Paso Robles AVA
Dreams come true with a great deal of dedication and a healthy portion of hard work.
Just before the turn of the century, Don Arndt (pronounced Ar-nt) was running a successful machine shop in Long Beach, California, and spent a good number of weekends tasting wines with his wife Jennifer, in and around the cozy town of Paso Robles. The Central Coast literally grew on the couple and in 2000, they purchased some property in the area.
Don Arndt became fascinated with the almighty grape and began home winemaking in his garage early in 2000. His first vintage in 2004 resulted in plaudits from anyone and everyone who tasted the wine. Two years later, he and Jennifer moved to Paso Robles and their wine odyssey slowly took flight. A barn was designed and built on the Arndt property by Don Arndt himself that eventually became the home to Arndt Cellars.
The company’s first release came in 2012, a most respectable 200 cases. It was greeted with excellent reviews and scores that sealed the case for Arndt Cellars’ viability. The entity has grown slowly and today produces around 750 cases annually, a level that Don Arndt is most comfortable with.
“Since Arndt Cellars is basically a one-man show,” he stated, “I control the quality I desire, and I have set the standard rather high. Since I am a self-taught winemaker, I call on my friends in the business to assist me whenever the need arises. So far, it has worked out quite well.”
Arndt spent two years working for the highly successful J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, one of the Central Coast’s largest wineries. “I performed a number of jobs there,” added Arndt, “and learned a great deal about the craft of winemaking.”
“I make wine because I truly love doing it,” Arndt confessed. “I love to see the subtleties of the fruit we get from each harvest. We tend to sue the same sources each year and do so without grape contracts. All we use is a handshake and we’ve never had a problem.”
Jennifer Arndt does all the paperwork and accounting and has helped Don along the long road to success. She designed the company’s label that Don describes as “something normal and not over the top. We weren’t interested in fancy colors or art work; we wanted the wines to speak for themselves.”
Arndt Cellars is an excellent example of a couple making their dreams come true with a great deal of dedication and a healthy portion of hard work. It is our pleasure to introduce Arndt Cellars to our Garagiste Wine Club members. Enjoy!