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EOS Estate Winery - Paso Robles - Central Coast


Gold Medals abound for EOS Winery Reserve Petite Sirah

EOS Winery is one of just a few wineries we have featured more than once during the past dozen years or so. Their wines are always fabulous and well embraced by Gold Series members. We have even featured two of their upper level, very low-production Cupa Grandis wines in our Platinum Series. This month we are once again excited to bring you two wonderful, highly rated wines from EOS. Many of you who have been members for several years or longer may already be familiar with the EOS story. But for you newcomers, here is the intriguing story of EOS Estate Winery.

In Greek mythology, EOS was the goddess of the dawn, who each morning gently lifted the sun over the horizon to begin a new day. At the EOS Estate Winery, she is the symbol of a return to classic winemaking techniques and a focus on traditional quality, rather than recipe winemaking. The wines from EOS represent the dawn of a new winery created to showcase the high quality grape growing and winemaking from California’s famous Central Coast.

The winery has thoroughly embraced their Greek mythology theme, naming four vineyard blocks after EOS’ children, Boreas, Eurus, Zephyrus and Notus, representing the earth’s four winds. The grapes from these vineyards are carefully pruned for the highest quality yield then harvested at or near dawn, to keep the fruit cool and help retain fresh flavors. The wines are handcrafted by winemaker Leslie Melendez who gently coaxes the elegant fruit flavors from the grapes, deftly creating wines rich in varietal character.

EOS Winery is the brainchild of the Arciero family, together with Arciero’s General Manager, Kerry Vix and California wine distributor, Vern Underwood. In fact, the EOS Winery is located within the Arciero Winery facility, but operates at arm’s length to keep its identity and unique approach to winemaking separate.

Although EOS began in 1996, Arciero Winery first planted vines here in 1983. Owners Frank and Phil Arciero emerged from humble beginnings to become incredibly successful in the fields of construction, housing development, auto racing, farming, and of course, winemaking.

Surrounded by 700 acres of rolling hills, vineyards and wide-open blue skies is a majestic winery inspired by an ancient Benedictine monastery. Above the heavy wooden entrance doors the name Arciero is carved into stone. To the casual observer it feels as if this might be a scene right out of the Italian countryside. To the knowledgeable wine enthusiast, it could only be the Arciero Winery, one of the finest small wineries on California’s Central Coast.

It is no coincidence that, when it comes to the Arciero Winery, the feel of Italy is everywhere. Owners Frank and Phil Arciero spent their early childhood’s growing up near the fields and vineyards south of Rome. When they followed their father to America in the late 1930s they carried with them a love of the land and a drive to succeed. After starting with virtually nothing and building several successful businesses, and an Indy race team, Frank Arciero, in the early 1980s found himself drawn back to the land by his hobby of winemaking. While driving from Southern California through the Central Coast on his way to visit his son who was serving in the Army at Fort Ord, Frank found that the oak-studded hills surrounding Paso Robles reminded him of his Italian birthplace. “I knew this would be a good place to grow grapes,” Frank remembers.

In 1981, Frank and Phil bought 160 acres and by 1983 they began planting vines for the first of the Arcieros’ 15+ varietals. A year later, using a makeshift winery housed in a temporary metal building, the Arcieros produced 1,000 cases of Chardonnay with grapes purchased from other vineyards along the Central Coast. This first vintage earned a Gold Medal from the Seattle World Expo, and started them on the fast track to success. In 1985, they completed the first crush in their newly built permanent facility. In 1986, Arciero Winery opened its doors to the public. “My family always made wine… and I’m following the tradition here in California,” says Frank.

The warm days and cool evenings as well as the ideal soil conditions (well drained calcareous soil) found on the Central Coast allow the winery to grow a wide selection of varietals. The grapes grown for EOS wines are from the estate’s finest vineyard blocks. Varietals at EOS wines include Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah, and a late harvest Muscat Canelli.

Directed by winery partners Kerry Vix and Vern Underwood, winemaker Tom Eddy, and other key players such as Sales Director, Christopher Vix, EOS Winery was an instant success right out of the starting blocks. The 1996 Chardonnay was the first EOS wine released and it promptly won a Gold Medal in its first competition. The other wines quickly followed with a plethora of awards of their own.

For a relatively new winery, EOS has hit the market in a big way. Case production is already at 30,000 cases per year, with sights set at 50,000 within the next few years. From there, they will grow the output on a slower pace, as newer high quality vineyards come up to speed.

Enjoy these stellar releases from EOS Winery and keep an eye out as EOS Winery builds its reputation on what is already a solid and enviable beginning.



THE ARCIERO BROTHERS

The story of Arciero Winery is an American classic with an Italian accent. It is the tale of a poor immigrant who came to America with nothing, and how his family would one day own one of the premier wineries on California’s Central Coast. The man that started the Arciero legacy, Giovanni Arciero, came to the U.S. in 1914 from the farming region of Santa Elia Fiumrapido south of Rome. After securing a job as an assembly line worker in Detroit’s Plymouth Automobile plant, Giovanni migrated between continents and worked for years to put aside enough money to bring over the rest of his family. In 1937, he brought over his eldest son Mike and then two years later, just before the outbreak of WWII, he secured passage for his middle sons Frank and Phil. (The youngest son Anthony, and Giovanni’s wife Cristina, did not make it over until 1948.) After a few years in Detroit, Frank decided to head west in search of new challenges, while Phil learned the tool and die trade at the Henry Ford Trade School. In 1948, Phil joined Frank in California and the brothers began working together in the construction industry. Capitalizing on their hard work and determination, they went from ditch diggers and day laborers, to owners of ‘Arciero Brothers,” a highly successful cement business.

Using that success as a springboard, they soon built an impressive construction, real estate and farming empire. With money no longer an issue, Frank had time to indulge his favorite hobby—car racing. In 1957, Frank entered his Ferrari in professional races. While his track record was good, Frank’s insurance agent advised him to turn over the wheel to a talented younger driver. That driver’s name was Dan Gurney. With Gurney’s tremendous success and Frank’s sons, Frank Jr. and Albert, carrying on the Arciero racing tradition, Frank Sr. had time to pursue his other love—winemaking.

Just like his father, Frank Sr. had always enjoyed making wine for his friends and family. In the early 1980s he decided it was time to make winemaking more than a hobby. During his trips through the oak-covered hills of the Central California Coast to visit his son and watch races at Laguna Seca racetrack, Frank found that the area around Paso Robles reminded him of his birthplace near Rome. In 1983, using the financial resources from the cement and construction business, Frank and Phil purchased 160 acres and began planting grapes. Their instant success prompted them to build a magnificent winery modeled after Monte Cassino, a former Benedictine monastery built centuries ago near the Arcieros’ hometown.

Today the vineyard and winery are still a family run business. Frank Sr. oversees the vineyards and selection of varietals, brother Phil provides the financial expertise and Frank Jr. (Butch) plays a key role in sales and marketing. With big plans for the winery in the future, the latest chapter in the Arciero family legacy looks destined for continuous visits to victory lane.


Roasted Leg of Lamb with Gravy


Ingredients

1 cup Dijon mustard
5 large garlic cloves
(mince 1/2 finely, chop the remaining coarsely)
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
1/2 cup olive oil
1 leg of lamb, ca. 5 pounds, fat trimmed, roast tied
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups beef stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk the mustard with the minced garlic, soy sauce and rosemary. Gradually whisk in oil until creamy. Set aside 1/4 cup and coat lamb with rest. Let lamb sit at room temperature for several hours. Preheat oven to 350. Set the lamb, fat side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan and cook in lower third of oven for 20 minutes. Scatter vegetables and remaining garlic in the pan, reduce heat to 325 and cook for another hour and 40 minutes. The lamb is done when the meat thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 140. Transfer lamb to carving board, let rest for 20 minutes. Remove all strings before carving. Meanwhile, spoon off all but one tbsp. Of the fat from roasting pan. Set the pan over 2 burners, add stock and tomato sauce, bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring and scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Strain sauce into a small saucepan, pressing hard on the solids to extract liquid.Whisk in the reserved mustard and garlic mixture and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. Enjoy with EOS Reserve Petite Sirah.



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