It started over 20 years ago as a fantasy: living on a lush beautiful vineyard, producing your own style of favorite premium varietal wines that are well received and appreciated by those who have discovered the wines and shared them amongst friends.
Now, drive along the scenic Highway 46 West, about three miles west of the 101 Fwy at Oakdale Road, you will find this dream has become reality for David Hunt, Winemaker and owner of Hunt Cellars, a winery committed to producing “Memorable Wines”. We believe that great wines leave indelible impressions when poured with wonderful meals and great friends and scintillating conversations. Hunt Cellars was founded on the philosophy of producing wines that you will look forward to simply sipping by a cozy fireplace or pairing with your favorite meals to enhance that special event or moment in time.
How It Began
When The Hunt Family decided to pursue their dream they were uncertain where they would choose to build their vineyard. The Hunts spent exhaustive days and weekends traveling to various premium wine regions from Oregon, Washington, and throughout the State of California. They finally narrowed their decision down to the Central coast to San Luis Obispo County. Paso Robles was selected because of its rich diversity in soils, superb growing climate and unique styles of wine making along with the spirit of graciousness and traditional American values.
Eventually after looking at numerous parcels of vineyard potential property, they settled on uniquely beautiful property containing over 550 acres on Highway 41 in Creston. This unique property met their criteria in topography, soil composition and unparralled beauty. Within the 550 acres there are four terrior’s with varying elevations containing soil composites that mirror the great wine regions of the world. They were convinced that they could grow wonderful exciting intense fruit here on this property.
The Hunt Family decided to name their vineyard, “Destiny Vineyards,” in honor of their new baby girl they named Destiny who was born in 1996. Just ask Destiny who has the best wines today and she will certainly tell you.
Destiny Vineyard’s first planting consisted of: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Cab Franc, Viognier and Zinfandel. The Hunts decided to build a tasting room for their premium wines, which opened in October of 1999.
In 1997 they began producing their first releases of memorable wines… Experience has taught Hunts that in order to make great wines you must simply have the best fruit. At Hunt Cellars, we believe passion, hard work and never giving up until we have put together all the components and structure that will give our wine the varietal character, flavor and velvet finish that will become a trademark of our wines.
View of Destiny Vineyards
As you enter The Hunt Cellars Tasting room, the fun wine experience begins, as you are greeted with either live music or our white grand player piano, which can play any song. Stroll up to our Cabernet Bar, where our warm and friendly staff are eager to lead you through a light hearted and fun sampling of our wines. You may also choose to sip your wines on our spacious 1200 foot veranda, smoke your favorite cigar under our pavilion or simply stroll through our lush inviting landscaped lawns. We want you and your guest to simply have a wonderful time at Hunt Cellars and bring your friends and family back on your next visit to the Paso Robles Wine Country.
How Hunt Cellars Wines Differ from Others
There are many different wineries in the Paso Robles area; few compare to the quality of Hunt Cellars. Hunt uses only the best and rarest mountain grown fruit to produce the best harvest of grapes. Their vineyard’s location has been specifically chosen for its composition and diversity – every step of the production process is designed so Hunt Cellars produces the highest caliber of wine for you to enjoy.
MASTER SOMMELIER, FRED DEXHEIMER - CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING AND CARMENERE´S DAY ON NOVEMBER 24TH
The story of Carmenère: November’s wine
The warming spice and berry notes of Carmenère couldn’t be more appropriate for a November wine. Not only does it match the autumnal month in style, but Carmenère Day also falls on November 24th. Carmenère Day commemorates the day that Carmenère was first discovered in Chile, and rediscovered in the world, in 1994.
Originally a Bordeaux variety, Carmenere came to Chile’s shores in the mid 1800s with other more popular Bordeaux varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Although when it arrived it was mistakenly labelled as Merlot, and so Chilean winemakers began planting the so-called ‘Merlot’ in their vineyards.
Meanwhile in Europe the phylloxera epidemic was hitting hard, and by the 1870s every plantation of Carmenere was completely wiped out. The variety was presumed extinct.
Little did anyone know, that Carmenere was living a secret life in Chile - and it was thriving. Plantations of this ‘Merlot’ spread all over the country and Chilean winemakers soon began to identify special characteristics of these vines compared to the other, newer Merlot cuttings that were being planted. It earned the nickname ‘Merlot Chileno’.
In 1994, a French ampelographer Jean Michel Boursiquot was visiting the vineyards at Viña Carmen in Maipo and he spotted a curiosity in among the Merlot vines. Much to his surprise, it was a vine he knew to be Carmenere.
And so the mistaken identity of Carmenere was revealed, and all of a sudden Chile had the world’s largest plantings of a variety that was considered extinct. Chilean winemakers have been making Carmenere for centuries, but it is only in the last 20 years that they have been able to perfect their winemaking now that the variety was correctly identified.
The reputation of Chile’s Carmenere has given the variety a new lease of life around the world and seen new plantings of Carmenere in the US, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, France and in Italy (where it was actually mistaken for Cabernet Franc!)
While we celebrate the international success of Carmenere on Carmenere Day too, it is in Chile where you can find the greatest diversity of Carmenere. From the spicy Carmenere found in the coastal regions, through to plush and rich Carmenere in the Central Valley, down to the bright fruits of Maule’s Carmenere.
The versatility of Carmenere with its medium tannins and good acidity makes it very food friendly. It pairs well with a range of dishes from more complex preparations like richly spiced curries and aromatic barbecued lamb, through to lighter dishes including stuffed peppers and roast turkey (perfect for Thanksgiving!)
Whatever your menu, November is the perfect excuse to drink Carmenere!