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Windstream Cellars

Central Coast AVA

Burgundian-style wines from estate-grown vineyards

This Gold Wine Club selection, Windstream Cellars, was originally introduced to the wine world through the Gold Medal Wine Club in 2010 due to the winery’s close association with Gold Medal throughout the years. An initial bottling of approximately 1,500 cases has risen just slightly to around 2,000 cases.

“This is a project that I had long wanted to complete,” remarked Windstream owner and winemaker Anthony Riboli. “It was a wonderful opportunity to combine two opposite approaches to winemaking.”

“We both bring different expertise to the table,” Riboli continued. “Arnaud is a classical French winemaker with an old world approach. I am more California-oriented, and definitely a disciple of what many call new world winemaking techniques.

The fact is that Arnaud and I both tend to push each other due to the differences in our approach. We are both seeking higher quality, and that is the main aim of our winemaking. Sometimes we disagree strongly, but we work together to find pieces of the puzzle that make wines great. You can say we work toward a common ground, and we exchange ideas all the time.” While Windstream is starting off slowly, Riboli feels comfortable that he can gear up the production if the national marketplace shows approval of Windstream’s wines. “We have some really tremendous vineyards to work with, and that is the basic necessity to making really quality wines. If you don’t start with quality fruit, the greatest winemakers in the world would be unable to make the fruit into quality wine.”

The Windstream project had been on the table for several years before reaching fruition. Riboli credits a minor upturn in the wine business as providing the perfect opportunity to launch his new wine entity. Windstream was chosen as the name for the project because Riboli wanted a name that was easily identifiable by the wine buying public and a name that resonated the unique relationship between the pacific coastal winds that regularly provide vineyards along the Central Coast with a myriad of possible scenarios.

“Anyone that has ever attended vineyards in this area knows how dominating the winds can be,” added Riboli. “It is safe to say the winds can either make you or break you, so it is necessary to pay close attention to them on a daily basis. Windstream is simply our way of paying homage to such an important factor in the grapes’ development.” Windstream plans additional wines for its smallish portfolio, but that action will also be dictated by the public’s reaction to the first releases. “I’ve always felt that the public tells you if it wants more or not,” he went on. “And what better way to achieve a true cross section of our country than through the Gold Medal Wine Club’s massive membership. It’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned.”

While Windstream is almost embryonic in nature, its grapes have excellent pedigrees that insure good quality and depth. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Windstream, a winery that will bear careful watching in the future.

Anthony Riboli & Arnaud Debons - Winemakers

Picture of Anthony Riboli & Arnaud Debons - Winemakers

It is quite rare that two winemakers share the winemaking responsibilities for a particular winery, but that's exactly the case with the first wines of Windstream. Frenchman Arnaud Debons hails from a small town outside Toulouse in southern France where he worked for several French wine entities. His career also brought him to the prestigious Napa Valley winery Newton Vineyards, who participates in a French winemaker exchange program. At Newton, his wines have won numerous awards and accolades. He joined the Riboli Family of wineries almost seven years ago and has had a hand in making a large number of their award-winning wines.

Anthony Riboli has a masters in enology from UC Davis in 1998 that speaks for itself. While he runs the majority of the Riboli Family wineries, he developed a special interest in working closely with Arnaud Debons on the Windstream project due to their dissimilar approaches to winemaking. Anthony found the entire experience a "great deal of fun and an excellent experience.”