Santa Barbara County region
Owner, Kevin Gleason's eyes still sparkle when he talks about his family’s involvement in the wine industry and the fact that his dream has reached fruition.
Kevin Gleason’s road to becoming a winery owner didn’t follow a normal course. The Detroit native was in his early thirties when he moved to California in the 1980’s and had never had a sip of wine. His business required a good deal of entertaining and he soon found most of his guests preferred wine. “I figured I’d better learn about wine pretty quickly,” he recalled. “I started asking sommeliers, wine buyers and eventually winery owners to share their expertise and after a while I guess I was bitten by the wine bug.”
At one point, Gleason made the acquaintance of Steve Adams, an American entrepreneur who owned several Bordeaux châteaux and who tried to interest Gleason in purchasing a wine property in France. That never materialized, but the pair remained friends. Gleason even began a search for property in Santa Barbara County to build his own wine dream. His eyes would light up whenever the prospect of a winery would come up in conversation.
In 2004, Refugio Ranch Vineyards became a reality for Gleason and his wife Niki. During that time, his friend Steve Adams had bought an entity named Roblar Winery and Vineyards that had become quite successful. In 2017, the Gleason’s and Adams reached an agreement and the couple purchased the present day Roblar Winery and Vineyards. “We’ve had a great time,” Gleason added, “and now that our family is involved, our Gleason Family Vineyards has come the full circle.”
Son, Max Gleason joined the project in 2010 as is now general manager and daughter, Carrie Gleason Bieszard and her husband, Matthew Bieszard, work full time for Roblar Winery and Vineyards.
The entity produces around 5,000 cases of estate wines annually, a figure that Kevin Gleason say will rise in the future. “We are about to complete a 2.5 million-dollar expansion to the winery facility,” he explained. This will allow us to eventually increase our production to around 7,500 cases, a level where we feel totally comfortable.”
Kevin Gleason devotes around 40% of his time toward his Gleason Family Vineyards projects but continues his other business activities within the real estate and advertising businesses. His eyes still sparkle when he talks about his family’s involvement in the wine industry and the fact that his dream has reached fruition.
Roblar Winery and Vineyards is one of the nearly hidden gems of the Central Coast and produces exceptional wines with excellent price/value relationships. It is our pleasure to introduce this wonderful wine to our Gold Plus Wine of the Month Club Members! Enjoy!