Paso Robles Vineyard Earns Top International Honors
–In the three years that Central Coast vintner Michael Gill has entered his Michael Gill Cellars wines into competition, three vintages of four different wines have taken best of class – for three consecutive years. How is it that a dentist starts a vineyard, and in its infancy, is achieving global recognition, including top honors at the Jerry’s Meads New World International Competition, Pacific Rim International, and Taster’s International? Great teachers, and a lot of T-L-C.
“I spend a lot of time with the grapevines – pruning, leaf thinning, vine training — there’s a lot that goes into it,” says Gill. “We keep our operation small, spend a lot of time with the vines, and let the vines do the best they can do. The grapes – once they’re good, making wine is easy.”
That easy going approach has notched Michael Gill Cellars another 22 awards in 2016. The Vermentino, Gill’s youngest wine in competition, has taken Best Of Class all three years, followed up by a Best of Premium White Wines in the elite 2016 Orange County Wine Competition.
Not that his reds are slackers by any means either – Gill’s 2015 Counoise earned Best of Microwinery Reds at the California State Wine Competition. The veteran of the Michael Gill Cellars collection is his Black Tie Syrah – also the most decorated and regularly ordered wine by the vineyard’s club members.
“Accolades to Robert Nadeau,” says Gill. “He’s the one who steered me to the Syrah, and helped me lay out the vineyards and pre-planting preparation.”
Gill worked alongside Nadeau for years, tending other vineyards and developing a relationship with the rich soil of California’s central coast. It’s a bond he can feel – literally.
“I’ve owned the land that eventually became the vineyards since 1977. I can forecast the weather better with my shoulder than any meteorologist and technology.” The aches and pains of decades of work have paid off – not just in world-renowned wines – but in being able to adapt to the changing weather patterns that can have a huge impact on years of future production.
Not that Gill spends too much time worrying about it. So long as he’s near the land, tending to his vines, the grapes will do their job.
2016 Michael Gill Cellars Honors
2014, 2015 Viognier
Gold, Pacific Rim International WC April 2016
Gold, Best of Class, Best of Premium Whites Wines, Orange County WC June 2016
Gold, Best of Class, Best of Show White Wines, Central Coast WC June 2016
Gold, Best of Class , California State WC
Gold, Best of All Microwinery Reds, California State WC
Gold, Best of Class, Best of Varietals, Jerry Mead’s New World International WC
Double Gold, Florida State WC
2012 Black Tie Syrah
Gold, Best of Class, Jerry Mead’s New World International WC
Double Gold, Florida State WC
Gold, Best of Class, Pacific Rim International WC
2014 Black Tie Syrah
Gold, Orange County
Platinum, Taster’s International WC
2013 Alicante Bouschet
Gold, Florida State WC
Garigiste Festival Syrah Shootout award
About Michael Gill Cellars
Nestled in the hills of California’s Central Coast, Michael Gill Cellars is Paso Robles’ premier vineyard and tasting room. Founding vintner Michael Gill is internationally known for his ability to naturally cultivate luxurious wines unmatched in quality. Michael Gill Cellars tasting room, inspired by the history and beauty of illustrious French hunting lodges, is open to the public on weekends during season or any time by appointment. Picnics encouraged! To join the wine club, or to make reservations for an upcoming pairing dinner, visit www.gillcellars.com, call (805) 239-1668.