As write you the latest news at Lions Peak, it is my honor to share with you this special part of the Paso Robles AVA’s history with you. Lions Peak represents my life’s journey over the past 30 years, and if you believe in karma or destiny, the steps that I chose to take in my life brought me to engage in the creative process of making fine wines and engaging with all of you, my friends.
Perhaps the original owner, Philip Doub felt as I do about the vineyard that I call home. I cannot say for certain except I live in the home that he and his family built, and I cherish the vines and grounds that began 50 years ago by Phil. To most of us it is a lifetime ago: however, I me it only seems that it was yesterday, when I first set foot on this property that I now call home. Having the opportunity to live with nature has rooted me with the essence of my life. Living in a country setting where the view of the distant mountains and the beauty of the vines, the roses, lavender, lemon, and olive trees are experienced daily is a gift. Those of you that have been club members for many years understand the transformation that I have personally experienced over the years transforming the vineyard and wines. I have been blessed in this life. I continue to produce wines and I thank you for being part of my wine family.
Harvest 2019 and Estate Vine Diversity
The 2019 harvest was the latest one in Lions Peak’s history. The rainfall over the winter was approximately 35 inches which caused bud break and flowering to be later than usual. We had some shattering and with cool temperatures and experienced the later growing season. The heat spiked up in August with temperatures exceeding the 90’s and some days reaching into the 100’s followed by cooler periods which caused version and harvest to be delayed. For us our 2019 harvest occurred in November.
After the 2019 harvest, we decided it was time to start ripping out Block 1 and 2 and add more diversity to our Estate wines. The historical Block 3 that was planted in the 1970’s by Phil will remain in part. These old Cabernet Sauvignon vines represent the legacy of Lions Peak and the Paso Robles AVA, and I want to share this legacy with you. The new planting for Block 1 and Block 2 this in 2020 will be these varietals: Carménère Malbec, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier, and Marsanne.
In 2021, we shall finish planting the remainder of blocks 1 and 2 with these varietals: Roussanne, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Torrontes ,Carrigan, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel. The 15-acre block was previously 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. We are extremely excited to implement this diversity to the Estate vineyard. Therefore, Lions Peak is in the process of having 100% of our wines be Estate and Organic.
The county has permitted us to begin the renovation of our historical barn for our Estate Winery ‘ Tasting Room and crush pad for our first phase at Lions Peak Vineyard. The second phase will have additional storage for our case goods. The grapes that we produce will be used in our Lions Peak brand and the new BFF and j. rose brands.
Those of you who have followed us know that this has been a major endeavor to accomplish. This is the second time that I have gone through this process with the county; however, this time it has been become difficult to obtain the permit due to new county regulation.
The winery and tasting room are located on the hillside overlooking the vineyard. The views are spectacular, and the plan is to make it possible for you to enjoy this special part of nature year-round. You will be able to view Lions Peak’s Vineyard and taste one or many of our Bordeaux and Rhone wines! At this time our plan is to have special events for club members at the Estate home.
In July of 2019 we bottled Lions Peak’s 2017 Bordeaux Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc line up. The wine has been bottle aging, and we released our 2017 Bordeaux Reds on Valentine. The new Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Malbec are exceptional. The 2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve will be bottled in March which has been barrel aged in new Natalie French oak. All these Bordeaux reds wines have been barreled aged in new French oak which have added to their complexity and taste profile. Personally, it is my belief that these are some of our best Bordeaux reds which we have produced to date!
In March and April 2020 Lions Peak line up will be our Bordeaux blends, as well as our 2018 Zinfandels, and our 2019 Viognier,2019 Chardonnay, 2019 Lulu, 2019 Grenache Rosé and Grenache Blanc, The Sisters, and a Chardonnay-Torrontes blend. In addition to our signature reds, due to the demand for whites, Lions Peak is bringing back some lovely new white wines. Our team is exceptionally excited about all the new wines.
We have provided you a rough outline of events; however, throughout the year we shall be sending you the details of each planned activity or view our website for information. On the web site we have a more detailed presentation of our events for you to view.
Lions Peak Tasting Room will have on going live music ever Saturday from 4-6-7 and on holiday weekends on Sundays. Friday evening beginning in May, look for a diversified schedule of evening events from movie night, wine and cheese pairing to wine a chocolate pairings.
The web site is lionspeakwines.com. Also, in the event you have any questions beyond what is listed on the web site, we recommend that you contact the tasting room for assistance at: 805.693.5466. One of our Tasting Room Associates will be able to assist you with your questions.
March & 28th ~ 5-7:30
RELEASE OF SPRING-SUMMER WINE CLUB
OPEN HOUSE AND WINE CLUB PICK UP PARTY…
APRIL 17th, 18th, 19th
GARAGISTE FESTIVAL SOLVANG VETREANS HALL. Join us on Friday evening at the Garagiste Festival 6-9 pm in Solvang’s Veterans Hall… READ MORE
Friday, May 1st ~ 5:00 to 7:30
VINTNERS FESTIVAL EVENT AT LIONS PEAK TASTING ROOM. We start our Vintners Wine Festival Weekend with a Lions Peak wine and cheese tasting! READ MORE
At Lions Peak we are once again preparing for another harvest! This has been an exceptional growing season. The rainfall over the winter was approximately 31.5 inches. This resulted in a later bud break, and cooler weather during flowering. We did have some shattering and with cool temperatures we have experienced an extended growing season. This has led to concern about frost protection. Although LP has had concern about the later than usual growing season, we had no issues with fruit set.
The vineyard is in excellent condition and the changes that we have implemented over the last few years have made a major transformation in the vines. The heat has once again spiked up in August with temperatures exceeding the 90’s and some days reaching into the 100’s. With the late growing season we are just now starting to see verasion mid-August, and the forecast for this year’s harvest is anticipated to be a few weeks later than usual later this year. This year’s yield appears to be lower than average due to the growing season and the fact that we pruned the vines back to produce higher quality fruit for our ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon.
Many of our club members that have been with us for many years know that we have been replanting Cabernet Sauvignon vines and changing the method of pruning from cordon pruning to cane pruning. The old cordons on Block 1 and 2 were removed beginning in the winter of 2015 and 2016, and the 50 year old block of Cabernet Sauvignon vines a had major cleanup of their canes and the head of the vines during the same period. This major and costly endeavor was necessary to ensure that our old vines will produce exceptional quality fruit for the years to come. In 2018 we removed 4 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines from Block 1 and 3, and planted Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot in a new block, Block 4.
The new vines are already starting to produce and by 2020 these new vines will be in full production. As I write the newsletter, the clusters of the grapes have set and verasion took place and the first fruit has been produced on some of the new vines. We are starting to see the final results or the 2019 growing season in Block 4 of the new vineyard. All of the past year’s efforts have come together at this very moment and we are anticipating that this year’s harvest should be early November.
It is important to understand that harvest is the result of all the effort that has taken place during the growing season. Some like to think that the grapes just grow themselves and figuratively speaking they do; however, with a little help from us! At Lions Peak we are fortunate to have an excellent vineyard team from the beginning of the vintage year to the harvest. We are completely hands on operation and over the 27 years that I have been at the owner of Lions Peak our commitment to Mother earth and to produce wines without compromise.
Other than our vines our 100 recently planted olive trees are in production and by next year our Estate will be producing olive oil, tapenades, and bread dipping oil. We have a recently planted a small orchard that has organic fruit and will have organic vegetables and herbs.
The final stages of the permitting process of converting Lions Peak 50 year old barn to winery and tasting room on our Estate Vineyard have been permitted. This has been a dream in the process for 27 years, and the Estate will have a winery and tasting room located on the hillside overlooking the vineyard. The views are spectacular and the plan is to make it possible for you to enjoy this special part of nature year round. You will be able to just relax and view Lions Peak’s Vineyard and taste one or many of our Bordeaux red wines and a few of our favorite other varietals!
The Peak’s 2017 Bordeaux line up was bottled this summer, and we hope that you made it to our new release party. The new Cabernet Franc and Malbec are exceptional. The 2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon will be bottled in January and has been barrel aged in new Nadalie French oak. We have selected a variety of French oak to enhance the complexity of the wines, and it is our belief that when you taste our new releases that you will be as excited as we are. For our open house and Leo Celebration in August, we had barrel samples of our new reds and offered futures of these reds. Each varietal has distinct characteristics and flavor profiles, and we leave it to you for your comments. Since the 1990’s the plan was to produce five of the Bordeaux reds, and now are producing all five varietals and having our own Estate wines. This is our second Malbec, and it will be part of our portfolio of Bordeaux Wines. Moving forward, Lions Peak will be producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and our proprietary Bordeaux blends.
The 2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon will be bottled in December and has been barrel -aged in new Nadalie French oak. We have selected a variety of French oak to enhance the complexity of the wines, and it is our belief that when you taste our new releases that you will be as excited as we are. For our open house and Leo Celebration in August, we had barrel samples of our new reds and offered futures of these reds. Each varietal has distinct characteristics and flavor profiles, and we leave it to you for your comments. It is exciting to be producing all five Bordeaux varietals. This is our second Malbec, and it will be part of our portfolio of Bordeaux Wines. Moving forward, Lions Peak will be producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and our proprietary Bordeaux blends.
LIONS PEAK LAUNCHING TWO SECONDARY BRANDS
Since BFF has become one of the favorite wines at Lions Peak, BFF is becoming its own brand and label. This is an exciting forthcoming venture for us. BFF will become its own brand name and will have many new blends and fun labels that are focused on friendship.
The other new secondary brand will be called j. rose and will have only whites and Sparkling Wines in its portfolio. The whites will be my favorite whites that I have enjoyed as a Sommelier.
VIEW OUR EVENTS FROM NOVEMBER 2019 TO MARCH 2020
Seeing that you have enjoyed our events, we have looked at our calendar and have scheduled an assortment of events throughout the Fall and Winter. On a weekly basis you are always welcome to stop in for a tasting and enjoy our portfolio of wines. We want to hear from you pertaining to your favorite wines and ideas of future activities at LP. We have provided you a rough outline of events; however, throughout the year we shall be sending you the details of each planned activity or view our website for information. You can also view all of the scheduled events which are featured on our web site. lionspeakwines.com.
December 6th & 31st
Jules Festival. Come join us at Lion’s Peak Tasting Room during this event. READ MORE
Lions Peak Open House. The holidays have arrived, join us Saturday, from 4-7 pm with Holiday appetizers and live music. READ MORE