Hand-harvested from Saunders Vineyard in Paso Robles, Hearst Ranch Winery grapes embody the flavors, hues, and aromas of Paso Robles, a now famous AVA (American Viticultural Area).
Jim Saunders and Steve Hearst’s friendship began in 2009. When they began Hearst Ranch Winery, their shared mission was clear: to create the best wines possible on California’s Central Coast.
Our hand-crafted wines have been brought to life by the collaboration of sound agricultural practices, impeccable wine-making and the continued philanthropic involvement of Jim and Steve in their local communities. Our Central Coast vineyards are among the finest in the world. Combine that with the talent of our wine-making team and you get Hearst Ranch Wines.
The Saunders’ Vineyards
A genuine love for the area and desire to be involved in agriculture is what prompted Jim and Debi Saunders to purchase the current Saunders Vineyard in 1994. Soil testing and site evaluations began immediately after purchasing the ranch, located in the Estrella district of the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA_. They found the clay loam soils of the south- and west-facing hills were ideal for wine grapes.
The vineyard consists of multiple blocks of Malbec, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo and Syrah with the addition of premium Cabernet Sauvignon in 2017. The vines are trained to a vertical shoot positioning to optimize vine vigor, capacity and interior canopy micro-climate. The vineyard has grown to 350 acres today.
Our goal at Hearst Ranch Winery is to reflect a sense of place in our wine. We aim to capture the unique characteristics of each vineyard and reflect the varying complexities of the terroir through our winemaking.
We employ an extended fermentation, starting with a 4-5 day cold soak that gives us deeper color and flavor extraction. Oxygen incorporation during the fermentation is tantamount to keeping the yeast cells happy. For this, we utilize pump overs for large lots fermented in stainless steel tanks and punch downs for smaller lots fermented in barrel or macro bins.
Our San Simeon tasting room is open daily and is located inside the historic Sebastian’s General Store, located across Highway 1 from the Hearst Castle Visitor’s Center in Old San Simeon Village. We offer multiple tasting flight options in a casual, comfortable atmosphere complimented by near-perfect weather year-round. The tasting room at our Paso Robles winery is also open daily and surrounded by rolling hills and our estate vineyard. Taste our award-winning wines, enjoy the feel of the American West and relive a little history by visiting the Hearst Ranch Winery tasting rooms in in Old San Simeon Village and Paso Robles.