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Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery
Kathy Sullivan

Pomar Junction Vineyard and WinerySummary: Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery is located in the Paso Robles area of California’s Central Coast. The winery tasting room and vineyard are a delightful, relaxing family getaway to visit. The laid-back atmosphere, where estate grown wines and olive oils are available for purchase, has expansive vineyards with wonderful views. Be sure to look for the old train car on the property between the tasting room and the vineyards.

Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery is located in the midst of California’s countryside filled with vineyards and olive trees. There is a lawn area available for setting up private events near the entrance to the tasting room. On the day of our visit organizers were arranging colorful bouquets for the tables.

Pomar Junction Vineyard and WineryAfter arriving at Pomar Junction, wine enthusiasts will quickly notice the Santa Fe train car where visitors like to stop for photos. A large wood deck has been added to the back of the tasting room. From the deck visitors will see the train car and the vineyards. Plan to stay awhile to enjoy the views and wines.

The boutique tasting room, with a delightful ambiance, is nearby. First built for use as a chicken coop, the building has been renovated and upscaled with a comfortable deco including a fireplace. The rooms are small but the polished wood floors add to the tasting room atmosphere. In one area of the tasting room, olive oils produced with estate grown olives are available for purchase. Wine-related gift items are also available for purchase.

Pomar Junction Vineyard and WineryThe winery is owned and operated by the Merrill family including Dana (pictured right) and Marsha Merrill and their son, Matthew. The winery and vineyards are SIP (Sustainability in Practice) certified. They are also members of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. Seventy percent of the energy usage is obtained from solar panels. Dana had been a prominent figure in the wine industry as a grape grower for decades before entering the winemaking side of the wine industry. Along with the estate varieties growing onsite and those a few miles away at Creston Ridge Ranch Vineyard, the Merrills source grapes from vineyards managed by a sister company in the counties of Santa Barbara and Monterey.

In addition to his busy work schedule with their own vineyards and winemaking, Dana also manages vineyards for other wineries. Dana and Matthew took us on a tour of the vineyards where we tasted some wines in the vines, a gentle reminder that wines are first made in the vineyard. We were able to see both the vineyards around the tasting room and the Creston Ridge Ranch Vineyards.

Pomar Junction Vineyard and WineryVineyards

At the Pomar Junction site, there are 91 acres of grapes. The vineyards are sustainably farmed. In 2012 they planted 100 acres of grapes at a second nearby vineyard Creston Ridge Ranch. Currently the vineyard’s varieties include Aglianico, Blaufrankisch, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Verdelho, Viognier and Zinfandel.

We enjoyed a tour of both estate vineyards. At the highest elevation of the Pomar Junction vineyards, we gazed over the landscape towards the area known as the Templeton Gap where the wind rushes in from the ocean to cool the vineyards. The diurnal temperature difference is about 40 degrees. Numerous grapes do well with the heat during the day and the much cooler evenings. On closer inspection of the vineyards, we noticed lady bugs searching for harmful insects. Later we visited the Creston Ridge Ranch Vineyard where we had views of thriving grapevines. In each vineyard the soil is comprised of calcareous limestone.

Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery

Pomar Junction has six and 1/2 acres of olive groves. Olive varieties are Mission and Arbequina. The olives are harvested and pressed at a local olive press facility.

Pomar Junction Wines

Pomar Junction Vineyard and WineryGrenache Blanc Paso Robles 2015 was a light yellow color. The wine offered very tropical aromas including citrus, melon and pineapple. The 2015 Blanc was a blend of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. The wine had a light yellow color. The wine offered notes of pineapple and citrus. It was crisp and refreshing.

Merlot 2013 was a ruby color with cherry notes. The wine had mild tannins with a full body. The Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 was a translucent dark ruby color. The wine offered black fruit notes including cassis and blackberries. There were soft tannins and the wine was full-bodied. The finish had fruit yielding to spices.

Events at Pomar Junction

Events at the Pomar Junction tasting room include Train Wreck Fridays. From April thru October two music events are scheduled per month. The site also is available for private events.

Take time to visit Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery to discover their estate wines as well as the views of SIP vineyards. Be sure to notice their estate olive oils that are available. Purchase a glass of wine to enjoy on the deck and enjoy wine country ambiance.

Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery
5036 South El Pomar
Templeton, California 93465

GPS: N35º 32.972’ W120º 36.696’


Article written April 2016

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