Zenaida Cellars » Profile
Specializing in sustainably-farmed, Estate Zinfandel, Syrah and unique wine blends. Zenaida Cellars is located in the beautiful Templeton Gap, west of Paso Robles. The wines of Zenaida are made from the vines that grow in the unique soils of the estate vineyard. Stay in one of our guest accommodations, Winemaker's Loft or Cellarmaster's Suite, located above the winery for an ideal wine country getaway. Experience Zenaida Cellars daily from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 1550 Hwy. 46 West, Paso Robles, CA 93446. 805.227.0382. www.zenaidacellars.com
Behind the 16-foot wooden doors of Zenaida Cellars, Eric Ogorsolka has set out to create wines that will once again prove that Paso Robles is the wine region to watch. But Eric, like many Paso vintners, took a circuitous route to the business of making wine.
"I earned my bachelors degree in Biology from Cal Poly," he says. "I left college and explored other fields before getting into the wine business." One of those other things was working as a fisheries biologist for the state of California. "I liked my other job, but living on a ranch and working a winery is a very good way of life."
Ogorsolka's interest in wine began as a hobby, bottling a small portion of the family vineyard's second vintage in 1994. As his winemaking skill grew, so did his desire to use his knowledge full time. In 1998 he launched the Zenaida Cellars label. Having spent most of his life on the Central Coast, he knew he wanted to keep it local. "My family started the vineyard in 1989," he says. "We moved from Seattle in 1978 and picked the Central Coast as a place to live. So we've lived here a long time and already love it. We didn't have to leave this area for a winery business. Paso Robles is where we wanted to be."
In 2006, Zenaida Cellars produced 5,000 cases, but the goal is to produce 10,000 cases within the next five years. Their well-rounded portfolio of a wide range of varietals will help make this goal possible. They currently use 100% estate fruit and produce Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Franc from the family's vineyard (Rancho Encino Vineyard).
Ogorsolka feels that controlling the winemaking process from vine to bottle will be the secret to his success. "I am fortunate that the control of the vineyard is right at my fingertips," he says. "Being able to control or have a hand in the entire process really helps to ensure that the wines turn out he way I'd like." The design of the winery reflects the heritage of the region. It's set in the rolling, oak-studded hills, and is designed with a rustic mission theme. "The atmosphere is very low key and relaxing," says Ogorsolka. "The patio overlooks the vineyard and the winery is set right in the midst of 100 year-old mature oaks."
Wine is the perfect culmination of science and passion, and Ogorsolka draws on his scientific background every day. When he set out to name the winery, he returned to the roots of his academic study. "In Biology, I studied quite a few Latin names," he says, Zenaida Macroura is the Latin name for Mourning Dove. The man who named them, thought they were beautiful birds, so he named them after his wife, Zenaida. I always liked the story and the name."
It's a memorable name for a memorable wine. Look for Zenaida Cellars on Highway 46 West as you're out driving the ever-growing wine tasting route in Paso Robles. Or visit their website at www.zenaidacellars.com.
1550 Highway 46 West
Paso Robles, 93446
Daily 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
$5/pp tasting fee is complimentary with wine purchase
Red Rhône Blend
White Rhône Blend
Bed & Breakfast