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Wesley Ashley Wines

Central Coast AVA

Rhône-style blend with expansive flavor

After more than twenty years working in real estate, Jim Sloate decided to leave his career behind and follow his passion for wine. Jim built and managed many real estate companies over the years, but always found time to visit wine country, travel to the world’s famous wine growing regions, and participate in wine tasting events. One morning, he woke up and decided he would pursue this passion of his, and try to make a business out of it.

When Jim got into the wine industry, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. Rhône-style blends had always piqued his interest, as they were so different from anything else he had ever tried. Jim believed there was something special about Rhône-style wines with their expansive flavor profiles, a wide range of varietal options, and countless blending possibilities. He teamed up with winemaker Jason Welch and the two built their winery on the Central Coast, where Rhône wines had really begun to thrive. The name of the winery, Wesley Ashley Wines, is a combination of Jim’s middle name (Wesley) and his daughter’s middle name (Ashley).

The first vintage of Wesley Ashley Wines, a cuvée of Grenache, Syrah, and Petite Sirah, was made in 2009 and whole-heartedly accepted by the public – plus it garnered incredibly high reviews! Jim and Jason named this cuvée “Intelligent Design” after the assertion that the world was created by an Intelligent Designer. The opposite side of that argument is the process of evolution. Rather than picking sides, Jim and Jason are choosing to have fun with the debate and raise the question “Is wine all about science – or does wine have a soul?” The decision is up to you!

The image on the label also ties in to the winery’s distinctive vision. While looking for a design, Jim searched through old photos and came across one of a bicycle in Cuba. At first glance, the bicycle looked like a piece of junk with many different materials and unlikely pieces coming together, but looking closer, he saw the beauty in it. The owner of the bicycle had been very imaginative in the way he brought these various components together to make something functional. Jim realized the art of blending Rhône-style wines was very much the same, in that he had to find creative combinations to make the end product a success.

Now four years into his wine project, Jim Sloate is certainly making a name for himself with a most unique wine brand and an award-winning reputation.