The Acquarello Vineyard is northeast of the winery, just below the coastal range footlands. Acquarello translates from Italian to “watercolor”, named for the influence of the river across the landscape as it paints itself into the terrain. With 33 acres planted, this vineyard is home to our youngest plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and Petit Verdot. Located on the south bank of the Estrella river, vines are treated to a northward slope and morning sun with cool air temperatures for most of the year. The cold air rolling down the sides of the valley settles in low spots such as this, bringing a risk for frost damage in the spring. As the growing season progresses, the intense sunlight warms the vines rapidly and brings the fruit to maturity well before cool weather returns to the vineyard.

The Domenico Estate Vineyard is comprised of nearly 120 acres planted in five blocks, situated around the winery to the north, west and south. The otherwise flat basin of the Salinas valley is crossed by meandering dry river beds with clay loam soil deposited by the course of the Estrella River. The cool, damp air off the Pacific Ocean that rushes through the Templeton Gap dissipates just as it approaches the broadly rolling plains at the western border of the Estrella district, resulting in rainfall at the low end of the range for Paso Robles. The open exposure as the sun tracks wide over the valley creates a vast diurnal swing in temperature—up to 50 degrees during the growing season. Our moderate winters and rainless, though often foggy, summers are features of a Mediterranean climate.

In the 2016 vintage, parched vineyards were soothed by rainfall during the winter and early spring. Temperatures peaked by July and turned to far milder conditions over the growing season than the years prior, cooling off after the start of harvest. A slight break in harvest occurred in mid-September before the majority of grapes were harvested in October, distinguished by a heartening return to typical yields.

Sweet and spicy berries with vanilla and leather on the nose. Chocolate cherries, white pepper, and olive are found in the diverse flavor profile. The lengthy and lush tannins will continue to age gracefully for several years.