An Alternative To The ‘Estate-Grown’ Designation

There are labels that emphasize a wine’s region, and labels that emphasize that the wine inside the bottle is made using estate-grown grapes.

Winemaker and Hope Family Wines owner Austin Hope takes it a step further. Rather than listing whether their wines are estate grown, they emphasize the sub-AVA. There are multiple sub-AVAs within the Central Coast’s Paso Robles AVA, including the Templeton Gap, where the Hope Family estate is located.

Hope, who spearheaded the development of the sub-AVAs in Paso Robles, believes it is more important to talk about that rather than his family’s estate vineyard.

“A lot of these wines are very small lots and are not distributed, so those visiting the tasting cellar are very intrigued when they are able to taste the wine on the site (upon which) it was grown,” Hope said. “It is a pretty unique experience.”

The Templeton Gap is the coolest microclimate in Paso Robles. The grapes that grow on the Hope family’s estate are Syrah, Grenache, Rousanne, Mourvedre and Graciano. These Rhone varietals were selected because Hope feels they grow best there based on the soil and maritime influence.

If you visit the Hope Family Wines website, sub-AVAs are explained in detail on each of the wines sold under the company’s five brands. 

In addition to the Hope Family Wines Estate, the company sources its grapes from more than 50 growers located throughout the Central Coast region.

Hope said they took great care to maintain relationships with those growers.

“Our long-term contracts are key to developing good reliable fruit supply,” he said.

Detail, meticulous data entry and constant analysis are also essential.

“Our team analyzes every lot that hits the cellar floor with a rating system that allows them to continually rate the fruit and its analytics from vintage to vintage,” Hope said. “At this point in time, the amount of historical data we possess enables us to drill down to the exact soil, slope and clone we prefer for our Cabernet Sauvignon.

“And something we shouldn’t overlook is our cellar crew, which has been working with the family for years. We have a solid, reliable team that has many vintages under their belt. Our Cellar Master Jessie Aispuro has been with us for over 30 years.”

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