One of my pals in the SCV Vintners and Growers Association, Stephen Hemmert, invited me to a bottling, via a bottling truck, via a mobile bottling line, in Agua Dulce last weekend. Come to find that Reyes Vineyards, adjacent to Agua Dulce Vineyards, was bottling their first three varietals.
Robert Reyes, the winemaker and owner of Reyes Vineyards, bought the home (circa 1915) and property in 2003 – 16 ¼ acres. With consulting assistance from Paul Ayers of Paso Robles, he planted Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah in 2004. He also has Chardonnay and Muscat.
The 09 vintage is the first of his own to bottle, as he has been bottling for others until now, with a label design that replicates his own art, and, his family’s Spanish crest.
I’d never seen a mobile bottling line at work before so Eddie and I scurried over there before they could finish bottling 5,000 bottles of Syrah, 5,000 bottles of Merlot and 7,000 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.
There that day to help Robert were his golf buddies and other friends. And they were working at lightning speed to keep up! I’ve never seen anything like this, well, except in comical TV sketches via I Love Lucy or LaVerne and Shirley.
(No, I did not pitch in. Eve + glass = spillage. Managing a wine glass is enough for me!)
I took several pictures inside of the bottling line truck: Empty bottles going in, quickly being filled from a siphon from a huge blending tank in the winery, being labeled, corked and foiled. Then, as they came down the final conveyor belt, they were put into boxes ready for storage.
Until they are sold.
Not many know about Reyes Vineyards and the daunting task of marketing his beloved first vintages is on Robert’s shoulders. Of course, your wine conduit will help, as I asked Robert to share his wine at Circle of Hope’s inaugural Vine 2 Wine event on June 12.
where he will be pouring along with some of his friends from our SCV Vintners and Growers Association again.
Along with sharing his wine with the public at Vine 2 Wine, Robert and Juan Alonso, the owner of Le Chene, will have a “tasting room”. A unique area of Le Chene will be set up as an actual winery tasting room for both Juan’s wines (He has over 20 years of vintages) and Robert’s.
Robert also mentioned that he and Juan are looking at other wine events that they may be able to have in their new tasting room in the not-too-distant future.
For now, if you’d like a taste, or would like to purchase from the inaugural vintage, contact Robert Reyes through his website: http://www.reyeswinery.com The next wines will denote “Estate Bottled”, since they now have their own appellation in Agua Dulce. (The Sierra Pelona Valley American Viticultural Area was recently approved.)