Le Vigne Winery
Paso Robles AVA
“I love what I do, and I love our wines. I’m not sure anyone could ask for anything more.”
There are two intertwining stories associated with Le Vigne Winery worth reporting.
The first involves the family of Sylvester Feichtinger who purchased property in the Paso Robles growing area in the 1960’s – true pioneers of the recently-heralded AVA. The family operated Sylvester Vineyards and Winery, and for a number of years, was considered among the top producers in the region.
The second important aspect involves one Walter Giovanni Filippini, who emigrated from his native Lombardi Region of Italy in 1982. He eventually married his wife Sylvia, who so happens to be Sylvester Feichtinger’s daughter.
Filippini was a world-renowned chef and winner of Italy’s National Chef Competition who decided to move to New York and was subsequently featured on film producer Dino de Laurentis’ food show. He eventually moved to Los Angeles where he worked in several restaurants and met Sylvia. The rest is history.
At some point, Sylvester Feichtinger decided to leave the wine business and passed the winery to Sylvia and Walter. The couple had already developed two successful businesses, Peacock Cheese Distributing Co. and Il Treno Restaurant, and welcomed the additional challenge of taking over the family winery operation.
“In a close family,” related Walter Filippini, “you do what you need to do. I had always loved wine in Italy and realized what wine and food combinations could offer the consumer. For me it seemed the natural thing to do.”
In 2011, Le Vigne Winery was split off from Sylvester Vineyards and Winery to provide an additional option for the family’s more than 143 acres of vineyards.
“When we got an extremely high rating early in Le Vignes’ development, a 96 I believe, we were faced with something of a dilemma. When the rating came out, we only had 700 bottles left,” chronicled Filippini. “It would have been easy to double the price and sell every bottle, but we decided to keep the same price and only allow one bottle for each customer. We made 700 new friends, and many are still our best customers to this day. We have an extremely loyal following and some of them come to the winery as often as 15-20 times a year.”
Walter Filippini believes his company’s extensive vineyards are the key to Le Vigne Winery’s success. A wide assortment of varietals are planted that allow for a number of interesting varietal combinations.
“Different wines can be paired with a host of creative dishes,” Filippini continued. “It’s all up to the creativity of the chef. If a chef wants to bring out a certain food feature, he pairs it with a wine that compliments that feature. We do that at the winery all the time and have made a great number of our customers quite happy with some of our events.”
The Le Vigne Winery label is another example of family involvement. Filippini’s cousin, Daniela Bianchini, produced a pencil drawing that commemorated Filippini’s grandparents’ 50th anniversary. The scene showed his grandfather, Domenico Filippini, resting after coming down a mountain in Lombardy’s steep growing area that borders nearby Switzerland. It is a moving tribute to the family’s participation in Italy’s storied wine history as well as a salute to the generations of Filippinis that came before.
From its smallish opening release of only 500 cases, today’s Le Vigne Winery produces around 5,000 cases.
The winery and tasting facility in Paso Robles is considered a must-stop for everything considered gourmet in the food world. “It’s a food adventure all right,” admitted Walter Filippini. “It’s up to the customer’s imagination to seek out the right combinations. We are here to help and guide them in the right direction. We want everyone to leave here happy.”
Sylvia Filippini remains active in Le Vigne Winery’s business and has a hand in all important decisions the company makes. Walter devotes between 20 and 25% of his time to Le Vigne’s efforts and admits to having a ball doing it. “I love what I do, and I love our wines. I’m not sure anyone could ask for anything more.”
Le Vigne Winery is another excellent example of the Paso Robles AVA’s ascension to the top tier of wine-producing areas that has made it one of California’s most acclaimed growing locales.
It is our pleasure to introduce our Platinum Wine Club members to this celebrated winery. Enjoy!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members
I am proud that the Gold Medal Wine Club is presenting our 2016 Le Vigne Coure della Vigna to its Platinum Club Members. Coure della Vigna, translated from my native language of Italian, is "Heart of the Vineyard ." With this wine, we pay homage to my heritage, which goes back to the Italian Alps, where my grandfather picked grapes from the mountainside vineyards near the town of Sondrio, in the Valetellina wine growing region.
This Super Tuscan-inspired blend is comprised of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot from our estate vineyards in Paso Robles, California. This wine's balanced aromas, fruit, and earthiness compliment the acidity and tannin structure, making this wine perfect for food-pairing. Le Vigne Coure della Vigna pairs especially well with Italian cuisine-chicken, veal or eggplant Parmesan would make an excellent accompaniment to this wine.
Owning Le Vigne Winery brings me back to my childhood, when food and wine and family were part of my daily culture. My training as a chef in Italy allows me to prepare beautiful wine dinners for winery guests. It brings me joy to pair our award-winning wines with great food. I also lead occasional cooking classes at the winery; again bringing together three of the greatest pleasures in life - wine, food, and friends.