Thank you for visiting our website! However you may have found us, we are so glad you are here. We feel so fortunate to have a lot of rich stories to tell at Epoch, so we hope you take the time to peruse some of these pages, or better yet, come see the story in action atop York Mountain. In the meantime, here is a quick summary of who we are and how we came to be.
When setting out on our “crazy” quest to make wine, we did not have our sights set on any particular wine region. However, we knew two things for sure: we loved wines made from Rhone varieties, and being geologists, we understood the importance terroir plays in the making of world-class wines. Upon extensive research and travel, we kept coming back to Paso Robles for the weather, unique soils, hilliness, and extreme temperature swings that are known to this region and are found within each of our vineyard sites – Paderewski, Catapult, and York Mountain. The cowboy culture, entrepreneurial spirit, and unmistakable beauty were just added bonuses!
Our own epoch officially began in 2004 with the purchase of our Paderewski Vineyard (there is a REALLY cool story behind this property and its name, but in an attempt to not be too long-winded here and now, check out this story for all of the details). This chapter became so fruitful (pun intended) that we spread our roots to Catapult Vineyard in 2008 and then the historic York Mountain Winery two years later.
Today we are beyond blessed to be stewards of these lands, and we are honored to carry on the legacies of York Mountain and Ignacy Paderewski through our wines. Wines that are carefully crafted from Rhone, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, and as of recently, a few Bordeaux varieties. Like we said, there are a multitude of stories begging to be told within this short summary, so we hope you take some time to read more about us and eventually come see us in person!
Thank you for your interest and support. We look forward to sharing this Epoch journey with y’all!
Holding a well-storied past, the historic York Mountain Winery was established in 1882, making it the first bonded winery on the Central Coast. Over the next 120 years, this Winery lived through Prohibition, a handful of name changes, various owners (most often within the York family who owned it until 1970), many, many bottles of wine, and so much more. Through it all, the Winery operated continuously until 2001.
In 2003, the San Simeon Earthquake hit California causing York Mountain Winery catastrophic damage that left this beloved building condemned. In 2010, Bill and Liz Armstrong purchased the property out of foreclosure with the intent of revitalizing this historic landmark and making it part of our Epoch story. After years of restoration and permitting, York Mountain Winery finally opened again in December 2016 as our new Tasting Room.
A full reconstruction of York Mountain Winery by Lake Flato Architects and B.K Architect LLC breathes new life into the design, while honoring the historic integrity of the site. This includes the careful and loving preservation of the original redwood beams as well as the bricks that were fired on property in 1906. These bricks along with the stones from the original cellar have been incorporated back into the structure with perfect precision. A basket press that was once used by the York brothers now sits amongst the rafters to replicate the original positioning which allowed gravity to bring juice from the crushed grapes to the main floor. This modern-meets-rustic space showcases and celebrates the York Legacy as it simultaneously beckons the future of Epoch.
We know how beloved this building and property are for so many long-time York Mountain patrons, so we were beyond thrilled to open its historic doors once again in 2016 as the next chapter of our Epoch story.
Fun fact: Ignacy Jan Paderewski (the namesake of our Paderewski Vineyard) once brought harvested grapes from his vineyard to York Mountain where the York brothers turned this fruit into wine. We love bringing this winemaking story back to life, as fruit from this land is once again being crafted into wine on York Mountain.
Ten years, seven vintages, and two estate vineyard plantings passed before we had our own winery. While we are so thankful for the years spent building the Epoch name and honing in on our winemaking style at Denner’s facilities, we were beyond ecstatic to move into our own winery days before Harvest 2014 began. This super-swanky winery boasts the rustic elegance of times gone by, complemented by clean lines of modern architecture.
Nestled into the oak covered hills of York Mountain, the 17,000 square foot state-of-the-art winery slips into the natural surroundings. To ensure the natural beauty was not obstructed, we placed most of the winery beneath the earth by utilizing a cut-and-cover method. This allows the winery to literally blend into the landscape, and in-turn provides our barrel room with natural temperature control – a win, win for all!
Weighing in at 14,000 pounds each, ten handcrafted, board-formed concrete tanks rest atop a cast-in-place, concrete ledge within the sleek fermentation room. Designed for function with visual appeal, each tank boasts a conical shape (inside and out), allowing greater cap compression for the fermenting fruit. Each of the handcrafted tanks is fitted with glycol tubes running through the five-inch thick walls, providing flexibility for fermenting or aging wines. Jordan worked side-by-side with local tank manufacture, Micah Utter of Vino Vessel, to bring these big boys to life.
Six stainless steel tanks were also specifically designed for our space. These tanks give the winemaking team the ability to ferment, age, and blend prior to bottling. So as not to obstruct the elegance of the sixteen custom tanks, the winery strategically placed the catwalk and railings behind the vessels and installed a safety harness fall protection system to preserve the beauty of these one-of-a-kind tanks.
The awe-inspiring barrel room is naturally cooled by the mass of earth surrounding the unique cast-in-place, board-formed concrete that makes up the ceiling, walls, and floors. Two oculi skylights are strategically placed to allow the natural daylight to filter into the room. This area is not only a place to store aging wine, it also lends Jordan a warming/cooling room to jumpstart wines that may need a little help from a temperature change.
The entire winery has been integrated with night cooling. To keep in line with our sustainable strategies, we are also equipped with a photovoltaic system that provides 95% of our energy. These components, coupled with the natural day light allows the terroir of York Mountain to mingle with the terroir that our grapes exude when brought into the winery. We believe that terroir is not just at the vineyard site; terroir is also found where we craft the wines. These deliberate and desired elements continue to give the winemaking team the creativity and flexibility necessary to make the crazy, delicious wines for which we are known.
Sixteen years after building York Mountain Winery, Andrew York, constructed the Farmhouse in 1898. The York family cherished this home for 72 years as they lived their dream of growing grapes and producing wine atop York Mountain.
Over the years, the Farmhouse underwent many updates, yet nothing as extensive as our full remodel in 2013. The original home consisted of only the center section of today’s structure. The kitchen (an old cabin) was added in the early 1900s, and the great room was built in the 1970s. In 2013, we took the Farmhouse down to the studs for its most comprehensive renovation to date! This beautiful, fully restored Farmhouse now serves as a beloved home-away-from-home for the Armstrongs’ family and friends.
When restoring the historic Farmhouse, we knew it would take more than a can of paint and new cabinets to breathe life back into the structure. This once abandoned house needed a major makeover to let the charm of original craftsmanship shine. To lead the restoration, we enlisted our in-house architect, Steve George. We wanted the completed home to reflect the historic integrity and charm of the original Farmhouse while incorporating today’s modern conveniences and amenities.
Before renovation could begin, the Farmhouse needed to be stabilized with a new foundation…no easy undertaking! Once sturdy, the house was stripped down to the studs, ridding the premise of asbestos, lead paint, and black mold. Good riddance! Removal of the walls and floors revealed a maze of haphazard electrical and plumbing, along with the fireplace’s brick chimney that curved through the inside of the walls to connect to the smokestack that served the stove in the kitchen. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us, but we were on a mission to bring this iconic Farmhouse back to life.
Looking to the past helped guide many of the visual features found throughout the finished home. To achieve our restoration goals, we hired several specialized craftsmen. Thanks to their particular trades and passions, we were able to restore many of the original windows, save the linoleum-covered wood floors, and even carve a few interior doors to match the originals.
Details were key to this project! When it came to the finishing touches, we searched far and wide to adorn the home with reflections of the past. The light fixtures and switches along with certain furniture pieces resemble those used at the turn of the 20th century, including the wrought-iron bed frames found in each beautifully designed suite.
Be it by gazing at the Farmhouse walls lined with images of times gone by, cooking a meal in the spacious kitchen bathed in California’s natural light, or by taking in the views of the mountain range that hug this magical section of west Paso Robles, this charming and historic Farmhouse is once again a place for family and friends to relish in memories of the past and dream of the future atop York Mountain.
7505 York Mountain RoadTempleton, CA firstname.lastname@example.org
By Appointment Dailytastingroom@epochwines.com10 AM – 4 PM
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