De Paola Vineyard
Central Coast AVA
Spectacular Italian-inspired Award-winning Zinfandel
Founded in 1998 by Michael and Kim De Paola, the De Paola Vineyards began as a small two and a half acre family vineyard of fine Zinfandel grapes nestled in the rolling foothills of Arroyo Grande, California. Here, Michael and Kim purchased a forty-five acre parcel of land and built a spectacular Italian-inspired home they named Villa de Paola. The cool Pacific breezes and temperate climate at the family property created the ideal growing conditions for Zinfandel, the De Paola's flagship varietal for their small family winery.
Michael De Paola grew up in the restaurant business and in 1980 moved to Santa Barbara to establish Michael Anthony's Pizzeria with his father, Emilio. Eventually, Michael and Emilio also opened Emilio's Ristorante near the Santa Barbara waterfront. For many years, the father-son duo enjoyed working side by side, eating good food, sharing stories, and creating an unforgettable experience for the entire De Paola family to share. When Michael and Kim moved to the Arroyo Grande Valley in 1998, planting the small Zinfandel vineyard and sharing harvest duties became another event for their family and friends. Harvest actually became an annual event for the De Paolas - gathering together, carrying buckets and baskets through the rows, chatting, picking hefty grape clusters and buzzing with the bees. As the last of the fruit was picked, the group would have a celebratory dinner with fresh baked bread and wine. This tradition continues today.
De Paola Vineyards' first harvest was in 2004, and with the help of winemaker Bruno D'Alfonso, the first few cases of Zinfandel were crafted. Today, the winery has expanded to include a Chardonnay and Petite Sirah, and Michael de Paola now oversees all winemaking duties. As a tribute to the tradition of family, De Paola Vineyards dedicates each vintage to a relative or family friend who has gone to their final harvest. The 2008 vintage, which is featured this month, is dedicated to Michael De Paola's father, Emilio, who passed away in 2007. His remarkable spirit will always be an inspiration to his family, friends, and the award-winning 2008 Zinfandel that is dedicated to his memory. Enjoy!