Central Coast AVA
Working together to create well-balanced, boutique style wines inspired by their Croatian ancestors
This wonderful Garagiste selection is filled with Owner Andy Zaninovich’s admiration and affection for the traditions of his family’s country of origin, Croatia. Andy’s family actually came from the Island of Hvar in the Adriatic Sea, just off the Dalmatian Coast where his uncles made wines for the family in their basements.
A visit to Hvar encouraged Andy’s interest in wine and winemaking. When his father-in-law’s home winemaking went astray several years after the millennium, Andy stepped forth and found some premium grapes and joined his father-in-law in home winemaking. The Zaninovich family has been in the table grapes business for decades and runs one of the largest (over 2000 acres) grape vineyards in California, just outside the City of Delano.
“I wasn’t all that keen on the venture,” Zaninovich, now a youngish 65, recently recalled. “But when the first wines I made came out tasting quite well and everyone involved was extremely pleased, I began to see the merit of making wines.”
Andy Zaninovich learned the chemistry of winemaking off the Internet. His daughter Ashley, 28, was then a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo studying Ag Business and Marketing. She encouraged her father and by 2010, the first 25 cases of Tlo (a Croatian word that means, earth or soil and closely resembles the French term terroir) Wines turned into a reality.
The following year Tlo Wines became bonded and immediately entered the commercial wine market. Those first releases totaled a smallish 250 cases, a number that has grown steadily to its present level of 700 cases.
Tlo Wines has one long-term contract with Spanish Springs Vineyard but prefers to buy grapes Andy Zaninovich considers exceptional. His expertise as a table grape grower helps him differentiate the good from the exceptional. Son Adam handles the IT chores for the Tlo Wines website and Avery Zaninovich devotes a great deal of her time to sales and marketing.
“We intend to work together,” added Zaninovich, “to create rich, well-balanced wine in a handmade, boutique style inspired by our Croatian ancestors. We want to make the highest quality wine possible.”