Eos Estate Winery - Cupa Grandis

Central Coast AVA

Classic winemaking techniques and a focus on traditional quality


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 Wine Club members. We have even featured two of their upper level, very low-production Cupa Grandis wines in our Platinum Wine Club. 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.