Photos by Hayley Thomas
From left, Pelletiere Estate Vineyard & Winery Vineyard Manager Mindy Stepp, Owner Janis Denner, and Winemaker Amy Butler.
Pelletiere Estate Vineyard & Winery features a remodeled Mennonite farmhouse surrounded by 10 acres in westside Paso Robles.
of reclaimed wood adorning the walls, everything at Pelletiere Estate is touched by the dual hands of sophistication and pastoral charm. Wood from the old farmhouse is contrast against a clean color pallet and modern tasting bar. Posh, leather chairs compliment an earthy, country table. Wine glasses are not round; instead, they are uniquely angular. “I call it ‘refined rustic,’” Denner said. “Our wines are incredibly elegant, lower in alcohol. We want to showcase the fruit and terroir. Our winemaker says it’s a magical vineyard.” Looking for jammy, high alcohol zinfandel or a fruit bomb in your glass? This is not the place to find it. Winemaker Amy Butler highlights the estate grown fruit sourced from the 10-acre vineyard with a keen and thoughtful approach. Although on opposite sides of the spectrum taste-wise, Pelletiere’s bright, creamy 2013 Viognier and dark 2013 Montepulciano (a grape rare to Paso Robles but common in central and southern Italy) are equal in balance and restraint. “I’m happy Janis gave me the
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opportunity to come in and create my own style with these incredible varietals — wines that I love to drink,” Butler said. “Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Lagrein: many are new to my winemaking, and it’s exciting and fun to embark on a new challenge.” Speaking of challenges, Denner has experienced a few. She purchased the property in September of 2014, hitting the ground running 100 miles per hour. In the midst of farmhouse restoration, winery upgrades, and tasting room construction, harvest exploded. “We did all that in four month’s time, as well as harvested, crushed, and bottled,” Denner said. “It’s been a whirlwind.” With Denner’s daughter, Morgan Stepp, taking care of the wine club and public relations side of the business and capable vineyard manager Mindy Allen kicking up dirt in the vineyard, the boutique winery boasts a proud all-female team. It may even be the only all-female team in Paso Robles. “With the Italian varietals we feature, we are really bringing diversity to Paso Robles and helping show people that there is always more to discover,” Stepp said. “As a
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team, we want the very best for our vineyard and want to make wines that our delicious and reflect our unique estate that can be enjoyed with friends, family, and food.” The journey may have just begun for the new winery, but the road ahead — and the dynamic land — show true promise of delivering on that dream. “We believe in sustainability, and to us that mean more than in our vineyard. It’s about repurposing what we can and about business sustainability as well,” Denner said. “We are dedicated to creating an environment and a service level for our customers that represents accountability, commitment, integrity, as well as attention to detail.” For more information on Pelletiere Estate Vineyard & Winery, including booking farmhouse stays, visit Pelletiere.com or call 239-9432. The winery and tasting room is located at 3280 Township Road off Highway 46 East in Paso Robles.