Summary: Brecon Estate is a small, boutique winery specializing in small batch wine production. The special wines are available in the onsite tasting room and through their online store directly to consumers. The owners want visitors to feel like a member of the family. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the patio with a glass of Brecon Estate wine.
Amanda and Damian Grindley purchased the vineyard property in 2012. At the time the vineyards were planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The first step for the Grindleys was to gut and renovate the building. In the vineyard they began hand harvesting the grapes from the 48-year-old vines. Each variety was vinified separately.
Damian is originally from Wales. His education was agricultural science. Damian’s original interest was in horticulture and viticulture. He commented that he “stumbled into the wine.” Eventually he went to Australia to learn winemaking. Damian has worked harvests around the world.
As we talked with Damian, he commented that he is not in the corporate wine world and thus is not confined to shelf space or restaurant menus. Brecon Estate wines are only sold directly to consumers. He commented that the biggest difference for him was that this gives him a lot of control over his wines. He can release a wine when the wine is ready.
The tasting room has a unique tasting counter as the wall behind the tasting counter opens directly to the patio. No need for customers enjoying the patio to enter the building for wine. Walls in the tasting room are decorated with numerous pieces of artwork created by a local artist Michelle Ellis. Nearby a second comfortable room is available for wine club members.
We spent most of our time talking with the Grindleys while enjoying the ambiance of the shaded patio. A large valley oak tree provided much of the shade. The patio has several seating arrangements. Picnic tables are also available nearby. Visitors are allowed to bring picnic lunches with them to enjoy with Brecon Estate wines.
Adjacent to the tasting room is a room for wine club members. The room has comfortable seating and a window overlooking the winery area below.
We were curious as to the name Brecon. The Brecon name is tied into several things. Damian noted that it is a short, strong name. The name is actually a national park in Wales (Brecon Beacons National Park) that has limestone soils. The vineyards here in Paso Robles also have limestone soils. The Grindleys noted that they are cavers. One of the major activities to do in Wales is to explore the caves at the national park. These caves include four of the longest limestone cave systems in Great Britain. With these ties to Wales, the earth and the strong sounding name, it makes sense that the winery was named Brecon.
Brecon Estate Vineyards
Brecon Estate has 27 acres of vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The soils of the onsite vineyards have calcareous soil. The Grindleys also control other vineyards.
Brecon Estate Wines
Brecon wines are divided into two categories. The white label is for everyday enjoyment while the dark gray label identifies the reserve wines. Wines are served in Schott Zwiesel stemware.
The Meritage 2013 was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The wine was an opaque dark ruby color and offered notes of black raspberries and blueberries. The wine had mild tannins and was full-bodied. The finish was very fruity.
Cabernet Franc 2013 was an opaque light ruby color. The wine had notes of plums, blueberries and spices. The wine had mild tannins and a full body. The finish was fruity.
Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast 2013 was an opaque dark ruby color. The wine offered notes of blackberries and blueberries. There were medium tannins and the wine was full-bodied. The finish with fruit yielded to a hint of chalk.
Petit Verdot Templeton Gap Paso Robles 2014 was an opaque dark ruby color. The wine offered notes of black fruits including blackberries and black cherries. There were bold tannins and the wine was full-bodied. The fruit finish yielded to spices.
Damian wants people to know that Brecon Estate offers a “full package” where people can meet the owner and winemaker and be in “a beautiful part of the world.” People can be comfortable coming here to taste wines.
7450 Vineyard Drive
Paso Robles, California 93446
GPS: N35º 35.887’ W120º 49.912’
Article written May 2016
Visit these California organizations and wineries that partner with Wine Trail Traveler.