AronHill Vineyards creates wine with passion and humor

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

New line of mule-inspired wines ‘kick ass’aronhill-bottle_web

The best part of wine tasting is the memory you take away, that lingers long after the last drop is sipped and after your return home. That is the experience at AronHill Vineyards; a memory that makes you smile.

Judy Aron and her team create an atmosphere of warmth, passion and family that is evident from the moment you step into the hospitable tasting room. Enthusiastically greeted, most likely by Judy, her daughter Kathryn or both, this genial team can’t wait to treat you to their award winning wines, and their delectable special port-style wine.

There is an equestrian theme throughout the winery, inspired by Judy’s lifelong passion for horses. Involved in the equestrian world most of her life, breeding championship horses, she is now having fun with a new adventure: mules, which are being prepared for show by a trainer. This theme is also humorously portrayed on a new label.

Relocating her family from the Bay Area in 1985 and purchasing acreage, Judy planted the vineyard in 1996 and 1997. Once planting began, Judy discovered a passion for farming and there was no stopping her. This would be the beginning of an incredible new journey. The small vineyard encompasses five-and-a-half acres of primitivo (the Italian zinfandel) and three acres of cabernet sauvignon. Since 2000 the vineyard has been 100-percent dry farmed, and her initial 2004 vintage was proudly released in 2007.

To produce quality wines, a close-knit team was formed consisting of Richard Sauret (an early pioneer of dry farming) to manage the vineyard, and Mikel Olsten as consulting winemaker. Working together, Judy is totally involved in each and every aspect of the winery, from planting to harvesting to winemaking. That team has grown to include Kathryn, her daughter, who is also integral to “everything AronHill.”

Judy Aron and her daughter Kathryn in their tasting room

Judy Aron and her daughter Kathryn in their tasting room

Judy takes great pride in her estate fruit and her passion lies with the estate grown primitivo and cabernet sauvignon. Complimenting those is a Bordeaux style blend, petite sirah blend, chardonnay and Primrose, a most unique primitovo rose. However, the true “piece de resistance” may well be the Vinho Doce port style wine, which Judy describes as “the real deal.” Being half Portuguese, Judy had to make a wine representative of her heritage.

Entering the comfortably appointed tasting room with adjoining patio that overlooks the vineyards, is like walking into your friend’s inviting home. Just by the welcome you receive, you know a special treat and fun time awaits.

A genuine sense of humor is likewise part of the AronHill family makeup, exemplified by their new label: Kickass-Britchen Red wine, inspired by the new venture with mules. Get a bottle, read the label, then kickback (or kickass) and enjoy.

For the ultimate AronHill experience, come during the early afternoon for lunch. AronHill has a chef on staff, and the small, select menu is a perfect accompaniment to a tasting, glass or bottle of wine. Those “in the know” plan their visit to enjoy a savory lunch at the winery, overlooking the vineyards while sipping their wine. Choose from a variety of creative salads and mouthwatering panini. Chef Marco, overseeing the kitchen, uses only the freshest locally grown ingredients and freshly baked bread. End your lunch with the ultimate in decadence, the “Hot Chocolate Lava Cake” or “Exotic Bomba.” Chef Marco is as much a magician with creating culinary experiences as Judy and her team are with creating wines that express their passion and love of the land.

As to the future, Judy hopes to see the family legacy continue, as Kathryn is intimately involved with the winery and her young children are already showing an interest by helping with harvest and other winery tasks. Expanding upon special private events is also important, as Judy wants to share the overall ambience with others.

Come visit AronHill. Sit on the patio or in the tasting room, overlook the vineyards while you sip wine, dine on Chef Marco’s creations, and visit with Judy, Kathryn and the rest of the staff. You will be welcomed into the AronHill family; they will give you their heart and you will bring home a lasting memory.

AronHill Vineyards is located at 3745 West Hwy. 46 in Templeton. They are open for tasting and lunch daily from 11 a.m. -5 p.m. For more information, call (805) 434-3333 or visit AronHill Vineyards.

– Don Sonderling 

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