Aaron Wines - Aequorea
Central Coast AVA
Fairly undiscovered vineyards that sit farther west than any other sites on the Central Coast
Aaron Jackson is the owner/winemaker for Aaron Wines, and must be considered something of a maverick in his chosen field. Jackson is a lifelong surfer from Cayucos (Estero Bay) who early on decided that pursuit of the noble grape was his career desire. He attended and received degrees from two ag-oriented universities and worked summers at the established Wild Horse Winery.
He released his first commercial vintage (in 2002) while still a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (he was the first student to sign on to the newly created Wine and Viticulture major) that sealed his destiny and made him one of the youngest winemakers in the country. “Winemaking is a really cool blend of agriculture, science, business and art, all together,” he stated recently.
Aaron Jackson cleverly (at the time) chose the Rhône Valley varietal Petite Sirah as his preferred grape and the rest is history. Utilizing the steep, limestone-laden hillsides of west Paso Robles (he terms the area his backyard) for his vineyard sites, he began producing wines that gained immediate attention and extremely high scores from wine industry periodicals and competitions.
“I always felt there was great potential for the (Petite Sirah) varietal,” he explained further. “Within this blackest of grapes we found the wines we knew we wanted to create. We chose sites within the Westside districts of Willow Creek, Adelaida and Templeton Gap that each expressed a unique terroir for our wines. These are extremely cold-climate locations that encompass low yield vineyards and are often the only vineyards you will see for miles.”
Production for Aaron Wines is still quite small (around 1,000 cases), but is expected to increase to between the 3-4,000 case level in the future.
“Petite Sirah is a wonderful grape to work with,” he concluded. “The fact is we simply weren’t giving it the attention and love it deserved.”
All that has changed thanks to Aaron Jackson. His 2013 Trespasser, Red Blend, speaks for itself and must be considered among the country’s leading varietal blends. The label is something unto itself and speaks well of its youthful owner and winemaker.