Windward Vineyard

Owner(s) Maggie D'Ambrosia, Marc Goldberg
Web site www.windwardvineyard.com
 
Link to this site

Owners Marc Goldberg and Maggie D’Ambrosia, who are both Pittsburgh natives, purchased 25 acres of rolling hills off Hwy 46 west of Hwy 101 near Templeton in 1989. The site’s rocky limestone, sloping well-drained soil, and location in the Templeton Gap seemed ideal for Pinot Noir. The site was previously a rhododendron farm chosen for its cool climate. They cleared the land and planted 10 acres of Pinot Noir in 1990. With the assistance of noted winemaker Kenneth Volk (previously Wild Horse Winery, now with his own label, Kenneth Volk Vineyards), four clonal selections were chosen: HMR, Adelsheimer (Oregon), Bien Nacido, and Sanford & Benedict (older articles on the vineyard indicate Calera was also planted).

Goldberg’s reverence for Burgundy led him to style his wines in an Old World fashion and his label proudly displays the word monopole (monopole is a Burgundian concept which means the vineyard has one owner and both viticulture and vinification are handled under one roof). The first vintage of 320 cases from 1993 debuted in 1995, and Windward Vineyard Pinot Noirs have received many accolades since. Rene Chazottes, Master Sommelier at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, noted, “My respect for Windward Pinot Noir was confirmed when I put a bottle in a blind tasting for our 15 member selection committee, and they chose it over a Nuits-St. George at twice the price.”

The vineyard is located at 1380 Live Oak Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446. Tasting room open daily 10:30-5. 805-239- 2565. The wines may be ordered online. There are two bottlings: an Estate Monopole Pinot Noir and the Barrel Select Gold Pinot Noir (culled from the best 10 barrels in the cellar). Some older vintages are still available. Total production averages 2,000 cases annually.

The Windward tasting room is open daily from 10:30 to 5:00 PM at 1380 Live Oak Road in Paso Robles. 805-239-2565

Reviewed Wines

2005 Windward Vineyard Monopole Paso Robles Pinot Noir

2,000 cases, $36. · A nice young French girl was pouring and this was appropriate as this wine was the most “Burgundian,” and the least New World at the event. There was noteworthy earthiness, minerality, and fecundity complimenting the red fruits in this wine. It was not as showy as several other Pinot Noirs that were poured, but it is built more for the long haul. A connoisseur’s Pinot. Reviewed July 16, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Windward Vineyard Gold Barrel Select Paso Robles Westside Pinot Noir

250 cases, $54 · A flashy spice box surrounds the nose with cinnamon and clove. The spice theme carries over to the redder fruits on the palate. Hard to spit out.. Reviewed December 16, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Windward Vineyard Gold Barrel Select Paso Robles Westside

14.1% alc., 250 cases, $60. Owners Marc Goldberg and Maggie D’Ambrosia purchased 25 acres of rolling hills off Highway 46, west of Highway 101 near Templeton. The site’s rocky limestone, sloping well-drained soil and location the Templeton Gap seemed ideal for Pinot Noir. They cleared the land (previously a rhododendron farm) and planted 10 acres of Pinot Noir in 1990. The four clonal selections chosen were HMR (Paso Robles), Adelsheim (Oregon), Bien Nacido and Sanford & Benedict. Goldberg’s reverence for Burgundy has led him to style his wines in an Old World fashion and his label proudly displays the word monopole (monopole is a Burgundian concept which means the vineyard has one owner and both viticulture and vinification are handled under one roof). The first vintage of 320 cases was 1993 and Windward Vineyard Pinot Noirs have received many accolades since. · Charming perfume of red cherries, strawberries, oak and Xmas spice. Tasty cherry attack which persists with a clean and tangy finish and suede-like tannins. Reviewed December 16, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Windward Vineyard Monopole Barrel Select Paso Robles Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $60. · Vibrant fruity nose with a spectrum of berries and cherries. Pleasing flavors of cherry pie, red currants and cola with flamboyant tannins. Light on its feet and attractive with a long, grainy finish. Still needs to shed some tannins but will always be a tannic wine. Very good. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2004 Windy Oaks Estate One Acre Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

94 cases, $35. Jim reluctantly planted one acre of Chardonnay because his wife insisted. It has turned out to be a wise decision not only for marital harmony but because the Chardonnay is flat-out terrific. · This is no weak sister playing second fiddle to the Pinot Noir. A perfectly balanced wine with butter, caramel and exotic fruit notes finishing with demure acidity. A Kistler-killer at half the price. Reviewed September 10, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Windward Vineyard Monopole Paso Robles Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $48. · Subdued dark berry fruit and a hint of anise on the nose. Fresh, lively and lush blackberries with an earthy edge wrapped in caressing tannins. Very smooth and creamy texture. Very good. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2002 Windward Vineyard Monopole Premier Decade Paso Robles Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $30. · Enticing fruity nose featuring black cherries, spice and sandalwood. Soft, smooth and elegant in the mouth with a charming mix of cherry and berry lip-smacking fruits with a slight green note. A feminine wine with style. Very good. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2001 Windward Vineyard Monopole Paso Robles Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $30. 1,400 cases. · A riper vintage shown by aromas of dark red fruits, maple syrup and marzipan. Rich and aged flavors of poached fruit, black currents, brown spice, mocha and root beer. Still retaining notable tannins. Decent. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

1999 Windward Vineyard Monopole Paso Pobles Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 1,300 cases, $20. · Still pumping out attractive scents of spiced red cherries. Rustic and austere and on the lighter side but possessing pleasing flavors of red cherries and berries, wood box, thyme, mushroom and loam with a subtle citrus underpinning. Mild grainy tannins make for easy drinking. The fruit is beginning to fade so drink up. My son loved this wine. Decent (+). Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »