Michael Perlis: Epoch

Epoch Estate Wines

How does a winery achieve immediate cult status?

I first heard about Epoch perhaps a couple of years ago, maybe a little less. Lots of buzz on the erobertparker.

com message boards and elsewhere. I signed up for the mailing list and was offered a small allocation. They sold out, I think, within 24 hours.

Last Fall, I wrote about visiting Denner Winery, and while we were there we had the opportunity to taste the wines being made by Epoch at the Denner facility. I won’t bore you with that story again, other than to say the wines were great and I was happy I had bought some earlier, as the current releases were all sold out, as mentioned above.

At the time, tasting-room-manager-without-a-tasting-room Kristen Carrillo told us that Epoch would be opening a tasting room at the old York Mountain winery property which they had purchased, although they would continue to make their wines at Denner for now.

In the meantime, early in 2011, Epoch’s next release sold out as quickly as the first.

I expect having Justin Smith of Saxum as consulting winemaker, as well as the acquisition and replanting of the historic Paderewski Vineyard were contributing factors. And now the internet provides so much information practically instantaneously, it is hard to keep things a secret for long.

But, for those of you not on the mailing list, there is good news. The tasting room is now open and limited quantities of Epoch wine are available.

Traveling west on Highway 46, you’ll see the York Mountain Road turnoff on the right. If you miss the turnoff, don’t panic, as York Mountain Road meanders down the mountain and comes back up farther west on Highway 46. So, you can take that turnoff as well; in fact, I’ve been told that’s the quicker way to go, although only slightly. Either way, take York Mountain Road all the way down and you’ll eventually come to the old, now closed, York Mountain Winery and, on the same property is the new tasting room for Epoch Estate Wines.

Kristen greeted us at the tasting room and we went through the wines being poured that day, a combination of the current and previous releases…

33% Syrah, 27% Tempranillo, 18% Grenache, 14% Petite Sirah, 8% Mourvedre
183 cases produced.

100% Zinfandel
114 cases produced.

100% Tempranillo
87 cases produced.

48% Grenache, 39% Mourvedre, 13% Syrah
181 cases produced.

88% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre
203 cased produced.

The wines were all showing really well. I was especially fond of the Veracity and Authenticity, although my favorite of the day was the Zinfandel.

As you can see, these are very small production wines. I highly recommend you get on the mailing list or visit the tasting room soon.


Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at mcpfinancial@aol.com or michaelthezinfan@aol.com.  “It is common practice for wine industry workers, wine writers and winery club members [and members of their party] to receive complimentary tastings and discounted purchases. Unless it is otherwise noted, it should be presumed that this is the case.”

(Editor’s note: I seemed to have switched the dates for this with the date for last week’s Clavo Part 2 in Mike’s Paso series.  Please forgive me, as I know Mike has!)

One thought on “Michael Perlis: Epoch

  1. I was very impressed with Epoch when we went in March. I found their tasting room to be very unique as well, with the trailer conversion looking like a great bachelor pad! Loved the sitting area with the leather couches and big screen TV, along with the red appliances and modern bar stools. As for the wines – the real reason we visited, I really enjoyed the reds and came home with several!

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