Santa Barbara County region
Alison Thomson honors her grandfather's legacy with extremely expressive and well-balanced wines
Established in 2013 by Alison Thomson, Lepiane Wines crafts very limited amounts of Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Grenache from the hillsides of Santa Barbara County on California’s Central Coast. The winery is named after Alison’s great grandfather, Luigi A. Lepiane, who came from Piane Crati in Calabria, Italy with a dream of making a successful life for his family. In 1917, he settled in Hollister, California, where he established a grocery store and his own winery, which he named L.A. Lepiane. Now three generations later, that deep Calabrian love of food, family, and wine has guided Alison and with Lepiane Wines, she honors and revives her great grandfather’s legacy.
It began when Alison was a student at UC Santa Barbara. She was majoring in biology and Italian and devoted a semester to studying abroad in Siena, Italy. It was here that her love for Italian food and wines turned into a healthy obsession and she went on to earn her master’s degree in viticulture from the heralded UC Davis. While completing her degree, Alison had the incredible opportunity to intern for one of the top wine producers in Barolo, Italy, making some of the best wines in the world, and after finishing her studies, Alison gained further experience working for such wineries as Sine Qua Non (Ventura), Palmina (Lompoc), and Samsara (Santa Ynez Valley).
In 2013, Alison started her own label, Lepiane Wines, and decided to focus on the Italian varietals of Nebbiolo and Barbera, and the Spanish varietal, Grenache. While these grapes are certainly not the most popular or well known in California, Alison finds it both thrilling and challenging to work with them and she is certainly doing an excellent job. Alison currently works with Walker Vineyard, Black Oak Vineyard, and Sisquoc Vineyard in Santa Barbara County, sourcing fruit that is extremely expressive and crafting wines that are well-balanced and food friendly. She only produces around 300 cases total per year, so these wines are near impossible to find, even for locals.
Alison dedicates these wines to her great grandfather’s memory, her family, and to you and your dinner table. It is her earnest hope that you drink them in the spirit of enjoyment. We are pleased to present one of her inaugural vintage wines to you, our Garagiste Wine Club members. Cheers!