Get the Dirt about Prizm Winery from owner Mike Rubino

20 Jun

PrizmMike1. What was your first vintage year? 2012

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 175

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No tasting room or appointments available. But we have a nice website with a behind the scenes video series!

4. If not you, who is your winemaker? Philippe Armenier

5. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? Parent company is D’Anbino Cellars. Part of our family retired from the music industry in Los Angeles in Paso Robles and has been growing grapes since 1995.

6. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? The wine our Italian grandfathers made in the basement on the east coast!

7. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? We grow Cabernet and Syrah. Cabernet is one of my personal favorites because it combines some of my favorite fruit profiles with more interesting and complex characteristics.

8. What vineyards do you source from? Why? If estate, why did you choose the spot you’re in? Our vineyards are Certified Biodyanmic. We chose a very specific spot for Prizm – the rows get just the right balance of sun and shade and are oriented in such a way that we can achieve a certain elegance in the juice without being overly ripe.

PrizmVineyard

9. What type of oak treatment do you use? Do you age your wines in some other type of vessel (concrete / amphora)? Why? After its wild fermentation, Prizm is aged for only a couple of months in very neutral oak barrels, then spends the rest of its time in stainless tanks. This is a “purist” approach to preserve only the flavors of the vineyard and not introduce oak overtones. Because of the reduced oxidation in the tanks compared to barrels, the wine goes into the bottle very fresh and young where it can finish its aging over the next 10-15 years.

10. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? There are certain common flavor elements to Paso Robles wines that I enjoy supremely. The depth of fruit when balanced correctly is addictive!

PrizmLabel11. What’s the story behind your name/label? One of the more interesting techniques of Biodynamic farming includes a mixture of quartz particles that are sprayed on the leaves to assist in photosynthesis. The name Prizm comes from the rainbow of light that quartz can produce, but also implies the idea of all the different balances of nature coming together to form one incredible vintage!

12. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? Don’t.

13. What do you love about small-lot winemaking? Anything you DON’T love about it? I love the element of surprise. When your wines aren’t “engineered” and you “go with what you get”, it can be an exciting process. Every vintage can be so different and you really feel you are tasting the weather that year, the soil that year. I don’t love that lack of large corporate divedends.

14. Do you still have a day job? If so, do you mind sharing what it is? Prizm and it’s parent company are owned by myself, my parents, and my aunt and uncle. My father and uncle finally retired from the music business to live in Paso Robles and now enjoy winemaking full time. I still reside in Los Angeles as a music composer for TV and film and am heading up the Prizm project in my spare time.

For more information about Prizm Winery, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

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