Epoch 12 Days of Christmas: Day 1

On the first day of Christmas

Epoch gave to me

One Polish Patriot!


You may or may not know the story behind the name of our Paderewski Vineyard.  If you do not, the word Paderewski scribbled on our bottles probably raises a few questions and looks like one of those words you wouldn’t dare try to say out loud for fear of sounding silly (by the way, it is pronounced p ae – d uh – r eh f – s k ee; that soft “f” is the key to sounding like you know what you’re talking about). Yes, Paderewski is a mouth-full, but our first vineyard’s namesake is a very important man in history and a key player in our own Epoch story.  The short story?  Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a world-renowned pianist and a former Prime Minister of Poland who found residence in Paso Robles, of all places, during the early 1900’s.


Paderewski was the first prime minister of Poland, serving from January 1919 to December 1919. He signed the treaty of Versailles on behalf of Poland in 1919. He was a personal friend of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and was instrumental in persuading Woodrow Wilson in making the 13th point of his famous 14 Points, which led Poland to become a free state after the end of WWI.  He was the head of the exiled Polish government in London in 1940. Against the backdrop of the global convulsions of the first half of the twentieth century, and particularly against the backdrop of the uncompromising fight of the Polish nation for its freedom and independence, the life and deeds of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, his thoughts and aspirations, radiate the highest virtues of the man, the citizen, and the patriot. Want the long story on Paderewski?  It’s a really good one!  Check out Jenna Rovenstine’s blog on this guy….y’all, he is really impressive!


We are blessed to now own 600 of the 2,000 acres Paderewski once called home in Paso Robles, hence the reason we chose that long, crazy looking name for our first vineyard at Epoch. Ü Some might consider us Paderewski fanatics, but we wear that badge proudly at Epoch and take our job of preserving his legacy very seriously.  Upon purchasing Paderewski Vineyard in 2004, we decided to pay homage to this Polish Statesman (and Winemaker) by planting Zinfandel, just as Paderewski did on this very site a century before us.


Born on November 6th, 1860, here are six of our favorite facts about this amazing Pianist, Prime Minister, and Paso Roblan.

    1. He was the first ever solo pianist to play Carnegie Hall.
    2. He was the first Prime Minister of Poland – appointed in 1919.
    3. That same year he signed the Treaty of Versailles on behalf of Poland.
    4. At the request of President Roosevelt, Paderewski received a state burial at Arlington Cemetery.
    5. In 1992, Paderewski’s body was returned to a free Poland.  However, per his request, his heart remained in America and now rests in the national shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Pennsylvania.
    6. Our personal favorite…He owned 2,000 acres of land in Paso Robles, 350 of which we know own, cherish, and call Epoch Estate Wines.  On this land, he planted Zinfandel vines that he would later turn into wine at York Mountain Winery (talk about full circle!).


Authenticity, veracity, ingenuity, creativity and sensibility. Humanitarian, patriot, composer, wine grower, politician, pianist, and statesman. These are all attributes that mold the man that many know as simply Paderewski. To us here at Epoch, veracity means truth or true to type and Paderewski was a true polish patriot and piano player. So, we have dedicated our 2016 Veracity to him.