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Suendero barrels in a rack in the cellar, a tall room with concrete walls and floor and harsh accent lighting on the wall.

Winemaking

The Craft of Winemaking

While honoring traditional winemaking methods, veteran winemaker Kevin Willenborg implements modern technologies to make our estate wines with minimal intervention.

Kevin is known for his attention to detail and for working with the vines so that they express their true potential. Together with our vineyard team, he employs sustainable techniques to achieve the highest quality possible.

Kevin explains,

"Each wine has its own life. That life begins with the planting and development of the vines. It is then transferred from the earth through the vine as the grapes are harvested, crushed, fermented into wine and eventually bottled. The role of the winemaker is to respectfully steward this life with care and attention to detail."

Kevin's goal is to grow wines that completely translate the Paso Robles terroir into the bottle and let the true fruit qualities shine through in the wine. He uses traditional methods and modern technology to nurture the full expression of the grapes. Furthermore, barrels are carefully selected from cooperages that are known for subtlety, and only low and medium toast levels are employed.

Kevin Willenborg in pale blue linen button up shirt in a stone room
Kevin Willenborg
Kevin Willenborg checking over grape bunches just picked
Kevin Willenborg inspecting wine

Explore Our Winery

We are proud to say that 2018 was the first vintage crushed, made and bottled here a tour state-of-the-art winery.

A Note from Winemaker Kevin Willenborg

We broke ground and started construction of our winery at our Huerhuero Vineyard in the spring of 2017. It was a fitting milestone to mark our 20th anniversary, and will no doubt be the foundation of our next 20 years in Paso Robles. It was a long time coming, but we discovered that the upside to waiting so long was the ability to take advantage of latest cutting-edge technologies that will help us make even better wines for the future.

The state-of-the-art equipment we have installed has not only enhanced wine quality, it has elevated our energy efficiency. Some of this equipment would have been unthinkable just 5 or 10 years ago, and a lot of it mirrors the mindset behind our sustainable vineyard practices. For example, the winery is partially powered by a solar array, and innovative logic controllers greatly reduce energy consumption. The winery actually uses less energy while generating its own power, ultimately minimizing its carbon footprint.

One thing I now can't imagine living without is our optical grape sorter, one of just a few in Paso. When our fruit is harvested and destemmed, each grape is sent through the optical sorter, which discards any compromised fruit with remarkable speed and accuracy. This literally gives me the 'best of the bunch' to make wine from. Not to worry, we don't rely wholly on technology. I'm still physically checking each tank every day throughout harvest. The synergy between tradition and technology is incredible.

Looking at the outside of the winery, rust colored steel and aluminum.
Wine in a tank
A cat walk between large tanks of wine.
Ground level of large tanks
Looking down a row of large metal tanks and a red floor
Long wooden table in the center of large concrete room with racks of barrels along the wall, long lights arch over the table.
Worker filling barrels with wine
Bunches of freshly picked grapes
Grape processing machine
Barrels with polished bands
Close up of a bung stopper
Suendero barrels in a rack in the cellar, a tall room with concrete walls and floor and harsh accent lighting on the wall.

Explore Vina Robles

Hans Neff and R. Michel

Meet the Team

Family-owned, Vina Robles is progressing to second-generation generation ownership with Founder Hans Nef’s two daughters: Michèle König-Nef and Nicole Nüesch-Nef, at the helm. Their vision cannot be accomplished without the dedicated team of industry professionals striving towards the same core values or sustainability, hospitality and quality.

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The Jardine Court water fountain, two large stone bowls stacked over a round pool

Vina Robles’ Story

Vina Robles is the result of a unique personal trajectory, one that led founder Hans Nef from a rural village outside Zurich, Switzerland to the rugged terrain of California's Central Coast

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Looking down the rows of vines rolling over hills at Huerhuero Vineyard

Our Vineyards

The Vina Robles vineyard team takes care of our vineyards, while Winemaker Kevin Willenborg selects only the finest blocks from each site for the production of VinaRobles wines.

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Eight Vina Robles wine bottles lined up on a table

Discover Our Wines

Our sustainably farmed, estate vineyards are showcased in each bottle of wine.