Format may change depending on web browser.

Kenneth Volk Vineyards - Cellar Door Club
 November Shipment
 Pick Up Party
 Featured Wines
 Upcoming Events
 Special Update
 Cheese & Wine Pairing

{ Welcome }

Familiar old friends Chardonnay and Tempranillo are joined in this shipment by delicious yet less well-known varietals Aglianico and Tannat.

November 2012 Shipment

At the time of writing this newsletter, the 2012 grape crush is going along hot and heavy. The KVV crew is passing the sleep-deprivation test with flying colors to make the best wine we can possibly make for our Cellar Door Club. We hope some of our Cellar Door Club friends will join us for a special Winemaker Dinner with Ken’s good friend Chef Ian McPhee to celebrate the Harvest Festival in Paso Robles. Check out the Upcoming Events section for more information about this dinner with one of Ken’s favorite local chefs. If you’ve been wondering what cheeses pair well with our wines, be sure to check out the cheese-wine pairing suggestions at the end of this newsletter. Also, we’re pleased to include some wines in this shipment from an exciting new vineyard for us: Bella Collina Vineyard.

Introducing Bella Collina Vineyard

Bella Collina Vineyard

Bella Collina Vineyard in Paso Robles

The Bella Collina Vineyard (“beautiful hill” en Italiano) is located on Mustang Springs Road on the west side of Paso Robles. This unplanted, rural property was purchased in 2000 by Walter and Roberta Wiedeman who were retiring to the area. The Bella Collina property consists of 14 acres that includes a Palladian-style villa overlooking the vineyard and olive tree groves. A retired Lockheed rocket scientist, Walter designed the villa himself as well as the vineyard and landscaping of this beautiful property. The vineyard is planted to two acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, half an acre of Viognier, three acres of Tempranillo and three and a half acres of Tannat.

The first harvest was in 2004 and, sadly, Walter passed away shortly afterward. A strong and determined woman, Roberta envisioned developing the property into both a prodigious vineyard and a bed and breakfast retreat. Roberta, a.k.a. Bobbie, is now quite an accomplished viticulturist and has produced an impressive portfolio of wines with the help of winemakers Ryan Horn and Aaron Meidan of the Vintners Vault in Paso Robles. Ken had been looking for a well-situated warm climate site for Tempranillo: “When I heard that Bella Collina had planted some Tempranillo, I was interested in working with the vineyard based on the high quality Cabernet Sauvignons I had tasted that Bobbie had bottled from her vineyards.”

The Tempranillo block straddles a rolling hillside with both a southern and northern exposure, whereas the Tannat is planted with a north-westerly exposure on a steep hillside. The soil is very calcareous with an abundance of soft marine limestone spread across the property. The Bella Collina Vineyard is a warmer site for the west side of Paso Robles which allows it to mature early in the harvest season. Ken says, “I have yet to taste a wine produced from this vineyard that I have not liked; I think this is due to the nurturing love Bobbie Wiedeman gives to each of her vines.”

Featured Wines

Brief tasting notes and food pairings follow. If you want to know more about these wines, read on and enjoy. To customize your shipment please log in to select the combination of wines you wish to receive. If you wish to customize your Cellar Door Club shipment, we encourage you to do so as soon as you read this email.

2009 Tannat — Bella Collina Vineyard, Paso Robles

Full Retail $36.00 / Club $28.80

Our 2009 Tannat is a softer rendition of this variety in comparison to Basque and Madiran wines although it delivers plenty of rustic old world charm. Aromas of red plum, raspberry and cigar box introduce this savory wine, followed with flavors of sweet cherry, mocha and smoked paprika as well as moderate tannins. The weight of our 2009 Tannat lends itself to perfect pairings with cassoulet; duck and duck confit; grilled lamb chops or stewed lamb; braised, stewed and barbecued meats; roasted wild game; short ribs; and cheese, especially Blue.

Chicken Basquaise


2009 Tempranillo — Bella Collina Vineyard, Paso Robles

Full Retail $36.00 / Club $28.80

Our 2009 Bella Collina Tempranillo displays a complex aroma of violets, blueberry, tobacco, cedar, and baking spice. On the palate, this medium-bodied wine is rich with flavors of black cherry, plum, mocha, and vanilla as well as round, soft tannins. This lush wine has been particularly popular in our tasting rooms and was recently awarded a gold medal at this year’s Orange County Fair. Tempranillo food pairings include beef, especially when braised or stewed; grilled lamb chops; grilled pork and roasted poultry. Other proteins that go well with Tempranillo: charcuterie (e.g., dried and cured meats, salami), duck and any other game bird, veal, and venison. Stews, rice dishes, paella, lentils, and beans are also great matches. Earthy vegetables, mushrooms, and root vegetables (especially when roasted) complement Tempranillo. Of course, it’s also a wonderful cheese wine.



2009 Chardonnay, Santa Maria Cuvée — Santa Maria Valley

Full Retail $24.00 / Club $19.20

Aromas of candied apple and pineapple rise out of the glass along with nuances of nutmeg and caramelized brown sugar. On the palate, this beautifully balanced Chardonnay also displays an array of tropical fruits and a nice creaminess, resulting in a wine which is rich without being too buttery or oaky. Chardonnay food pairings include lobster and lobster tail (grilled or boiled and served with drawn butter) and almost any white fish or salmon variety especially when grilled or sautéed. Crab, scallops, shrimp and shellfish are also great matches. Chicken, pheasant, and pork (either grilled or roasted) are among other proteins that pair very well with Chardonnay. Herbs and spices that complement Chardonnay include fresh sage, tarragon, thyme, basil, saffron, nutmeg, and ginger. Sauces that marry well with Chardonnay include anything made with a cream or lemon base. Fruits include avocado, mango, and most all other tropical fruits.

Lobster Bisque


2009 Aglianico — Pomar Junction Vineyard, Paso Robles

Full Retail $28.00 / Club $22.40

Our 2009 Aglianico is a bright crimson purple-hued wine with aromas of Santa Rosa plum, rose petal, black tea and barrel spice. Firm tannins support black fruit flavors of blueberry and cassis which make this a great food wine with rustic cuisine such as cured meats, lamb, or hearty pastas.

Pizza Dough


Ken’s Picks Subtotal
(Before tax, shipping where applicable):

$99.20 for
Cellar Door Club members



Remember, as a Cellar Door Club member you get the opportunity to choose any wines from Kenneth Volk Vineyards for your wine club selection. If these options don’t tickle your fancy, you may select instead from other wines in the KVV portfolio, a perk of membership in our club. Please make your selection now: visit our preference page. Please update any changes to your billing and delivery address information.


Shipping Preferences

Whether you have your wines shipped or pick them up at our Santa Maria winery or Paso Robles tasting room, all preference changes must be completed by October 26th. Estimated shipping date: November 12, 2012.

Take it from us: these wines rock. In every shipment, “Ken’s picks” demonstrate his decades of winemaking experience. You can count on these wines to meet your gastronomic and intellectual needs. If you know you always want to receive our featured wines—Ken’s picks—simply do nothing: you will receive Ken’s picks as the default shipment. If you prefer to pick and choose your own custom shipment from the KVV portfolio, you are more than welcome to do so. Simply log into your account by October 26th to let us know what you want. Please help us keep costs down by recording your preference before the deadline.

Customize Your Wine Preference

If you are having trouble changing your preferences, contact Megan Maretti at (805) 938-7896 or via email at

Special Requests

Contact Megan Maretti at (805) 938-7896 or via email at if you have a special request or prefer to have this shipment sent to you.

Shipments that are not picked up within 60 days will be sent to the address on file and billed accordingly. Please help us by picking up your wine in a timely manner or by making arrangements to have your wines sent to you.

Your shipment makes a great gift! If you’re traveling somewhere for the holidays, we are happy to send your wines to your destination or we can gift your shipment to a recipient of your choice: just call or email us to make those arrangements!

Pick Up Party
Pick Up Party

Saturday November 10, 2012
from 5:30–7:30pm

Join us for a night of hors d’oeuvres at our Santa Maria tasting room! This event will be catered by one of our local chefs. Come by and pick up your shipment and taste great appetizers paired with Ken’s Picks for the November shipment. Space is limited: only 60 spots available. Reservations required by November 5, 2012.

$20.00 Cellar Door Club members
$25.00 non-members

Please email your RSVP to or call (805) 938-7896.

Upcoming Events

Celebration of 2012 Harvest Weekend, Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association

October 13 and 14 from 10:30-4:30pm ~ Come help us celebrate the harvest season at our Santa Maria Tasting Room. We'll have case specials all weekend and Library re-releases.

  • Saturday: Our Open House is $15 per person and includes wine tasting and light appetizers.
  • Sunday: The Haute Skillet Food Truck will be here from 12-3pm with gourmet food for purchase. The rockin’ music of Jill Knight will start at 12pm and go until 3pm. This event is $15 per person and includes wine tasting and music.

For more information, please contact Felicia Montemayor.

Paso Robles 2012 Wine Harvest Weekend ~ October 19-21

Visit our Paso Robles Tasting Room for these special events:

  • Saturday October 20 ~ We will have the Rhythm Method Band playing classic rock on the lawn with Chef Jeffrey Scott's burgers for sale.
  • Sunday October 21 ~ We will have the Paris Martin Band playing rock, pop and country music on the lawn and Chef Jeff will be back with his "burger wagon" serving up tasty beef burgers and Portobello burgers!

Join us for a winemaker dinner with Ken Volk prepared by Chef Ian McPhee at McPhee’s Grill in Templeton.

  • Saturday October 20, 6:30-10:30pm ~ Join Ken for a spectacular five-course dinner paired with our wines. Tickets are $125.00 per person (Cellar Door Club members pay just $100.00 per person). To purchase tickets online, please visit and click the “Order Wine” tab. If you need more information or to place your ticket order directly, please call Felicia Montemayor at the Santa Maria Tasting Room at 805/938-7896.

Kenneth Volk Vineyards Harvest Dinner with Chef Ian McPhee

First Course:
Late Harvest Tomato & Red Pepper Soup | grilled Mozzarella toast
2011 Malvasia Bianca, San Bernabe Vineyard

Second Course:
Roast Pork Belly | apples & Allesina sausage * cider jus * baked polenta
2010 Chardonnay, Bien Nacido Vineyard

Third Course:
Oak Grilled Duck Breast | plum & Poblano Chile chutney * wild rice with mushrooms
2009 Pinot Noir, Garey Ranch Vineyard & 2009 Pinot Noir, Enz Vineyard

Fourth Course:
Slow Grilled Whole New York Strip | roasted fall vegetables * whole mustard – red wine sauce * goat cheese mashed potatoes
2009 Tannat, Bella Collina Vineyard and 2009 Aglianico, Pomar Junction Vineyard

Fifth Course:
Chocolate & Apricot Bread Pudding | caramel sauce * whipped crème fraiche
2008 Late Harvest Merlot, Pomar Junction Vineyard

Empty Bowls and Baskets

Sunday, October 28, 2012 at Trilogy Monarch Dunes, Avila Ballroom, Nipomo, California from 12-4pm ~ Join us at this first annual event featuring local wines, art and soup to benefit the Santa Maria Domestic Violence Solutions. There will be live music and an art show in the Sculpture Garden and food, wine, and local art for sale in the Avila Ballroom. Wine, soup, and bread will be sold at the event. Please contact Julie Edmonson for more information.

Special Update

Special Update: Harvest 2012

The 2012 growing season started off with below average rainfall for most of California. In comparison to 2011 and 2010, it has been a much warmer growing season. Despite the lack of rainfall, it has been a pretty humid growing season. The higher humidity for the most part has been due to residual moisture from the 13 tropical storms—nine of which became hurricanes—that have affected Central America, mainland Mexico and the Baja Peninsula this year. On September 26, Hurricane Miriam was quite a significant disturbance offshore of southern Baja. Ken keeps hoping this activity will push some yellow fin north for an end-of-harvest fishing trip. All this high humidity has been an issue for thin-skinned grape varieties like Negrette and Pinot Noir, which are susceptible to botrytis and bunch rot.

NASA GOES Project satellite photo of Hurriane Miriam

Satellite sees Hurricane Miriam weaken to a tropical storm. View larger image. Credit: NASA GOES Project

The 2012 grape harvest is going to be a big crop in California following two small crops in 2011 and 2010. The quality has been very good but the fact that many varieties ripened at the same time has put a strain on the KVV staff to keep up with the pace of harvest. On September 27, we brought in the last of this year’s Pinot Noir, bringing in fruit from the Steiner Creek Vineyard which lies along the cool San Simeon Coast. September 26th was exotic variety day with Negrette, Cabernet Pfeffer, Petite Sirah, Blaufränkisch and Orange Muscat all being handled at the winery.

So far, the overall quality has been good-to-excellent with the Enz Vineyard Pinot Noir and old vine Zinfandel being the early contenders for best fruit of the harvest; however, the Enz Vineyard is facing stiff competition in the quality department from the fruit produced by the Bella Collina, Bien Nacido, and Pomar Junction vineyards.

This image of Tropical Storm Miriam was captured by NOAA's GOES-15 satellite on Sept. 26, 2012, at 10:45am EDT off the coast of Baja California. The strongest thunderstorms were in a large band of storms north and northwest of the center.

Cheese Pairings

Cheese Pairings for November Cellar Door Club Wines

by Ken Volk

For this quarter’s newsletter and wines, I thought a cheese and wine recommendation would be appropriate. All four of the wines that I’ve selected are varieties that are known to pair very well with the wonderful world of cheese. Fall is also the perfect time of year to think about eating more cheese. Cheeses do have seasons, and the best seasons for making most cheeses are late summer and early fall. This is when the pastures that the animals are grazing on are plentiful with flowers, herbs, and clover.

2009 Tannat — Bella Collina Vineyard, Paso Robles

  • Roquefort—Made in France from sheep’s milk; a Blue cheese
  • Stilton—Made in Britain from cow’s milk; a Blue cheese
  • Roncal—Made in Spain from sheep’s milk; a firm cheese

2009 Tempranillo — Bella Collina Vineyard, Paso Robles

  • Azeitão—Made in Portugal from sheep’s milk; a soft cheese
  • Mahón—Made in Spain from cow’s milk; a semi-soft cheese
  • Los Beyos—Made in Spain from cow’s milk; a firm cheese

2009 Santa Maria Cuvee Chardonnay — Santa Maria

  • Brie—Made in France and the U.S. from cow’s milk; a soft cheese
  • Cheddar—Made in Britain from cow’s milk; a semi-hard cheese
  • Havarti—Made in Denmark from cow’s milk; a firm cheese

2009 Aglianico — Pomar Junction Vineyard, Paso Robles

  • Gouda—Made in the Netherlands from cow’s milk; a semi-hard to hard cheese
  • Pecorino—Made in Italy from sheep’s milk; a firm cheese
  • Taleggio—Made in Italy from cow’s milk; a soft cheese

Two cheeses that go well with all four wines are:

  • Manchego—Made in Spain from sheep’s milk; a firm cheese
  • Provelone—Made in Italy from cow’s milk; a firm cheese