Opolo’s estate vineyards were established in 1995, with sites on both the west and east side of Paso Robles. The topographically diverse, coastal landscape of the westside vineyards provides for an intense and unique flavor profile. The heat and dryness of the east side vineyard make it an ideal microclimate for growing Bordeaux varietals. Home to a wide range of varietals, the estate vineyards help allow the team at Opolo to create many unique single varietals as well as award winning blends.
Most important in making high quality wine is starting with high quality grapes. Opolo’s vineyard team carefully monitors each lot of grapes throughout the season in order to produce the highest quality fruit possible. From taking leaf, petiole, and soil samples, to monitoring water uptake in the vines, all aspects of viticulture is carefully notated and examined with the intent of producing only high quality fruit for our winery. The entire Opolo production team works together every year to provide the best quality product possible.
At Opolo we believe a strong, cooperative relationship with the land and our environment is crucial. We practice sustainable methods in both the winery and vineyard operations in order to preserve our environment, water and local wildlife. Opolo is a “SIP” Certified operation as well as certified organic by “CCOF” in our 64 acre walnut orchard. We continue to be great stewards of the land and invite you to come to our vineyards and see our operations!
Opolo Vineyards has a long established reputation of growing and producing award winning wines in Paso Robles, California. With nearly 300 acres of vines on the east and west side of Paso Robles, Opolo Vineyards is privy to a wide range in climate, soil and growing potential—allowing extensive range of varietals to flourish. This variety combined with the passion behind the brand has made Opolo a favorite of wine enthusiasts everywhere.
(Click on each wine to learn more about the wine and pricing)
A proud native of Chicago, IL. Jeff Faber grew up on the North Side of the city and moved to California in 1993. He spent many years in Broadcasting working behind the microphone for CBS and ABC radio before launching his own start-up company. Like so many people whose breath is taken away when they visit the California Central Coast, Jeff fell in love with the area and quickly learned that almost everyone you know either owns or a winery or an olive oil ranch.
"The most beautiful part about this area is how willing everyone is to share their knowledge of their craft. You work a few harvests, turn off your cell phones and lose yourself in the magic. You literally feel yourself decompress. What compelled Jeff to give up his company and start working for Opolo was that he wanted to learn the business from the ground up. “I literally knew very little about wine and wanted to stomp grapes, pour yeast into the tanks, experiment with blends, see the effect dry farming has on the flavor of grapes, etc"…At Opolo, they encourage you to do everything which is the very best way to learn a skill set.
For the past 12 years, Jeff has been the National Sales Manager for Opolo meeting people in city after city acting as a full-time “palate hunter” and helping folks have fun and learn a little more about themselves and of course, wine!
Reddy Vineyards was founded in 1997 by acclaimed viticulturist Dr. Vijay Reddy. His vast expertise in both soil chemistry and farming led him to plant grapes along with other pioneering farmers in the Texas High Plains. His passion for the vineyard turned into a lifetime pursuit to perfect and cultivate fine wine grapes from this unique growing region. Dr. Reddy’s son Akhil launched the first Reddy Vineyards 100% authentic estate-grown and bottled wines in 2019.
The Texas High Plains American Vitcultural Appellation was established in 1993 in the West Texas High Plains. The region is the foundation of Texas winegrowing, including more than 8 million acres and encompassing 22 counties. The region’s major cities include Lubbock, Brownfield and Amarillo. 85% of the wines made in Texas come from the Texas High Plains AVA.
Reddy Vineyards winery is located in Brownfield, Texas, just outside of Lubbock in the Texas High Plains. State-of-the-art equipment is configured to produce high-quality fine wines. Reddy uses a super-efficient Pellenc harvester that picks and destems the clusters and sorts the fruit right in the vineyard, saving fuel and personnel hours while delivering very high-quality fruit and eliminating the need for a sorting table and separate de-stemmer. The winery is fitted with stainless steel tanks including small lot two-ton fermenters, and single bins for micro fermentations, hand punch downs and pumpovers provide winemaking options for the diversity in the vineyard. All tanks are temperature controlled for heating and chilling. The wines are pressed with a bladder press and is moved to barrel by pumps. The winery is also equipped with its own lab.
Reddy Vineyards has the pick of the best fruit from the vineyard giving its winemakers a fantastic selection to create blended and single-varietal wines. The Reddy Family decided to focus on what its vineyards and Texas can do best—warm-climate varietals expertly crafted and blended to showcase richness, forward fruit, body and succulent soft tannins in the red wines, and clean varietal character in the white wines.
As in our previous tastings, simply do an advance purchase on two or more of these featured wines and you will be invited to join us on the Zoom call with Eric Sigmund from Reddy Vineyard. Pick up at the bar prior to the tasting on the 16th.
Or simply stop in and pick up a few in person.
Eric Sigmund’s path to wine came somewhat unexpectedly and at the expense of a lucrative career he spent years training for. Three years out of law school, working in international law in Washington DC, he took a weekend job at Total Wine & More stocking shelves and hand-selling wine to help pay off his student loans. As a law career began to look less and less fulfilling, he made a dramatic shift and took a full-time job at Total as a sales associate at one of the chain’s largest stores. He eventually became a supervisor, then wine manager for the company’s flagship store in Maryland where he was handling foundational wine training for 30 sales associates, overseeing 70 staff members and managing 50 million in annual sales. He was promoted again to the corporate office where he built partner relationships and import agreements with wineries in Europe as the assistant French fine wine buyer.w
A friendly introduction from a law-school classmate who grew up with Akhil Reddy connected Eric with Reddy Vineyards as they planned to launch the estate-grown Reddy Vineyard wines and build a new state-of-the-art winery. With his extensive on-the-job wine experience, studies and mind for business and law, he was a good fit. In February 2019, he moved his family to Texas to work full-time with the Reddys.
Eric saw the potential of Reddy Vineyards before he moved to Texas, and since then he’s become even more bullish on the future of Texas wineries like Reddy who are steadfastly focused on raising the state’s quality and reputation as a fine wine producer dedicated to growing and producing 100% authentic Texas estate-grown wines. “One of the reasons I was really attracted to coming to Texas was that I believe Texas is on the verge of being a major national force in the wine industry,” he added. “I believe in 10-15 years Texas will be right up there with California, Oregon and Washington.”
As Chief Operating Officer, Eric’s responsibilities include “whatever it takes to run a winery— from soup to nuts,” he says. He helped build out the winery, was involved in winemaking, from blending and tasting trials to topping, racking and lab analysis of the first vintages of the Reddy Wines and he’s responsible for the winery’s legal, human resources, business planning, sales and distribution strategies.
Eric spends a lot of time tasting with both wine industry trade and consumers in the Dallas area to share the Reddy Vineyards wines along with his passionate belief in the future of Texas wines. He holds a Wine & Spirits Education Trust Advance Level certification, is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the American Society of Wine.
Join us for a virtual tasting with owner Doug Filipponi. Doug is a longtime local winegrower and Paso Robles native who oversees all vineyard operations for Ancient Peaks Winery. Doug was named “Wine Industry Person of The Year” by his wine industry peers at the 2006 California Mid State Fair in Paso Robles. He is also the president of Filipponi & Thompson Drilling, the current president of the Paso Robles Cab Collective, a past president of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, and a past chairman of the Paso Robles Wine Festival. Doug is the co-owner of Margarita Vineyard and Ancient Peaks Winery.
We will have a great opportunity to learn more about Paso Robles, the wine industry in California, the winery, and of course the wines from one of the leaders in the industry.
As in previous virtual tastings, we will have five featured wines to consider for your enjoyment during the tasting.
Choose two or more of the wines to participate in the Zoom Virtual Tasting.
The Chardonnay presents exuberant aromas of tropical fruits with notes of honeysuckle, caramel and hazelnut. The palate is smooth and resonant, unfolding with beautifully integrated flavors of pear, pineapple, peach and citrus. Touches of lively acidity linger on a lengthy, seamless finish. Recommended pairings include grilled citrus chicken, fettuccine alfredo, butter-poached scallops, and shrimp pasta in white wine sauce.
The Merlot opens with dusty aromas of boysenberry, black cherry, vanilla and toasted oak. A soft, rounded texture delivers mouthfilling flavors of blueberry, blackberry, cinnamon, dark chocolate and cola. Velvety tannins are finely integrated into a rich, chewy finish. The full-bodied character of the Merlot is a fine match for rich, flavorful fare. Recommended pairings include beef tenderloin, pasta with lamb ragu, mushroom risotto and red wine-braised brisket.
The Zinfandel offers deep, savory aromas of black cherry and plum with notes of vanilla, tobacco and dusty spice. Bright, brambly flavors of red raspberry and boysenberry unfold across a juicy texture with hints of cedar wood and black tea. Fresh acidity adds lift and structure to a sleek, peppery finish. The bright fruit and juicy texture of the Zinfandel make this wine a fitting match for fine comfort foods, including barbecued chicken, grilled sausage, Santa Maria-style tri-tip and vegetarian flatbread.
The Cabernet Sauvignon presents an enticing bouquet of black olive, leather, caramel and coffee. The palate is smooth and layered, revealing prodigious flavors of cherry, plum, blueberry and cassis with trailing hits of mint and toasted oak. Juicy acidity and sumptuous tannins add length to a resoundingly elegant finish. Enjoy with richly textured dishes, such as veal roast with mushrooms, rack of lamb with rosemary butter, and filet mignon with black olive sauce.
Each year, we craft the limited-edition Oyster Ridge cuvée to exemplify our finest winemaking efforts. The name Oyster Ridge is a tribute to the large white oyster fossils that are abundant in our estate Margarita Vineyard, fostering the type of calcium-rich soils coveted by winemakers worldwide.
Cabernet Sauvignon 80% Petit Verdot 10% Malbec 5% Cabernet Franc 4% Merlot 1%.
The 2017 Oyster Ridge exemplifies Paso Robles’ growing renown as an elite region for Cabernet Sauvignon. The aroma profile presents a captivating intermingling of red fruits, blueberry and black currant with accents of mint, forest floor and toasted oak. An extravagantly deep palate cascades with luxurious layers of blackberry, boysenberry, black olive, chocolate, tobacco and cedar, all underpinned by hints of eucalyptus and baking spice. A plush, seamless texture exhibits a sleek sense of minerality, while firm, chewy tannins add a powerful touch to a seemingly endless finish.
We are excited to have an opportunity to share some more amazing wines, and a very cool Winemaker, with you on this episode of Virtual Wine Tasting at Steve’s. You may have tasted his always popular Trainwreck Cabernet Sauvignon served here at the bar. I respectfully tell people that it is Chris’ entry level wine, and it’s a damn good entry level wine. 😊
We will be discussing several wines during this tasting event and we have 5 of his many wines available for you to choose from for this event.
You can read more about each of these wines further down in this post.
All are available online at Steves Wine Bar Products and Merchandise for purchase today and pick on Friday.
Chris Dearden has been crafting fine wines in Napa Valley for over 25 years. Wine has been a part of his family life since childhood, where it was served regularly at dinner as a celebration of everyday meals. The third generation Californian was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley town of Porterville and always had an aptitude and love for agriculture and life sciences.
After several internships with wineries and research positions at UC Davis, he came directly to the Napa Valley and has never looked back. He held winemaking positions with William Hill, Madonna Estate, and Beaulieu Vineyard/Inglenook/Christian Brothers, and he spent three years at Seguin Moreau Cooperage where he credits learning more about winemaking than in the previous years as a day-to-day winemaker. Representing the company, he traveled to the finest winemaking regions in France, South America and California, Oregon and Washington State helping winemakers make better wines and learning how the best wines are made around the world.
He began a fourteen-year journey developing a Napa Valley winery from the ground up. He established the vineyard, brand, wine style and identity. During this period, he also developed the North American branch of the highly respected Gamba Cooperage, Costa Del Sol Consulting Company, luxury wine brands Chanticleer and Sleeping Giant, and a premium Pinot noir vineyard estate in the Carneros district of Napa Valley, which is a cornerstone of Chris’s great wines today.
2010 marked the beginning of a new chapter for Chris when he established the Dearden Wines Portfolio which today includes flagship Sleeping Giant Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir and Chardonnay; Little Giant Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay; Argus Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Rosato; One-Iron Red Blend; Two-Iron Cabernet Sauvignon; Three-Iron limited production Zinfandel; Train Wreck Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon blanc; and Costa del Sol Red Blend.
Dearden’s Carneros vineyard property, which is fondly referred to as “Las Amigas Partners,” is planted to five different clones of Pinot noir and a small amount of Chardonnay on an 11.6-acre parcel. The residence and an historic water tower were refurbished and are an outward sign of the Dearden family’s respect for the past and loyalty to the future. To round out the vineyard, residence and newly restored historic water tower, plans are in the works for development of a boutique winery that will include the renovation of an existing barn. The Dearden family invites you to share the experience of this beautiful setting with them.
Chris lives in the beautiful Napa Valley with his high-school sweetheart wife Paige and their two children, Sam and Addie.
The “Sleeping Giant” is the section of mountain range of the Mayacamas that runs from the Northern edge of Mount Veeder in Napa almost up to the Yountville Veterans Home. It becomes the focal point of conversation as the sun sets on the Western hills. Chris Dearden has lived and produced fine wines in Napa Valley since 1986. A trained enologist from UC Davis, with an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, Dearden has pursued single vineyard wines for Shibumi Knoll, V Madrone and Benessere in St. Helena and Chanticleer in Yountville. His Cabernets, Chardonnays and Italian varietals have garnered both critical and consumer acclaim since 1995.
A delicious, full-bodied Chardonnay with just the right amount of buttery, fresh notes of lemon, green apple, caramel custard and almond nuances.
94 pts. Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis
Rich, deeply fruity, silky and sweet-tart with notes of raspberry, clove-studded ham, dried oregano and cocoa powder.
Everyone has a ‘train wreck’ of a day once in a while. This wine is meant to get your day ‘back on track’ with its broad appeal and approachability. Even if your day is going smoothly you will enjoy savoring our Train Wreck wines with your favorite meal or just your favorite person. Keep your ‘train wrecks’ on the table and in the fridge!
Chris Dearden loves to play golf and is pretty good on any course, but he can’t hit his low irons no matter how hard he tries. In fact, not many people can! The Iron Series wines were created so anyone could enjoy the pleasure of swinging an iron with ease. This collection of wines includes varietals that are food friendly, delicious, and delightfully better to drink than to swing!
Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of red wines and the Napa Valley is world-famous for producing big, bold wines of outstanding character. Merlot was judiciously blended to produce a wine of structure, flavor and balance.
Meritage is a term used to describe wines made from the Bordeaux varietals in California. A full-bodied red wine with tantalizing notes of berries, sage, dark chocolate and cherry cola.
With Steve's Wine Bar
Washington Winemaker, Dirk Brink
Shelter In Place will be different this Friday Evening
from 6:00 – 8:00 PM Central Time.
Purchase 2 bottles of our Featured Basel Cellars wines by Thursday
and join us Friday May 8th at 6:00 PM for a Zoom call and taste along with Winemaker Dirk Brink.
Wine may be picked up Friday afternoon.
The Session Link will be emailed to you prior to the event on Friday.
This is our first-ever wine produced from the Rocks District in Milton-Freewater. This two-year-old Syrah planting produced beautiful mineral-rich fruit from the ancient cobblestones in one of the most distinct AVA’s in the world. All fruit was hand harvested early in the season and only two hours of skin contact was allowed after harvesting. A gentle press cycle was performed, followed by cold settling in stainless steel. A cool, slow fermentation lasted for about 45 days, maintaining freshness and varietal expression, while lees was stirred once a week for extra complexity and flavor. We extended the lees contact post fermentation and stirred for an additional two months to ensure depth and character in this Rosé.
The intriguing bouquet will reveal alluring fruit-driven hints of plum, raspberry, gooseberry and mandarin. This Rosé possesses an attractive floral component with notes of cherry blossom and potpourri. The pronounced minerality from the cobblestones is evident, with hints of chalk and smoke, alongside an exciting earthly element of mushroom and forest floor. The higher pH of the Freewater soil series delivered a wine with roundness and viscosity in the mouthfeel. The velvety texture in the mid-palate gives it a long and lingering sensation and balanced finish.The ripe and “sweet” flavors on the forefront are supported by fair acidity and create a subtle accent behind the fruit. This wine will be in its true element when paired with spicy crab cakes, shell fish pasta, pork shoulder with morel mushrooms or brie with truffle oil.
It is fruit driven with less tannins and acidity in comparison to their many of their other reds. 30% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 17% Malbec and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon. Only neutral oak is used to make this wine for about 18 months. It shows hints of raspberry, plum, butterscotch. It is floral and perfumy. There is just enough tannins to support a great structure of the wine. It stands alone but will age for a short while.
70% Syrah and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is an interesting marriage of exceptional fruit from Mckinley Springs for the Syrah and Phinny Hills Vineyard for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The Syrah is co-fermented with Viognier and aged on Hungarian oak for about 20 months. They used about 7% of the viognier in the co-fermentation. This is a vibrant wine with notes of dark cherry, blueberry and orange peel. The Cabernet brings a great structure to the wine. There are notable layers in this wine. It’s got a wonderful mouthfeel but has fine tannins, great acidity which will allow you to cellar this wine for years to come.
"I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and was always surrounded by vineyards and wineries from a young age. I was always very intrigued by the winemaking process. I think my dad’s love for farming and agriculture and my mom’s patience and attention to detail stuck with me. I studied viticulture and enology in South Africa, and during this time worked at the world renowned Vergelegen and Delheim wine estates. I did my first winemaking Internship at Ingwe Wine Estate in South Africa, and came to the states in 2004 and started internships with Chateau St. Michelle, Bookwalter and then moved on to Assistant Winemaker at Kestrel Vintners and then Winemaker at Coeur d’ Alene Cellars before I came to Basel Cellars."
"I met my beautiful wife Esther in 2005 working at Chateau St. Michelle and got married in 2012. We have one daughter named Anna Marie Lente, a true miracle and blessing from God. We also have an energetic Rhodesian Ridgeback called Cayenne that keeps us on our toes. We enjoy the outdoors, cooking, creating and living life to the fullest every day, and love the God that gave it to us!"
With Steve's Wine Bar
with Chilean wine expert Carlos Miquel.
Shelter In Place will be different this Saturday
from 6:00 – 7:30 PM Central Time.
• Did you know that Chile exports more wine than the US?
About a half billion dollars more.
• Did you know Chile has some of the oldest vines in the world? Unaffected by phylloxera, Chile never had to graft to resistant stock.
• Did you know Chile is the 7th largest producer of wine? Chile has seen the most growth among the major producers over the past 5 years.
Purchase 2 bottles of our Featured Chilean wines by Thursday
and join us Saturday April 25 at 6:00 PM for a Zoom call when we interview Carlos Miquel and examine the history of Chile and their incredible wines.
All featured wines have been rated 92 points or better by several renowned professionals!
The Session Link will be emailed to you prior to the event on Saturday.
• Featured Chilean Wines included in this special offer are: (Buy at least two)
- Vina Chocalan "Vitrum" Red Blend. $31
- Vina Chocalan "Alexia" Red Blend $54
- Calyptra Grand Reserve "Assemblage" Red Blend $44
- Calyptra Inedito Limited Edition Red Blend $60
- Calyptra Zahir 100% Cabernet Sauvignon $75
It’s your choice.
Order wines online and pick the wines up this Friday or Saturday. Drink one, both or all of them before the class, save them for the class or watch the class and then drink them. It's your choice.
We have a limit on available wines in Texas, so order soon before they run out.
JOIN US for a SIP SESSION from Chile
Carlos has been in the wine industry for over 20 years representing Chilean wineries in the USA, in 2014 he saw the opportunity to set up an importing business for smaller, family owned , estate grown and bottled wineries. He is currently the importer for both Viña Calyptra and Viña Chocalan from Chile in the US, and is a certified WSET wine educator.
A Little More About the Wines:
ALEXIA: 70% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot.
Powerful deep bouquet combining black fruit, cassis with fresh spice and hint of menthol notes. Well integrated notes of cedar in balance with cherry licorice. Fleshy on the palate, rich and concentrated wine, build on tight tannins that will ensure long keeping. Lush and velvety texture with a long ﬁnish. Decanting is recommended.
VITRUM: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Syrah, 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Malbec, 4% Carmenère, 2% Petit Verdot.
Brilliant and deep ruby red color. A powerful and expressive nose, sweet and spicy notes. This wine offers ripe red fruits aromas and jam. Great character and structure in the mouth, it is a bodied wine with a good volume. Soft and ﬁrm tannins that provides a high potential of ageing. Creamy, with anisette notes that melts with smoky and chocolate bitter ﬂavors.
CALYPTRA GRAND RESERVA "ASSEMBLAGE": 67% Syrah, 33% Merlot
A wine with a beautiful dark ruby-red color with violet highlights. Outstanding fruit with a nose full of red berries, black cherry, black pepper, hints of violets. Those elements come through on the palate with fresh black and red fruit, revealing a full-bodied wine. This wine opens generously, very silky and lush on the palate. In mid palate, it is round and velvety with very fine tannins and the excellent acidity enhance its liveliness and balance.
Decanting is recommended for at least 1 hour.
It has a cellaring potential of 10 to 15 years.
CALYPTRA "INEDITO": Cabernet Sauvignon: 58%; Merlot: 25%; Syrah: 17%
Dark ruby-red color. A powerful wine with very good level of soft and rounded tannins. On the palate, it is perfectly balanced, full-bodied and superbly voluptuous on the mid-palate with extremely fine, firm, and sweet tannins. Each bottle is numbered. The wine is elegant and has a very well defined character. With an excellent cellaring potential.
CALYPTRA "ZAHIR": 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
A wine with a beautiful dark red color with ruby-red highlights. Subtle on the nose, with a big range of aromas that shows an amazing complexity. Red fruits such as cherry, plums, cassis, and raspberry. A robust wine with very good level of soft and rounded tannins. The wine is elegant and has a very well defined character. On the palate, it is perfectly balanced, full-bodied and superbly voluptuous on the mid-palate with extremely fine, firm, and sweet tannins. Its out-standing acidity gives the wine a youthful, refreshing feeling. Its structure gives this wine cellaring potential of at least 30 years.