New winery celebrates tradition
Pelletiere Estate winery is one of the newest Central Coast Vineyards
Located in the heart of the Willow Creek district on the westside of Paso Robles, the vineyard was planted from 1993-1995 in the sloped, rocky limestone soil of area. The winery actually has a Mennonite history dating back over a century. In fact, the original farmhouse on the property is believed to have been built-in the late 1890’s, which was evidenced by the German newspapers and square nails that the current owner, Janis Denner, found in the insulation during renovations.
Denner moved to Paso Robles five years ago after selling her market research company. Though her intention was to retire, she yearned for a project to stimulate her creativity and allow her to work in a beautiful, natural setting. She bought the property that is now Pelletiere winery several months ago. During those months, they managed to harvest and crush the grapes, remodel the farmhouse and tasting room, bottle the wine, and landscape and furnish everything.
“What I love most about this industry is the diversity within winery ownership,” said Denner, who immensely enjoys the agricultural segment of the industry as well as growing, producing, winemaking and finally retailing and marketing the wines, plus providing hospitality.
“It’s the equivalent of four different businesses. I love the diversity and the collaborative effort that goes into all of it.”
The name of the winery is Denner’s maiden name; her father’s family was originally from Naples, Italy. Bringing her Italian heritage to the remaking of the winery, she conducted all renovations to both the interior decor and exterior build with the aim of preserving as much of the rich history of the property as possible.
Denner, who loves natural elements of design, utilized an array of stone, wood and hides to pull the look and feel of the house together.
“We wanted to create a beautiful, peaceful retreat out of the winery. So that’s what we did,” she said.
Grapes With Character
All of Pelletiere’s wines are made from the grapes from their 10-acre estate. They specialize in Italian, sustainably farmed varietials, such as sangiovese, nebbiolo, lagrein and Montepulciano. They also grow and produce zinfandel, syrah, and viognier. And though they sell a wide variety of single-varietal wines, they are most proud of their sangiovese reserva, a 36-month oak-barreled wine.
Julie Lent, a recent patron to Pelletiere, commented about both the atmosphere and the personable service she received. “We were greeted by the owner, Janis, who gave us a personal tour of the remodel,” Lent said. “The customer service was great! Rarely are you shown around by the owner. In addition, we are familiar with the winemaker, Amy Butler, who does some really nice things with the wines.”
She also admired the decor. “I loved the distressed beams and inviting dining room table…the outdoor picnic area with views of the neighboring wineries. It was very peaceful,” she said.
She also said the wines were “lovely,” as she tried several varieties she’d never heard of before. Of those, her favorites were the sangiovese, Pelletiere’s “unique” zinfandel and their buttery/oaky viognier.
“The wines were not only wonderful, but–to me–this overall experience is my favorite kind of winery: small and friendly, just like Paso,” Denner said.
Pelletiere is located at 3280 Township Rd., in Paso Robles. They are open Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.pelletiere.com.