The Westside of Paso Robles is famed for its unique limestone terroir and the effect of the cooling Pacific breezes, all resulting in some of California’s most celebrated Rhône-blends. When you add altitude into the mix things get even more interesting, and Law Estate in Paso’s Adelaida District is making headlines with a line-up of blockbuster wines.
In the early 2000s, Don and Susie Law wanted to find a vineyard site that could produce ultra-premium, limited production, Rhone and Priorat style wines and be a true reflection of the site. After two years of searching, they found their ‘Holy Grail’ in the northwest of Paso – a site reaching 590m above on some of the finest terroir found in the region. Their analysis of 42 soil pits revealed coveted limestone with low vigour soils. This, combined with the high elevation and steep slopes, was the unique and remarkable property that would produce the stunning fruit they so desired.
Located above Peachy Canyon Road on the west side of Paso Robles, the Estate vineyard is one of the highest in the area, reaching 580m. It is planted in high density, small-lot blocks. At 32 hectares planted, multiple clones of Grenache and Syrah account for 53% of the vineyard acreage. Accompanying that are Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Graciano, Petit Verdot, and Tempranillo. The vast majority of the vines were planted in 2008. In 2013, the team planted Clairette Blanche, Marsanne, and Roussanne, as well as a Syrah, Viognier, Roussanne field blend.
Philipp Pfunder joined Law Estate in time for the 2016 vintage. Philipp is originally from Munich, making the move to Miami at age ten. In 2008, he travelled to New Zealand to pursue his Masters in Wine Science. Splitting his time between the northern and southern Hemispheres has allowed Philipp to work at some incredible producers in New Zealand such as Kumeu River, and Dry River, as well as Château Angélus in Saint Émilion and Screaming Eagle in Napa. Wanting to find a place to settle down in the industry, Philipp knew that Paso Robles was where he wanted to be, and these were the incredible wines that he wanted to craft. He is excited to continue to produce premium wines that will continue to put this area on the map.