The long road home…
In the early ’90s, Victor was enjoying a successful career as a sound engineer in Los Angeles. But he was so intrigued by an article from Wine Spectator Magazine that it changed his life forever. He was bitten by the bug and began devouring everything he could read about the winemaking process. While dirt biking in the hills above Culver City, Victor came across the perfect spot to experiment with this newfound knowledge – that small patch of land in a remote corner of Marycrest Manor. Victor eventually lost the battle with the nuns who ran the home, but not before the passion for winemaking had taken a firm hold.
Victor met his wife, Jenni, in 2002 and by 2004, with a toddler and another on the way, purchased the land that would become Vines on the Marycrest. Out went the original almond trees and in came the vines, loving planted and tended by Victor himself. With Jenni running the winery and managing the children through the week, Victor continued the weekly commute to his job in LA (a 600 mile round trip!) for 9 years before making Vines on the Marycrest his full-time passion in 2013.
And the rest, as they say, is history…
What’s on the hill?
That’s not a Fool on the Hill, it’s probably just Victor in the vineyard. Vines on the Marycrest is located on 26 acres of steep hills in the Adelaida district of westside Paso Robles. Originally an almond orchard with some old Zinfandel vines, Victor painstakingly replanted with Zinfandel, Tempranillo, and Rhône varieties such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Viognier.
The westside of Paso Robles experiences hot, summer days with cool nights due to its proximity to the ocean. This large temperature difference, called a diurnal shift, along with rocky, limestone soils is perfect for growing wine grapes. Wanting to farm sustainably and retain as much of the unique character of the land, Victor dry farms the vineyard (no irrigation), which causes the vines to plant deep roots in search of water. The vines are also head-trained (no supporting trellises), allowing the plants to grow naturally. These, along with other natural winemaking practices, allow the resulting wines to be the best expression of the land from which they come.
Groovin’ with the tunes
Victor may have given up a career in music to pursue his passion for winemaking, but music is still a huge part of life for the Abascals. Rock, jazz, blues… there’s always something playing in the tasting room and winery. Victor and Jenni take their love of music even further, inviting some of the best and most original artists to play at events hosted by the winery. Vines on the Marycrest is also one of few wineries with a state-of-the-art sound system (thank you, Victor), so the experience of live music along with great wine at the winery is a real joy to the senses.
While all of the single varietals at Vines on the Marycrest bear the name of the grape in the bottle, the blends are named after songs. ‘Round Midnight, Heart of Glass, My Generation – these wines, like their musical counterparts, are classics of their genre.
See our Visit page for a list of upcoming events at Vines on the Marycrest.