Whalebone Vineyard, owned by Robert and Janalyn Simpson, is a small family business located in Adelaide, California in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range west of Paso Robles. Established in 1989, on their 128 acres they raise Angus cattle, grow Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in their renowned Whalebone Vineyard, as well as produce and sell wine in their Whalebone Tasting Barn. The world class terroir, consisting of a perfect coastal climate, limestone and calcareous soils laden with fossilized seashells, and rocky south facing hillsides, lends itself to producing great wine. Actual whalebones were unearthed when planting the vines – thus the Whalebone name was born. You’ll love their Cabernet Sauvignons, BOB WINE (a cult favorite), Zinfandel, and white and red Rhone blends.
In 1989, well ahead of the Paso Robles vineyard boom Bob and Jan decided to plant a small vineyard. Pebble Smith, wine and vineyard expert and the father of world famous winemaker Justin Smith, owner of Saxum, selected an entirely south facing rocky hillside situated 1800 feet above sea level. Ten acres were ripped to four feet, yielding large calcareous rocks laden with whalebones and other marine mammal fossils – thus the origin of the vineyard and winery’s name. The calcareous treasures trapped in the vineyard’s broken shale and limestone were left behind after the underwater canyons and basins retreated, and when the earth shifted and folded during the Miocene some six million years ago. On this hillside reminiscent of a moonscape, the Simpson Family planted this distinctive property exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon. Their friend, noted cattleman Rex Swan, has an entire baby whale thorax and vertebrae intact in a rock now centered over his fireplace. The graphic on the back label was produced from that specimen. It became apparent to the Simpson’s that they had a very special vineyard. For over a decade, grape buyers have raved about the vineyard and its fruit. The terrain and coastal influence create a synergy that yields fruit that is crafted into rich and substantial wine. This distinctive area is no longer a secret, as evidenced by the purchase of an adjacent ranch by the Perrin Brothers of Château de Beaucastel and Robert Hass, after two years of combing California for the perfect spot to grow Rhone varietals.
“The best part of this winery(besides the fantastic wines) is that they make you feel like old friends in their home.” – Sarah M., Los Angeles
“The Vanilla Bean Balsamic Vinegar was dee-licious and we left with one of those too!” – Denise C., Chino Hills, CA
“A lovely and quaint winery on the west side of 101.” – Lauren B., Long Beach, CA
“Loved this cool winery. Great family winery. Took home a bottle of their own estate grown wine.” – Chris P., Los Angeles