Kiamie is a collaboration between three guys with diverse yet complementary backgrounds. Winemaker Steve Glossner has been making great wines in Paso for a long time, and is the winemaker who made the first Isosceles for Justin. Aram Deirmenjian’s family has been farming grapes in California for 30 years, and Greg Johnson has extensive retail wine experience.
|Data on the tank|
We also met Kiamie's assistant winemaker/slave, Dana, who is happen to learn at the knee of Steve Glossner, and is already making some of his own wine, which we were honored to taste. I think he's learned his lessons well!
As often happens when in the presence of winery folks, we found ourselves talking about the philosophy of winemaking, and the larger picture of how agricultural practices inform all aspects of winemaking whether you're growing your own grapes or buying from other vineyards. Aram's family made him earn his designer tennis shoes working in the family vineyards in the Fresno area, and he has made sure to work side by side with the vineyard workers in Paso, both to ensure his credibility with customers and crews, as well as maintain the integrity of the product. In fact, what impressed me most about our experience with Aram and Kiamie was the passion for making a product that truly expressed the terroir of the west Paso Robles region.
|Sophia & Aram & the Kuvee|
Beautifully made, delicious, food-friendly wines. What more can one say? It was going to be hard to make a decision what to get, but Sophia solved it for us - the 2005 Kiamie Kuvee (click the link for tasting notes) was on sale for a case price of $211 - significantly less than the normal retail price - so we went for it. I have to say that as of this writing, we've already drunk 2 bottles (with friends), and all agree this is a delightful wine!
After finishing at Kiamie, we headed down to Templeton to visit winemakers and friends Joe and Melinda Laraneta. We met the Laranetas through our friend and colleague, Xochitl Maiman, who fronts a wine-networking group called I'll Drink To That. The Laranetas are a small-production winery making award-winning wines, and delicious olive oils from trees on their property, and running a beautiful bed-and-breakfast called Honey Oak House.
|Back view @ Laraneta|
We bade the Laranetas a fond farewell and promised to come back in the spring, and headed for our cousins' home in Los Osos, making a brief stop at the Apple Farm for dinner. While there we were serenaded by a group of carolers from Paso Robles High School. Lovely young women with beautiful voices.
We braved the rainy night, getting into Los Osos around 7:30, chatted for a while with Sara and Bill, and fell into bed with visions of vines and bottles dancing in our heads. More to come on Days 3 and 4 of our adventure.