Paso Robles AVA
Perseverance has created a positive niche for the winery's outstanding portfolio
The story behind Dilécta Wines is a fascinating, if not a bit unusual, account that bears repeating.
The principal is Orion (after the constellation) Stang, a native of Cambria (just off the Central Coast) who is the owner of the enterprising boutique winery, Dilécta Wines.
Stang, now 35, came to this point in his life through an uncommon turn of events.
Around wines (his parents were avid wine drinkers) since he was an infant, Stang developed a penchant for the grape around the age of sixteen. He had been dragged to wineries around the Paso Robles area for several years and suddenly found he possessed a real appreciation for wines and their various attributes.
In 2005, Stang enrolled in a Study Abroad program in Italy and freely roamed the famed Tuscan hills and their plethora of fine wines and appealing foods.
“The experience was just what I expected,” Stang offered in a recent interview. “I was able to taste so many great wines and learn their history at the same time. I suddenly realized that wine was something I needed to get further into.”
Upon returning to the United States, he quickly enrolled in the CIA (Culinary institute of America) Greystone Campus in Napa Valley to become a certified sommelier. Upon completion, he found work in a number of Southern California restaurants where he fine-tuned his love of wine and its pairing with fine cuisines.
“The more I got into wine I realized I wanted to start making wine, not just selling it,” Stang continued. “I developed a style of wine that I thoroughly enjoyed drinking and decided to see if I could produce it myself.”
In 2007, he landed a job with Eric Jensen, the well-respected owner and winemaker of the Booker Winery and Vineyard. Stang learned quickly and was soon named assistant winemaker to Jensen at the Paso Robles facility. “Eric was my mentor,” Stang provided. “He was the fastest growing winery in the Paso area and he was a stickler for exactness. I was fortunate to have worked under him.”
Four years later, Orion Stang decided it was time to try it on his own and began the development of Dilécta Wines. For the record, Dilécta is derived from the Latin delictus meaning lovely or loved, depending on the usage. From Sting’s perspective, the name was the perfect way to introduce his own style of winemaking to the consumer.
He found a home at the Herman Story Winery in Paso Robles and set about establishing his label in the highly competitive environment that is the Central Coast Wine Region. He chose the reliable Rhône varietal Syrah as the predominate grape in his winemaking. “The Rhône grapes from around the Paso area are bigger and richer and the Syrah is a perfect blending grape. You can do all kind of things with it and you can produce some amazing wines from the fruit,” he added.
Dilécta Wines are sourced from several of the Central Coast’s premier vineyards and then blended to Stang’s exacting standards. “I know what I like to drink and I can’t fathom making a wine that I wouldn’t enjoy myself,” he continued.
Dilécta Wines’ first release came in 2011, a tiny 150 cases. The ensuing success and accolades for the quality of wines has expanded Dilécta Wines’ annual production to just fewer than 1,000 cases. Further expansion for Dilécta Wines will depend on consumer confidence, and Orion Stang is in no hurry to expand his operation.
Not surprisingly, Orion Stang is currently in the process of opening a tasting facility with the help of his financial partner, Steve Sellers. He remains Dilécta Wines’ only employee and is aided by his mother (Betty Wick) in developing the labels for Dilécta Wines. Each label tells a story. The Match shows a couple staring tenderly at each other while The Tiller is a Matisse drawing of land being tilled for farming.
The road from sommelier to winery owner/winemaker is not the usual route to success, but Orion Stang is not the usual owner/winemaker. His perseverance and marketing expertise has created a positive niche for the outstanding portfolio of Dilécta Wines. We know you will enjoy this Platinum Wine Club selection.
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
My name is Orion Stang and I am the owner/winemaker of Dilécta Wines. I began my career working under the guidance of Eric Jensen at Booker Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA in 2007. This was my introduction to the wine industry. I quickly achieved the position of Assistant Winemaker and Assistant Vineyard Manager and at the completion of our 2011 vintage, I decided to leave Booker to start my own label. In the Fall of 2011, I established Dilecta Wines and began sharing space at Herman Story Winery where I produced my first vintage. 2012 brought the advantage of working with Scott Hawley of Torrin Wines. While working with Scott, an opportunity to be a part of a new project, Law Estate Wines, developed. I left Law Estate in September of 2015 in pursuit of focusing all my time and energy on Dilecta.
The wines are all made in a truly hands off style, letting the pure essence of the varietals show through in every sip. The wines are never racked or filtered during the typical 18 months of aging in their French Oak barrels. The naturally occurring yeasts do all the work through the fermentation process. Organic farming methods are practiced in all of the vineyards we source from and we’re in constant search of new exciting areas from which we can purchase our grapes.
The 2013 The Match is a consumer friendly wine, boasting aromas of Bing cherry and roasted herbs. The majority of the blend is Grenache, coming from a little vineyard in one of my favorite areas of Paso Robles, Peachy Canyon. The vineyard is called Glenrose and is only a mile away from where I used to work, Law Estate Wines.
The 2015 “The Tiller” is a wine to be enjoyed in the next two years. I used low levels of so2 when bottling so it would be ready for your consumption early on. Every time I source Grenache from Russell Family Vineyards, located in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles, I am impressed with the Pinot Noir quality of the Grenache grapes.
I hope you all enjoy.
Owner & Winemaker