Get the Dirt about Vino Vargas from Vicky Vargas

10 Oct

vargaspedro1. What was your first vintage year? Our first commercial vintage was 2011

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 1000

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No tasting room, please call or email for appointment. Winery@vinovargas.com or 805-369-1440

4. If not you, who is your winemaker? Pedro Vargas

5. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? Pedro started by making small batches of wines with friends. He eventually studied enology at UC Davis and graduated with a Winemaker Certification.

6. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? The amazing Tempranillos of Rioja and the smooth Malbecs of Argentina.

vargasvyd7. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Why?
Our signature wines are Russian River Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Cab Sauv, Chardonnay, Merlot and other reds. My favorite wine to make is Pinot Noir, it’s a challenging grape but the results are amazing when everything goes right.

8. What vineyards do you source from? Why? We source grapes from vineyards in Russian River Valley, Clear Lake, Lodi, El Dorado Hills and Santa Cruz Mountains. We pick the vineyards that show the best authentic expression for the varietal we are making. We plan to have estate grapes in the future.

9. What type of oak treatment do you use? I use only French oak in various toast levels depending on the grapes. I have made wine with both Hungarian and American oak, but the French oak is much more consistent in flavor profile and fits our programs better.

10. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special?
Paso Robles is rapidly becoming a leading wine destination but still retains a small country town feel. I love that world class wines can be made here and still not feel corporate and over-visited like many other wine regions in California.

vargasbottles11. What’s the story behind your name/label? The label reflects our family name “Vargas”. The first Vargas in the new world came with the conquistadores from the Iberian Peninsula. Our heritage is promoted in the names of our wines and marketing materials. We promote one brand across all of our wines and rely on a catchy creative treatment of the V with wine splashing within it.

12. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? Consumer fads impact food products more than other products. For example, we make an award-winning Merlot that sells but not as easily as a more expensive Pinot Noir sells. In this case, consumer sentiment of Merlot was impacted by the “Sideways” phenomenon more than we anticipated.

13. We’re curious…do you even get tired of drinking your own wine? Is it considered bad form to dip into your inventory? We never get tired of drinking our wine. It gives us the opportunity to gauge the aging and characteristics that our customers are experiencing. We drink a lot of other winery wines too, but we never shy from tasting our own product. Dipping into your inventory is necessary if you want to stay on top of your wine.

14. Do you still have a day job? Yes. I am a consulting winemaker when I am not working on the Vino Vargas wines.

For more information about Vino Vargas, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

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