Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery continues to impress

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014


Winemaker Matt Ortman, pictured in the barrel room, released new wines recently – VSJ’s 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Zinfandel, and 2011 Petit Sirah.


VSJ completes Sustainability in Practice certification & introduces new wines

Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery has released a triple threat of red wines ideal for sipping alongside hearty dishes, as well as the perfect white wine to sip at the stove. Each wine was crafted exclusively from fruit grown on the Villa San-Juliette estate in the Paso Robles AVA.

2012 Sauvignon Blanc 

The 2012 Villa San-Juliette Sauvignon Blanc is a wonderfully fragrant and juicy wine, the result of a two-month long fermentation at very cool temperatures, which serves to trap and protect the most delicate of components. Aromas of gooseberry and tangerine are underscored by defining notes of freshly cut grass. Lively acidity maintains the lush, mouthwatering flavors of grapefruit and melon. This wine is lean enough to sip alone, and juicy enough to pair with pan-roasted Brussels sprouts or classic Caesar salad with anchovies.

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon 

VSJ’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with bold and lively aromatics, and then follows with flavors of candied cherries, sarsaparilla, and vanilla. The tannins are soft and supple making this an enjoyable wine now, with the potential to age for the next few years. Pair this wine with a pork crown roast, sharp aged cheddar cheese, or porcini risotto.

2011 Zinfandel 

With a remarkable following already, the 2011 Zinfandel is redolent with luscious raspberry and blueberry notes laced with classic Zinfandel nuances of white pepper and a chocolate richness. Mouth-filling flannel tannins throughout the mid-palate extend into a lingering finish. Try alongside sticky grilled baby back ribs or even roasted turkey with rich mole sauce

2011 Petite Sirah 

Nearly black in color, the 2011 Petite Sirah marries big California flavors with restrained elegance. Leading with exuberant blueberry aromas, the wine layers flavors of orange zest, violet, cedar and mocha before the acidity turns the flavors towards red fruits on the finish. The structured tannins are slow on release, yielding a firm structure that melts when paired with herbed rack of lamb or aged goat cheese.

Sustainability in Practice 

Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery recently completed Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certification with the Vineyard Team, a network of farmers that strives to promote sustainable vineyard practices and protect resources valuable to the land and the community.

Launched by Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick in 2006, Villa San-Juliette has made sustainability a focus since its inception, says Ortman.

“VSJ is a long-time member of the Vineyard Team,” Ortman said, “so we were already following many best practices before pursuing SIP certification.”

When Ortman joined the VSJ team in January, 2013, gaining SIP certification became a priority.

“We completed the Vineyard Team’s audit of our growing practices and winery operations, including testing our well pump for efficiency,” he says. “We made some important changes in erosion control and integrated pest management – specifically, installing more owl boxes – and were SIP certified within a year of my hire date.”

Asked what inspires VSJ’s interest in adopting sustainable practices, Ortman cites Lythgoe and Warwick’s foresight.

“Ken and Nigel came into this business committed to being good stewards of the land, which is part of what attracted me to the job in the first place,” Ortman says. “As a second-generation winemaker, I like working to ensure that a third generation could make wine here, too.”

To purchase Villa San-Juliette’s award-winning wines, visit or stop by the VSJ tasting room, located at 6385 Cross Canyons Road in San Miguel, (805) 467-0014.

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