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Media Contact: Simone Michel
Phone: 805-227-4812
Fax: 805-227-4816


Paso Robles, CA— Vina Robles today announced the appointment of Kevin Willenborg as new winemaker. With over 28 years of winemaking experience, Willenborg will lead the winery team to solidify Vina Robles’ reputation as producer of premium estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and distinctive blends in Paso Robles. He follows in the footsteps of Nick de Luca, who moved back to the Santa Ynez Valley for family reasons.

Willenborg graduated from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelor’s degree in Fermentation Science and has since gained extensive winemaking experience in key regions such as Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Sonoma, British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, as well as California’s Central Coast. His fast paced career started with an internship at Chateau Petrus in 1984, which provided him with a great introduction into the industry’s traditions and philosophy. Thereafter, Willenborg held key winemaking roles at Louis M. Martini in St. Helena, CA, Cedar Creek Estate in Kelowna, Canada, and Firestone Vineyard in Los Olivos, CA. Most recently, he spent two years as associate winemaker at Rubicon Estate in Rutherford, CA.

Having worked with revered industry luminaries such as Louis P. Martini, Michael Martini, André Tchelistcheff, and Stéphane Derenoncourt, Willenborg had the opportunity to learn the elements that shape a world class wine from ground to glass. As he 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.”

Looking ahead, Willenborg’s winemaking style is in line with the Vina Robles vision. “Kevin will be able to build on a solid foundation we have established over the past twelve years. We appreciate his team approach to winegrowing and his passion in working with the vines and allowing the grapes to express their terroir and elegance,” says managing partner, Hans-R. Michel.

Vina Robles is a family owned estate that was founded in 1996 by Swiss entrepreneur Hans Nef. The winery crafts wines that represent a stylistic bridge between the Old and New worlds, capturing the finesse associated with European wines while celebrating the bold natural flavors of their estate vineyards in Paso Robles. Here, proprietor Hans Nef and managing partner Hans – R. Michel bring their Swiss heritage to California’s Central Coast, where they aim to unite the best of both experiences. Vina Robles wines are available across the United States and overseas, and can be enjoyed at the hospitality center in the heart of Paso Robles wine country.

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