From wine drinkers to winemakers
“Life is an Adventure, Drink Wine”
Darren and Angela Mitchell have been making wine at their Paso Robles winery on the east side of Paso Robles since 1997. Mitchella is a small, family-owned winery where the work is shared by this husband and wife team. Angela says that she and Darren make the wine together, but that “he is responsible for getting the process started.” She adds that Darren “has a very hands off approach” and tries “to capture the essence of the fruit.”
Mitchella is “committed to making small lots of premium handcrafted Paso Robles wines and believe it starts by attentively cultivating quality wine in the vineyard.”
The Mitchells describe “Mitchella’s mission” as striving to “produce and sell outstanding estate wines by balancing Environmentally Sound Practices with Economic Feasibility and Socially Equitable principles.” They say that they “believe that sustainable agriculture rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability for future generations to meet their own needs.”
The Mitchells say that the current list of favorite Mitchella wines among visitors includes their Tempranillo, their “Shameless” (a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) and their Innuendo Noir (a Bordeaux blend). In the recent heat the Grenache Blanc has also been a big seller. However, the also say that many of their visitors say that “they love all of our wines and that it is hard for them to pick a favorite.”
Darren and Angela got into the wine business first as wine drinkers. They credit a Paso Robles red—a bottle of 1987 Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon—as the wine that really inspired them to seek out similar big red wines. Soon, they began to make their own wine. Darren continued to expand his knowledge with courses at Cuesta College, UC Davis, and Allan Hancock, while Angela studied at Aspen School of Wine, Copia, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and International Wine & Spirits Education Trust earning her Advanced Certificate.
The Mitchells describe their vineyard as “a family owned estate vineyard and winery proudly located in the rolling hills east of Paso Robles, sitting a top the Huerhuero Creek which brings morning fog and cooling afternoon winds.”
Mitchella produces 2000 cases each year and Darren and Angela say that “anything that is not estate grown is sourced from the best vineyards in the Paso Robles AVA.” They continue to say that it is their long-term goal “to make only the finest wines and to remain a small winery, producing no more than 5000 cases per year.”
The Mitchells describe the Mitchella tasting room as being “nestled amongst the vines” and say, “We invite you to come and relax on the back patio which offers sweeping views of the vineyards for which Paso Robles is known. Wander through our gardens and relax at a picnic table in the vineyards.” The Mitchells grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Tinto Cao and Touriga Nacional in their estate vineyard.
The Mitchells also produce Roussanne, Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo. Angela also says that Mitchella has a “line of port-style wine,” including “a Riportella Bianco which is their first white port-style wine, a tawny that is made from multiple vintages as well as single vintage offerings.” The Mitchells also note that, “With the Tinto Cao and Touriga grapes grown on the property” they “are able to make a true Portuguese style dessert wine.”
The Mitchells have made a winery that reflects their outlook on winemaking and on enjoying wine. They believe so much in the wine that they make that they have trademarked their own expression, “Life is an Adventure, Drink Wine”™
Find Mitchella Vineyard & Winery at 2525 Mitchell Ranch Way in Paso Robles, CA, from 12pm to 5pm Thursday through Sunday and by appointment. More information at (805) 239-8555 or mitchella.com.
— Kate Joyce