matt Trevisan. “Elmer and Mary Cherry planted their tiny head-trained Zinfandel vineyard in 1977. I began farming and making wine from this vineyard on a handshake basis starting in 1998. Working with the Cherry family for all of these years has been one of my greatest privileges as a winemaker.”

The secret behind Cherry Red

The Zinfandel in Linne Calodo’s signature “Cherry Red” blend famously comes from this namesake vineyard. The Zinfandel portion of Cherry Vineyard spans 2.3 acres that are interspersed with 0.2 acres of old-vine Chenin Blanc. Each year, Trevisan picks and co-ferments the Chenin Blanc fruit with the Zinfandel—a special lot that is always reserved for the Cherry Red blend. Around the winery, the Chenin Blanc is said to lend a touch of aromatic “mágico” to the wine.

Cherry Vineyard is located just two linear miles from the Linne Calodo estate. The calcareous soils at Cherry Vineyard belong to the same Linne Calodo series for which the winery is named. These rare limestone-riddled soils are prized by Trevisan for producing wines with beautiful natural acidity and structure.

“The soils are just another thread that connects us to Cherry Vineyard,” said Trevisan. “The dry-farmed vines and Linne Calodo soils combine to create a truly classical Paso Robles Zinfandel. The color saturation is incredible, the aromatics jump from the glass and the acidity is off the charts.”

Cherry Vineyard is planted to slopes that reach up to 40 degrees. The goblet-style vines yield just a half-ton per acre, and every trick in the book is employed to hand-pick these grapes and wheel them out safely. Trevisan will continue to farm the vineyard with nature-positive viticultural techniques that emphasize biodiversity, native lifeforms and species coexistence by way of spading and polyculture practices.

Deeply rooted in Paso Robles

The Cherry family settled their westside Paso Robles ranch starting in 1886. Elmer and Mary Cherry planted their Zinfandel vineyard in the 1970s, and their heirs are now entrusting Trevisan with the legacy of this storied property.

Trevisan’s connection with Cherry Vineyard actually predates his career as a winemaker. When he was attending college at nearby Cal Poly, his roommate Justin Smith—who would become his early partner at Linne Calodo—would share wines made by his father Pebble Smith, a winegrower and home winemaker. Pebble Smith owned the James Berry Vineyard that lies adjacent to Cherry Vineyard, and he made a wine called Cherry Zinfandel from this neighboring site.

Trevisan’s early exposure to Cherry Zinfandel and other Paso Robles wines sparked his fascination with winemaking. When he and Justin Smith started Linne Calodo in 1998, they naturally gravitated toward Cherry Vineyard as one of their go-to sources. Starting in 2003, Trevisan took over the farming of Cherry Vineyard on a handshake basis with Elmer and Mary Cherry, in exchange for five cases of wine each vintage. “I have such fond memories of sitting in their living room and catching up over coffee,” Trevisan said.

Trevisan’s first order of business at the ranch is to preserve the cherished Zinfandel vines. He foresees the possibility of adding up to 20 acres of additional vines and varieties in the years ahead.

“This special property is part of a larger continuum, for me personally and for the heritage of Paso Robles,” Trevisan said. “Cherry Vineyard is as real as it gets, and I intend to keep it that way.”

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