I would be happy and honored to tell the story of our wine. Yes very happy and honored indeed.
But, what type of story? True or fictitious, prose or verse, a story to amuse or instruct? I think what is best is a true story in prose. A story to amuse? Well, one does hope to entertain and history should be to instruct, so a true, historical story in prose will be the choice.
In 1979 ol’ Doc McGillis, a thoracic surgeon from Los Angeles, decided to give up the city life and move to the small town of Paso Robles on the central coast of California. He purchased some land just west of town in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains and built a barn.
Life was good. Many an evening Doc and his wife Dale would sit in the hay loft of their barn house and watch the beautiful views of the town lights to the east and the mountain sunsets to the west. One such evening, with a cocktail in hand, Doc came up with a brilliant idea.
“If we grew grapes, we could drink wine for free!”
A dream was born and the next day a ten-acre vineyard was began. The front five was planted to Zinfandel, the versatile red grape, claimed by California as its very own. Like its adapted state, zinfandel that can make diverse wines such as; a late harvest that tastes of velvet raisin, or a claret style that challenges the best of Bordeaux, or a powerhouse of fruit and flavor that shows the raw energy of our young nation, or a light picnic wine that tastes so fresh on a spring day outing with friends and family, or lastly a ‘white Zinfandel’ that America has learned to enjoy chilled for its sweet tartness. The back five were planted to one of the finest clones of Nebbiolo, the noble grape of Italian Barolos, one of the finest wines in the world.
For the next several years Doc learned the joys of farming as he dug his tractor out of the mud. He imbibed the glamour of the wine business as he swatted grape leaf hoppers off his sun-baked neck. He experienced the beauty of nature’s creatures as he shooed, chased and shoot away the fauna. I other words these were the best years of his life.
Sadly, with the fruit of his first harvest safely in barrels, Doc suddenly passed from this life to his greater reward. We mourn his passing and celebrate his life.
With Doc gone the vineyard continued to produce great grapes. Local Paso Robles wineries sought out the grapes and made some wonderful wines. It worth noting, however, that vineyards are like people, without someone to care for them they will wither and decline.
By 2001 the Nebbiolo in the back five had to be removed and the Zinfandel was looking very sorry. Lupe and I bought the vineyard in 2002 and started the long process of bringing the vineyard back to health.
You are tasting the fruits of our efforts from the first year of Christian Lazo Vineyards. We sincerely hope you enjoy the wine.